Cloud Computing

Zayo’s acquisition of SD-WAN services provider QOS Networks, announced today, was made in response to requests from businesses that buy connectivity from Zayo, explained Brian Lillie, Zayo’s chief product and technology officer, in an interview with Telecompetitor.

“The strategy is to marry our incredibly strong communications infrastructure with an over-the-top SD-WAN network services company that we can offer to our customers that are using our infrastructure and want SD-WAN capability,” said Lillie.

SD-WAN has gained in popularity in recent years and is designed to save companies money and enhance network performance by using two or more communications links and dynamically allocating traffic between the links based on type of traffic, network conditions and other parameters.

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Companies might use a mixture of Ethernet or MPLS and direct internet access, reserving the higher-performance and more costly connection for the highest priority traffic.

“In essence you’re giving them control of the underlying network,” Lillie explained.

Business customers often use Zayo’s Shielded Internet Access service as one of the SD-WAN links, Lillie noted. That service combines internet access with distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection.

Other Operators

Zayo’s QOS Networks acquisition also offers opportunities for other network operators with whom Zayo partners, Lillie said. Zayo has an extensive network but may not reach every building to which a business customer wants SD-WAN connectivity. Zayo plans to use partner networks to provide connectivity where needed.

The acquisition also broadens the portfolio of SD-WAN equipment that Zayo can offer to support SD-WAN. Until now, Zayo only has offered SD-WAN technology from Versa Networks, but now will be able to offer VMware and Palo Alto Networks technology as well.

The COVID-19 pandemic helped to drive SD-WAN’s popularity because some businesses deployed it at employees’ homes, Lillie noted. And considering that some businesses expect employees to continue to work at home moving forward, that bodes well for the SD-WAN business.

Additional information about the Zayo QOS Networks acquisition can be found in this press release.

Updated to correct spelling on Brian Lillie’s name

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