Home Telecoms & NBN Macquarie Telecom brings ‘first-of-kind’ SD-WAN to Australia

Macquarie Telecom brings ‘first-of-kind’ SD-WAN to Australia

Macquarie Telecom has launched what it says is its first-of-kind SD-WAN service to provide Australian business with new technology enabling intelligent network services, control and visibility.

Luke Clifton, group executive, Macquarie Telecom, (below, right) has touted the newly released solutions as, “the most exciting development in the market since the dawn of 3G”.

“Just as businesses are turning to the cloud to support the new application-focused culture, it’s only natural that networks follow,”Clifton says.

Clifton says the solution, which offers a “unique combination” of multi-path and multi-carrier dynamic routing services, is available to customers today (Tuesday) and propels Macquarie Telecom into a market, which according to IDC research, is expected to be worth more than A$10 billion globally by 2021.

“We have a proud history of developing business-grade innovations in the telecoms sector and this is the next stage in the evolution of telecommunications, one that promises to be as profound as virtualisation has been to computing.

Luke Clifton“We are the first telco to offer a true SD-WAN solution to the market in Australia and we have more than 80 customers already using the service.

“The industry has been scrambling to define SD-WAN and what it really means – we’re ready to define it.”

Macquarie says a vital element of its SD-WAN service is intelligent “dynamic packet routing” which means network functions and information can be carried over a mix of links which might include NBN, private links, 4G or microwave links.

And, the telco says its solution can also leverage multiple carriers – “the only service in the market able to do so”.

Macquarie notes that the system automatically chooses the best pathway to transmit application information and workloads, ensuring the highest speed and lowest latency is always achieved.

According to Macquarie, this multipath, multicarrier approach means that if one link goes down, the others take over to ensure there is no downtime or outage experienced by the user, and “no one in the business will even know it has happened”.

And Macquarie claims most SD-WAN offerings either do not have this level of dynamic flexibility, or provide a “watered-down equivalent such as path selection, which will try to reinitiate over a dropped link before switching to another”.

“It’s like always knowing which lane will get me from A to B the fastest,” says Michael Davies, customer & emerging technologies director, Macquarie Telecom. “If there’s traffic on the road, the SD-WAN can automatically change my lane to that with the least amount of traffic within milliseconds – and I don’t have to do a thing, the system changes the lane for me automatically. That is the level of automation and simplicity available to our SD-WAN customers.”

Davies says information can also be sent concurrently across two links with the first to arrive then being “restitched” to form the complete transmission – and the system also automatically adjusts speed to reduce jitter and latency ensuring, for example, voice and video arrive together and there are no pixelated images during video conferencing.

Davies notes that businesses will also have full visibility of up to 2,500 applications running across their networks via a single screen, the Orchestrator, and be able to see in real time which apps are using up bandwidth – and mission-critical apps can be assigned a higher priority while non-critical apps can be pushed down the line to make way, meaning optimum performance can be achieved across the organisation.

In addition to this control and visibility, Macquarie says network information and data are intelligently analysed and prioritised as needed. For example, a VoIP or video conference call – which needs the lowest latency possible – is prioritised over, say, an email.

According to Davies, the SD-WAN service has innate security and is fully compliant with relevant security standards, with built-in public key infrastructure (PKI) in its low-touch edge box, which will dynamically refresh encryption certificates.

“Normally, this important process needs to be done manually via IT intervention, meaning it can be neglected, leaving networks exposed over time as the same keys are constantly used,” says Davies. “With our SD-WAN offering, it’s a case of set and forget.”

Macquarie says the system is supported by US cloud SD-WAN pioneer VeloCloud, a decision made following a year of researching 28 separate providers worldwide to determine the best partnership.

“We’re not testing the waters here,” said Clifton. “This is ready for market. It’s a complimentary addition to our MPLS business, which continues to grow. What it does is give businesses the choice to employ a mixed approach which will help them optimise their networks across all sites, particularly regional sites.

“SD-WAN is an important development in keeping Australia at the forefront of technology, and in IT moving from a loss component to a profit component in Australian businesses. The key to that happening is automation, allowing IT departments and network operators to focus on the business at hand while we manage their all resources right here in Australia.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).