Macquarie Telecom claims Australian first with SD-WAN launch.

August 8 2017, by Macquarie Technology Group | Category: Telecom

Macquarie Telecom has claimed an Australian first with the launch today of it’s software-defined wide area networking service, via partnership with US SD-WAN specialist Velocloud. And while the telco is looking for a local first mover advantage in a global SD-WAN market that IDC has forecast to hit $8 billion by 2021, Macquarie Technology Group exec. Luke Clifton also sees SD-Wan as a chance to disrupt the broader competitive telecoms scene in Australia.

The new offering promises multi-path and multi-carrier routing in software over the top of existing network infrastructure, with ‘dynamic packet routing’ enabling data and network functions to be carried over a mix of links ranging from NBN or private fixed connections to 4G or microwave. The system will choose the best pathways for highest speed and lowest latency, and automatically bypass individual links should they go down. Customers have visibility of up to 2,500 applications running across their networks via the Orchestrator – single screen interface. They can manually assign network priority to mission-critical app, or rely on automatic prioritisation to ensure that higher performance functions like VoIP are allocated resources ahead of less demanding apps like email.

Pitching the SD-WAN play to its existing mid-enterprise client base, Macquarie Telecom will officially launch today but already has 80 customers on the service across 180 sites, via a mix of beta and soft launch. Clifton said the offering was proving particularly attractive to customers with multiple sites or carrier networks, particularly with an international spread; those that needed to spin up sites very quickly, for instance: in construction or pop-up retail and those with a “a number of sites that they’ve always struggled to get proper bandwidth or performance to”, often in regional areas where it would be cost-prohibitive to get a single, high-throughput link from a Tier 1 provider. “[They’re] a perfect fit for SD-WAN, because we just bond a number of different links together – they can be consumer-grade DSL circuits – and we can get much better performance”, he said.

Macquarie Telecom will charge a monthly recurring subscription for the service and Clifton said the firm could get an Australian client up and running within a day. “At the bare bones minimum, because this is an over-the-top network, you really only need the edge device and access to the Orchestrator, which we provide…we can a customer up and running on SD-WAN as soon as we can get an edge device out to them. Within 24 hours.

“You don’t need to change your network…you can leave your existing network however [it it]…with your current provider.

Clifton is confident that Macquarie Telecom has some key points of difference that will keep it ahead in the new market. “This is essentially a multi-carrier technology. to get the best ank for buck out of SD-WAN, you want to have multiple links on multiple providers using different technology, that’s where you get the best performance throughput; we’re…the only serious business-grade telco provider that uses multi-carrier networks in Australia”, he said. “The final component is our experience in cloud solutions, because this a software [and] sits on our infrastructure…we think we’re well placed to be able to provide this solution to market”.

Clifton is also expecting the new SD-WAN play to help Macquarie disrupt the telco market in genera. “If you think of all of Tier 1 telcos that have invested tens or hundreds of millions of dollars with the Ciscos, Junipers and Alcatel-Lucents in their core networks, this pushes the smarts of that network from the core out to the edge onto software; it really eats into their particular business model. Then you have a look at the NBN rolling out, and it’s diminishing their last-mile access model And of course we’ve invested in customer service…for those reasons, we really do think it’s a competition leap”. Find out more about SD-WAN


This article first appeared in Communications Day on August 8, 2017.