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Introduction

Ovum attended the September 2017 Comcast Business analyst event, where the company provided an update on its business solutions and new services. The major development was Comcast’s work to provide managed SD-WAN service, with more detail around the offer and related elements of the service.

Highlights

  • The company used its analyst event to debut its ActiveCore network functions virtualization platform. ActiveCore at its launch supports just one application, Comcast Business’ managed SD-WAN service based on Versa Networks. The Versa Networks virtual network function bundles router, firewall, and SD-WAN. Comcast runs Versa Networks VNFs on four- and eight-core white-box universal CPE using OpenStack. Comcast rates this uCPE as powerful enough to support its 1Gbps broadband service. Comcast is positioning its ActiveCore platform for future "touchless" installation.
  • Comcast Business plans to expand its ActiveCore platform in two directions. The first goal is to add more third-party VNFs besides Versa Networks, starting with firewall/security and unified threat management, possibly adding WAN acceleration, managed Wi-Fi, and other functions over time.
  • Comcast’s second goal is to get the platform to run anywhere: over DOCSIS broadband, switched Ethernet, and mobile broadband; in-footprint and out-of-footprint; supporting internet VPNs and third-party MPLS VPN services (by bookending MPLS with SD-WAN); and eventually supporting VNFs at the uCPE level, hosted in Comcast’s PoPs and at cloud locations.

Features and Benefits

  • Gain insight into where Comcast is investing and what segments will be targeted.
  • Learn about the SD-WAN offer that Comcast Business has developed.
  • Discover why Comcast Business is a leading example of a cable operator addressing the business market and becoming a national competitor.

Key questions answered

  • What did Comcast Business announce and share at its recent analyst session?
  • Where is Comcast Business investing in the enterprise market?
  • What does its new SD-WAN service look like, and what services are provided with the basic offer?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • Managed SD-WAN service built on ActiveCore platform
  • Gigabit services and new CPE complement the SD-WAN offer
  • Improved customer care is part of its business solutions
  • Comcast Business will need to invest more to round out its managed solutions and move upmarket

Appendix

  • Further reading
  • Author

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