BCX and Cisco in SD-WAN push
BCX, in partnership with networking giant Cisco, has introduced a portfolio of software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) solutions.
Based on Cisco’s secure SD-WAN technologies and targeting firms from any industry sector and of any size, BCX’s managed SD-WAN suite aims to help SA businesses to simplify network management, at reduced cost.
SD-WAN can be applied to wide-area network connections such as broadband Internet, 4G, LTE, or MPLS to connect enterprise networks, including branch offices and data centres, over long distances.
SD-WAN simplifies the management of a network by separating the hardware from its control, or management mechanism. It also separates the traffic management and monitoring from the hardware.
Speaking at the launch in Pretoria today, BCX CEO Jonas Bogoshi said as South African businesses become more competitive in the global digital economy, agile networking solutions have become important in spurring growth.
“IT managers and CIOs are facing a serious challenge of implementing digital strategies and accelerating innovation with budgets that are either flat or declining.
“Most IT departments spend around 5% of their budgets on just keeping the lights on. With the South African economy contracting by 3.2% in the first quarter of the year, it’s clear that businesses are going through a tough time. And one way in which IT departments can save costs is by modernising their infrastructure – moving to converged infrastructure or to cloud enabled and software defined environment.”
The portfolio includes the Cisco Meraki, a cloud managed IT solution which allows organisations to manage their network and devices from a single console; the BCX SD-WAN Express, which offers small organisations secure connectivity. There is also the Cisco SD-WAN solution powered by Viptela [the SD-WAN firm Cisco acquired in 2017] to allow larger enterprises to connect any user to any location or cloud, across any platform.
The partnership is built on a two decade-long service provider relationship between Cisco and Telkom. Cisco contributes the networking technology, training and support in the BCX service development process, while BCX customises the solutions to suit the requirements of customers, offering it as part of a fully managed service.
Key to digital transformation
Gartner reports that between 30% and 50% of enterprise traffic is shifting to the cloud, changing traffic flows and making traditional WAN sub-optimal.
It estimates that by 2020, more than 50% of WAN-edge refresh initiatives will be based on SD-WAN.
Julian Liebenberg, chief of telecommunication solutions at BCX, highlighted the importance of providing businesses with a tailored, bespoke networking solution to meet their digital transformation challenges.
“Traditional networking solutions such as multiprotocol label switching are no longer enough. Instead, businesses can now consider SD-WAN, which is a more advanced solution, designed to mitigate the disadvantages associated with traditional networking solutions,” said Liebenberg.
“As organisations evolve their WAN and prepare for a cloud-ready application environment, a top priority is to provide the best application performance for employees, partners and customers. The new Cisco-enabled SD-WAN service offerings from BCX allow customers to connect enterprise networks – including branch offices and data centres – over large geographic distances, and deliver application optimisation, plus security and segmentation and end-to-end policy enforcement.”