Information and communication technology (ICT) multinational BT has launched a service that enables customers to requisition additional bandwidth for their businesses or between sites for a set amount of time, says BT Network Services VP Keith Langridge.
The service enables customers that rely on industry-standard multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) links to schedule an increase in the networking connection through a Web-based self-service portal or by contacting their network service provider.
“Data traffic patterns have changed and customers need networks that are more flexible and agile. Dynamic network services enabled by the effective orchestration of network traffic prioritisation and routing, such as this bandwidth increase service, mean that customers can readily embrace new technologies and services, such as cloud services and business applications, from diverse service providers.”
Businesses do not have to pay for a permanent connection to meet maximum demand on their networks at various times. They can now rightsize their connections to support their daily needs and can use the bandwidth-on- demand service when they require larger connections between their units or sites, he explains.
The bandwidth increase can be scheduled to take place either within one hour of a request, coincide with a specific reporting period or facilitate file transfers between specific sites. The increased bandwidth capacity will last for two days to 30 days, but can also be recurring, depending on client requests.
The service will automatically upgrade the client’s network ports to higher bit-rate ports for the duration of the service. Businesses using IPv4 and/or IPv6 Internet connection protocols can access the service.
The new capabilities afforded by software-defined wide-area network management technologies make networks and the services they underpin more efficient and cost effective. This trend, therefore, benefits clients and service providers.
“Bandwidth-on-demand is an example of how we provide global customers with greater agility and control in the areas where they need it most, helping them become digital businesses.”
However, the technologies that underpin such dynamic network services, which are typically hosted in physical boxes at clients’ sites to manage routing and networking, indicate a sustained shift in the way networks are managed and used.
“Business networks of the future will still have MPLS, but it will form part of a broader and more dynamic mix of networking technologies, linked ICT resources, services and service providers. Network function virtualisation will allow for network technology service stacks and capabilities to be deployed as digital services, rather than physical devices on premise,” says Langridge.