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Australia's favourite(ish) telco taking SDN to the world

New POPs expand network for retiring brand

Australia's dominant telco Telstra is about to try and make itself a global brand for those considering intercontinental software-defined networks (SDN).

Telstra acquired Pacnet in 2014, partly to get its hands on the company's submarine cables and 16-point-of-presence Pacnet Enabled Network (PEN). The PEN is billed as Asia's first software-defined networking (SDN) service. Telstra's also announced it will soon sublimate the Pacnet brand. Instead you'll deal with Telstra Global and Enterprise Services, which says it will add another nine PEN POPs, including some in the USA and the UK.

Launched at the OpenStack summit in Hong Kong at the end of 2013, PEN uses SDN on the inside and network function virtualisation (NFV) at the edge to let customers self-provision their bandwidth, scaling up or down to respond to application requirements.

As well as supporting enterprise private clouds, PEN has connections to Amazon Web Services for hybrid cloud deployments.

In a canned statement, Telstra G&ES CEO Darrin Webb says “The addition of Network Function Virtualisation capabilities enhances the agility of the service and means customers can order network appliances – such as routers and firewalls – on demand, making the network less rigid and allowing our customers to respond quicker than ever before to unforeseen network resource requirements”.

Telstra's a company Australians love to hate. The company's networks are robust, but priced at a premium. Customer service is a longstanding issue departing CEO David Thodey has improved, but not fixed. Telstra's enterprise efforts are growing strongly and it has an impressive array of cloud alliances. Business customers don't gripe about it in the same ways as everyday Australians. So by all means consider the un-penned PEN. But don't say we left you in the dark about Telstra's dark side. ®

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