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French service provider Orange has launched a software-defined WAN offering built on Cisco's platform for running virtualized network services. The product introduced this week also uses Cisco's Viptela SD-WAN software.
In other SD-WAN news, unified communications vendor Vonage introduced a small and medium-sized business version of its cloud-managed SmartWAN product. The latest version of SmartWAN lets SMBs use broadband for voice over IP (VoIP).
Orange is targeting the latest offering at medium and large businesses. For smaller companies, Orange sells the Viptela vEdge appliance.
A year ago, Cisco introduced its platform for running virtual network functions (VNFs), called the Enterprise Network Compute System (ENCS). Orange's ENCS-Viptela combination lets companies manage transport connections, such as MPLS, broadband and satellite. Orange installs the ENCS hardware in the customer's data center or campus.
Businesses have the option of adding security software to the Orange product. Security options include URL filtering and a firewall, said Laurent Perrin, a marketing director at Orange Business Services.
By the end of the first quarter, Orange plans to offer Viptela to companies that want to use the SD-WAN software with existing Cisco routers. Cisco plans to add support for Viptela, which the company acquired last August for $610 million, through a router software upgrade.
Orange chose Cisco's ENCS hardware because it includes automation software that lets the service provider chain multiple services for customers. Besides SD-WAN and security, a service provider could also offer WAN optimization.
Vonage's SmartWAN offering is for SMBs running VoIP over broadband instead of MPLS or other highly reliable, but more expensive, connections. The SMB would need to lease two broadband connections.
On a packet-by-packet basis, SmartWAN would direct VoIP traffic over the link that can move it faster. Customers could also use the software for Vonage-supplied video conferencing.
Vonage chief technology architect Sanjay Srinivasan described the product as "plug and play," meaning an SMB with a limited IT staff can install the product without outside help.
To make the product easy to install, Vonage sends the hardware preconfigured with the vendor's services. Customers plug the product into the LAN, power it up and then type in an activation key in a web portal. At that point, the device connects to Vonage's servers, downloads the configurations, and "it's ready to go," Srinivasan said.