Telstra adding VeloCloud SD-WAN services to Chinese business

Telstra is pushing further into SDN and NFV, announcing that it will add VeloCloud's solutions to its Chinese joint venture's product suite after backing the SD-WAN company in Series D funding last week.

Telstra's venture-capital arm has announced a strategic partnership with software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) specialist VeloCloud in an attempt to push further into software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV).

Telstra said it will use VeloCloud's solutions for simplifying and automating enterprise branch SDN functionality.

"We expect SDN will continue to transform enterprise networking around the world, and VeloCloud SD-WAN can help companies achieve more agile and responsive networks as well as reduce costs," said Telstra Ventures MD Mark Sherman.

"Our first step will be to offer VeloCloud technology to customers in mainland China."

Telstra said it would add VeloCloud's SD-WAN solutions to its Pacific Business Services (PBS) Pacnet joint venture's product suite in China.

News of the strategic partnership follows Telstra last week backing VeloCloud alongside Cisco during a $35 million Series D funding round led by Hermes Growth Partners -- which brought the total amount raised by the Mountain View, California-based startup to $84 million.

VeloCloud said it would use the funding to expand its business to accelerate its SD-WAN product development, and enable it to support larger carrier and enterprise customer deployments.

The startup routes traffic across both private and public access, enabling the customer to retain control over a hybrid network from one location rather than having to manage multiple routers or replace their existing hardware.

VeloCloud has also signed deals with telecommunications operators AT&T, Spring, Mitel, TelePacific, and NetOne over the last year, with more than 600 customers and 50,000 installations.

Sherman last week said VeloCloud is "completely aligned" with Telstra's goal to deliver "network agility" and "architectural flexibility" to enterprise customers throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Telstra announced its Cisco technology-powered SD-WAN solution in May last year, with the service, enabling a more efficient and flexible end-to-end solution by selecting the highest-performing transport path available for application traffic routing, available worldwide.

"The proliferation of media-rich applications and the increased number of connected devices is causing huge demand for bandwidth across wide-area networks," Jim Clarke, head of International Marketing, Products, and Pricing at Telstra, said at the time.

"Hybrid services such as Telstra's SD-WAN offering allow traffic to be routed based on the application profile over multiple networks, including private MPLS and the public internet. This gives organisations greater flexibility to deal with increased traffic, and means their WANs can be more cost effective, without compromising on application performance or availability.

"Most importantly, it ensures that any traffic routed over the public internet remains highly secure incorporating VPN, firewall, and network segmentation features."

Telstra's focus on SDN and NFV also saw it last week announce that its infrastructure virtualisation has progressed to enabling live mobile video calls, with Telstra to also extend the Ericsson-led cloud platform deployment to carry live or near-live broadcast media workloads in future.

The announcement means a step towards NFV capabilities for 5G, such as network slicing, using Ericsson's virtual evolved packet core, Telstra said. It is the first telco in Australia to deliver live mobile traffic over its virtualised network functionality, with the telecommunications carrier now entering the second phase of its NFV program with Ericsson.

Telstra's NFV program, announced a year ago, involved deployment of Ericsson's Hyperscale Datacenter System 8000, Cloud Execution Environment, Cloud Manager, Cloud SDN, and VNFs such as virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) and virtual IP Multimedia System (vIMS).

Ericsson and Cisco are also virtualising Vodafone Australia's core network.

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