Telus is the latest carrier to start offering software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) to its enterprise customers. The company is calling its new offering Telus Network as a Service (NaaS).
Telus is also the latest carrier to rely on Nokia’s Nuage Networks to provide the service.
The company promises: “We can install Network as a Service over any Telus Internet solution and those of most other providers. Network as a Service comes fully interoperable with MPLS; no expensive hardware upgrades required.”
Telus’ base price for single-site customers is $125 a month; that plan offers speeds up to 25 Mbps, 99.9% uptime guarantee, failover to LTE, and firewall. The base price for a multisite customer is $175 a month; that includes speeds up to 100 Mbps, 99.9% uptime, and AES-256 traffic encryption.
The first organizations to adopt SD-WAN, which is one type of NaaS, tended to be larger enterprises looking to expand their WANs quickly, and get a more agile WAN implementation to boot. It helps that SD-WAN in some instances can be a less expensive WAN option.
Some enterprises will do SD-WAN on their own, because they can’t wait, Hussein Khazaal, head of Marketing & Technology Partnerships at Nuage, told Fierce Telecom. Others, such as those whose main business might be retail or financial services, “they don’t have the chops for that. That pushes it to the service providers,” Khazaal said.
Nuage is emerging as one of the go-to vendors helping such A-list customers as BT, China Telecom, Telefonica, and Telia—and now Telus too—to offer SD-WAN.
The last six months, service providers have been qualifying the technology and training their sales forces in preparation for marketing the service, Khazaal said. “This year, there’ll be pilots, trials, and some actual production. Maybe not large scale, but it’s going to happen. MPLS is still going to be a big chunk, this is just another offering they can use to either go beyond their own network, or to offer something less expensive to a smaller or mid-size customer.”
SD-WAN also gives service providers a platform to upsell virtual network functions (VNFs), such as firewalls or wireless APs for Wi-Fi hotspots. “All without compromising performance,” Khazaal added. “And without compromising security—that’s top of mind recently.”
According to Nuage’s early numbers, a service provider can bring up an SD-WAN 80% faster than it could a typical WAN, Khazaal told Fierce Telecom. That mirrors the promise that Telus is making about how quickly it can bring up SD-WAN services on behalf of its customers.