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Comcast Business beta trials managed SD-WAN with Versa Networks

Comcast Business chooses Versa Networks as its managed SD-WAN partner, while Sprint turns to VeloCloud. Also, NEC and Dell EMC announce the availability of their SD-LAN service.

In SDN news, Comcast Business announces a beta trial of software-defined WAN services using Versa Networks' Cloud IP Platform; Sprint announces an SD-WAN partnership with VeloCloud; and NEC and Dell EMC announce the availability of their software-defined service for enterprise LANs.

Comcast Business offers SD-WAN beta trial

Comcast Business is testing a managed SD-WAN service, using technology from Versa Networks. The trial, which will continue through this summer, is available to Comcast's enterprise and multisite business customers, the company said. Comcast is the first U.S. cable company to offer a managed SD-WAN service; a number of telcos and internet service providers already offer managed SD-WAN services as part of their portfolios.

Comcast said companies joining the trial will get free SD-WAN service for six months, after which they can choose to continue or terminate the service. The managed SD-WAN capabilities will be on top of Comcast's Ethernet, broadband and business internet offerings, which Comcast hopes will enable hybrid SD-WAN environments for its customers. Comcast expects to fully launch the service later this year. Additionally, Comcast Business plans to roll out its upgraded DOCSIS 3.1 internet service that offers 1 Gbps internet speeds.

NEC and Dell EMC roll out software-defined LAN service

NEC Corporation of America and Dell EMC have teamed up to offer a software-defined LAN platform to enterprises. The technology, available now, is aimed at bringing the benefits of network virtualization to the campus network, according to a statement from NEC.

NEC claimed to already have successfully software-defined hundreds of LANs using its NEC ProgrammableFlow system comprising switches, an SDN controller and a management console. Through the partnership, Dell EMC's S-Series switches can now be used within NEC's framework. This compatibility, NEC said, will give companies greater flexibility in how they design their software-defined LANs.

"The new version of NEC's SDN controller with support for Dell EMC networking platforms greatly enhances the functionality of SDN-based enterprise branch networks with features to simplify management and lower operational expenditures," Adnan Bhutta, Dell EMC's marketing director, said in a statement.

The alliance comes as enterprises evaluate how they might use SDN in their campus LAN environments.

Sprint jumps on managed SD-WAN bandwagon

Sprint is the latest service provider to unveil a managed SD-WAN service. The offering, using technology from VeloCloud, will allow customers to use Sprint MPLS or broadband internet access for connectivity, or continue to use broadband from another provider.

Sprint already has a number of customers lined up to adopt its SD-WAN services, the company said. Sprint also offers voice over IP offerings, cloud connectivity, and managed network and security services.

VeloCloud has aggressively pursued the service provider market with its cloud-based technology. In addition to Sprint, VeloCloud's platform is also used to anchor managed SD-WAN services from several other internet service providers, including AT&T, TelePacific, GTT, Windstream and Vonage.

VeloCloud also recently announced a security partnership program that allows security vendor integration with VeloCloud's SD-WAN platform.

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