Q&A: Epsilon CEO Jerzy Szlosarek discusses the state of SDN and SD-WAN

Singapore-based Epsilon is looking for more carrier partners this year to enable services across each other's networks using an API. (Pixabay)

Singapore-based Epsilon is looking for more SDN-based intercarrier partnerships after launching one of the first last year with China-based DCConnect.

Last year, Epsilon and China's DCConnect announced a two-way, intercarrier network service that was provisioned across each other's networks using an API-to-API interface between their separate SDN architectures.

"It was a huge milestone for Epsilon as it is the first time two SDN platforms have been interconnected in China in this way," said Epsilon Chief Executive Officer Jerzy Szlosarek, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "Partners and customers can interconnect in major Chinese cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen and extended access to over a hundred data centers and cloud service providers in China. At the same time, DCConnect’s customers have full access to our global interconnect fabric.

"Using APIs to interconnect offers a seamless way for partners to offer access to each other’s network. In the case of DCConnect, we had developed bespoke API to fit the requirements between our networks. However, the future of the industry is about creating standards and we are working closely with MEF to develop APIs that simplify cross-carrier automation."

RELATED: Epsilon CEO Szlosarek talks U.S. expansion

The integration with Epsilon enables DCConnect customers to interconnect with Epsilon’s network of more than 600 service providers, cloud service providers and internet exchanges while also providing access to more than 100 points of presence across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America.

Colt Technology Services, AT&T and Verizon are planning to deliver Ethernet services over other carriers'  networks using MEF's Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) Sonata API sometime this year. While Szlosarek didn't say whether which carrier it would partner with next, it's safe to say that there's only about a dozen or so SDN-enabled carriers around the globe that are far enough along to be potential partners.

"We are always looking for the right partners to expand our global reach for our users," Szlosarek said. "I believe we will see similar agreements developed this year, we are in talks with Tier 1 carriers as well as smaller players.

"It is a win-win for both companies when we interconnect SDN platforms and give users new connectivity options with the same experience."

In the partnership with DCConnect, customers are using the SDN-enabled Infiny by Epsilon platform, which launched two years ago.

In this Q&A, which was edited for clarity and length, Szlosarek talks about the Infiny by Epsilon portal, the evolution of SDN and the status of SD-WAN.

FierceTelecom: Any planned updates to the Infiny by Epsilon platform this year, or next?

Jerzy Szlosarek: We are continually refining, adapting and growing our platform to go above and beyond. Transformation isn’t just a single project but an on-going commitment within our business. We have plans to integrate new capabilities and reach onto the platform using APIs to offer new services for customers and partners.

FierceTelecom: How will SDN evolve going forward, both internally and with enterprise customers?

Szlosarek: Enterprises want SDN to evolve with their needs. I think SDN going forward is going to be all about experience. Enterprises want to control their services and be able to simply scale up new services where and when they need them. If the experience they receive and the service support is spot on, the SDN provider is going to grow rapidly in this segment.

Enterprises need a flexible and agile networking model like SDN to mirror the kinds of software and services they use. I see adaptability and experience as key to the future of SDN. You have to offer a differentiated experience that is changing as fast as enterprise transformation. That’s a massive opportunity. 

FierceTelecom: Is SD-WAN moving towards more managed services, and partnerships with the cloud providers? If so, what is Epsilon's approach?

Szlosarek: Customers want security, flexibility, scalability and performance in SD-WAN. I see SD-WAN as a really cost-efficient alternative to MPLS. Customers can move faster to connect to the cloud and to destinations across the globe.

We partner with all major cloud service providers globally and are really active in partnering across the entire ecosystem. Epsilon offers an end-to-end enterprise solution that bundles global Ethernet and direct internet access with a secure, global SD-WAN. It is a cost-effective solution for connecting enterprise locations globally while extending connectivity across the globe.