An announced Comcast SD-WAN beta trial signals a continuing move into business and enterprise services by the largest U.S. cable MSO. Comcast claims to be the first major cable company to introduce a carrier-grade SD-WAN solution, which will target both mid-market and enterprise segments.

Cable MSOs are aggressively entering the business services and enterprise markets, identifying them as one of their fastest growing opportunities. Software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs) are of increasing interest to enterprise and business customers. Growing dependence on cloud-based applications and increasing use of enterprise video are driving adoption of SD-WAN, which offers better efficiencies than previous connectivity options like MPLS.

A recent IDC survey found 70% of business organizations plan to utilize SD-WAN and revenue is forecasted to reach $6 billion by 2020. If cable companies are to play in the enterprise space, an SD-WAN strategy is required.

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Comcast is teaming with Versa for their SD-WAN solution. Versa has had success teaming with other service providers for the SD-WAN opportunity, including CenturyLink.

“Our SD-WAN solution pairs a carrier-grade, hosted SDN environment with widely available gigabit service,” said Kevin O’Toole, senior vice president of Product Management for Comcast Business in a press release. “Together, our SD-WAN and gigabit bandwidth solutions herald a new generation of networking that provides the bandwidth, scalability, reliability and flexibility needed to power the cloud applications that are transforming business operations.”

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SD-WAN joins a growing business focused portfolio from Comcast, including a DOCSIS 3.1 enabled gigabit service. Fiber-based Ethernet services are also offered across the Comcast footprint, as are direct connections to the IBM cloud.

The SD-WAN beta trial will continue through the summer, and Comcast anticipates launching the service later this year. Comcast is offering beta participants a six-month free trial of their SD-WAN service

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