Spectrum Enterprise close to launching SD-WAN service

Spectrum Enterprise is doing a proof-of-concept at MEF18 this week that uses MEF's LSO Interlude API. (FierceTelecom)(Mike Robuck/FierceTelecom)

LOS ANGELES—Spectrum Enterprise is "about to unveil" its SD-WAN service, according to an executive who is attending the MEF18 conference in Los Angeles this week.

Gunnar Peters, senior director of emerging network products for Spectrum Enterprise, wasn't able to provide any additional details on Spectrum's SD-WAN service, which it demonstrated last year at MEF17 in Orlando. That demonstration centered on a hybrid SD-WAN solution that leverages Ethernet to create hybrid WANs by stitching together native Ethernet WANs and Internet-based SD-WAN connections.

To date, Comcast Business is the only large MSO in North America that has launched an SD-WAN service. Comcast Business is pairing DOCSIS 3.1 with Versa Networks' SD-WAN technology. Comcast's SD-WAN service made its debut last year. 

Spectrum demonstrates intercarrier PoC using MEF's LSO Interlude API

Spectrum Enterprise was on hand at MEF18 this week to demonstrate an application-aware, intercarrier proof-of-concept that uses MEF's LSO Interlude API. While MEF announced on Monday that its LSO Sonata was now available as a developer release, Interlude is still a work in progress.

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The PoC features a healthcare provider’s hybrid Wide Area Network (WAN) that consists of SD-WAN locations and Ethernet locations. Some of the SD-WAN locations are serviced with an internet connection from Telus using the LSO Interlude API.

While Peters wasn't able to say which vendor Spectrum was using for its SD-WAN service, it's notable that Nuage Networks was the SD-WAN partner in the MEF18 PoC. The PoC demonstrates how a bandwidth-consuming and performance-sensitive training video application on a hybrid network can trigger near real-time changes to the network to ensure application performance.

"The PoC concept for the MEF conference this year is our progress towards a policy-driven network where we give customers more visibility, flexibility, and control," Peters said. "That's kind of the concept around it. Specifically, our proof of concept will be demonstrating a self-optimized application and wire network that's able to orchestrate services across a multi-service provider or multicarrier environment. And for that latter, we're leveraging the MEF LSO Interlude API."

By using the LSO Interlude API, Spectrum can modify the needed bandwidth on the fly based on the end customer's needs.

"The first corrective action that we are taking is we are, through Interlude, signaling to our (Telus) partner to make modifications to their underlay or their internet connection, in this case. So, we're going to modify their bandwidth through that Interlude API from 10 meg to 20 meg.

"We're going to also then signal to our service to increase the bandwidth on our service itself from 10 meg to 20 meg. So that particular location will be upgraded across the board. And in addition to that, we're also making service changes from what we call a data-centric model, where business applications have 60% of the bandwidth, if you will, as an example, to more of a video-centric model where then that video application now gets more bandwidth across that particular location to be able to flow and make that application essentially clear up the video on that particular site."

Peters said it only takes 15 to 25 seconds to make the bandwidth changes. Both service providers are using their respective SDN orchestraters to signal to each other across the LSO Interlude API, Peters said.

"We've put this together over the last few months to make sure we worked out all those details with our partner," Peters said.