CenturyLink adds Cisco's Viptela technology for managed SD-WAN service

CenturyLink is broadening its SD-WAN portfolio with the addition of a managed service that's powered by Cisco's Viptela SD-WAN platform.

While CenturyLink announced last month that its SD-WAN service was available in more than 36 countries across the globe, the managed Viptela SD-WAN version is currently available only in the U.S. The solution was designed for CenturyLink customers that prefer Cisco's networking gear.

Like other service providers, such as Verizon, CenturyLink is covering its bases for enterprise customers by working with more than one SD-WAN vendor. CenturyLink first launched its SD-WAN service in 2015 with Versa Networks, and it also uses Cisco's Meraki SD-WAN technology as part of its managed services offering for enterprises in the U.S.

The managed Viptela SD-WAN solution will offer support across Cisco’s Viptela vEdge series routers and enterprise network computer system (ENCS) 5000 series virtualized network platform, with various packages available for enterprises to pick from. Visibility and analytics are now almost table stakes for SD-WAN offerings, and CenturyLink's Viptela customers will have access to its dedicated SD-WAN portal.

RELATED: CenturyLink goes worldwide with its SD-WAN service

In August, Cisco announced it had added Viptela's SD-WAN technology to its enterprise routing platforms, including the ENCS 5000 routers. Cisco combined its IOS XE software with Viptela's SD-WAN technology in order to simplify WAN optimization, deploy SD-WAN services at a faster rate and provide better visibility into SD-WAN services on customers' existing Cisco router deployments. Cisco bought Viptela last year for $610 million. 

With more enterprise applications moving to the cloud, it becomes harder for IT teams to optimize application performance while making sure the network stays secure. 

"CenturyLink's new Managed Cisco SD-WAN offering removes that burden from IT, giving customers the confidence to tackle this new cloud-first world," said Ramesh Prabagaran, Cisco's senior director of product management, in a prepared statement.