GCI introduces CloudFlex SD-WAN

Telecommunications and technology company General Communications Inc. (GCI) deployed its CloudFlex Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) yesterday, which moves the management of business networks to the cloud.

GCI is Alaska’s largest telephone and wireless provider with around 108,000 cable subscribers across the state. Last year, John Malone’s Liberty Interactive announced it intended to purchase GCI for $1.12 billion. In addition to sealing its position in the Alaskan market, the deal enabled GCI to extend to markets outside the state.

According to the company, CloudFlex SD-WAN uses GCI’s cloud-based infrastructure to provide companies with personalized solutions capable of addressing connectivity issues. Capabilities like managed Wi-Fi, data recovery and backup, advanced security features, network performance monitoring, managed voice and video conferencing, and scalable cloud solutions are to be integrated into the solution.

SD-WAN is a network architecture that has become popular over the years as a way of connecting branch offices and data centers, and providing those branch offices and data centers access to cloud-based applications. In addition to improving web connectivity and security, the technology can help reduce the need for expensive proprietary hardware by provisioning connectivity and services through the cloud. According to research firm IDC, the SD-WAN market is expected to reach $8 billion by 2021.

With CloudFlex SD-WAN, businesses can replace server racks with minimal equipment. Using the GCI Hub, the company said users can monitor network services and performance, receive support and analytics, and improve operational efficiencies through a digital dashboard. If, for example, a user wants to expand or contract a service, they can perform that function on CloudFlex SD-WAN almost instantly, according to the company.

“With CloudFlex, organizations can leverage world-class, cloud-based managed service solutions that will make their businesses more nimble and efficient,” said Martin Cary, senior vice president, GCI Business, in a statement. “As organizations in nearly every sector shift to cloud-based networking and digital services, GCI is committed to delivering technologies that create new capabilities, fine-tune operations and shrink IT overhead, all while providing expertise and around-the-clock customer service that is second-to-none.”

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