​Comcast ActiveCore – Massive step forward for SD-WAN and Potential Router Market Trouble

Yesterday, Comcast announced its ActiveCore SDN platform.  We are attending Comcast’s analyst day and learned quite a bit on day one, but wanted to focus this blog on Routing.

To date, there has been an argument of SD-WAN and it ability to replace expensive telco MPLS solutions.  If a customer continues using MPLS, it is likely they will keep their old router or buy a new router.  But what happens when a startup uses ActiveCore without a legacy infrastructure or builds a new branch(greenfield)?  In many cases, the CPE box provided by Comcast and 1 Gbps bandwidth is more than enough, especially for a mobile Cloud based workforce(many new companies fall into this category).

We continue to believe MPLS will live on and have a very long tail, but are seeing capable platforms threaten traditional vendors and the branch/access router market.  It will be interesting to see what other SPs around the world do for SD-WAN as well as how traditional vendors and startups address this changing dynamic in businesses of a mobile workforce that uses Cloud platforms and a VPN tunnel is enough to connect back to headquarters without MPLS and/or without the need for a traditional router.