Comcast Business Launches ‘ActiveCore’

Looking to expand its opportunities in the commercial services sector, Comcast Business this week launched ActiveCore, a software-defined networking platform that, it says, will help its customers manage their networks across multiple locations while keeping costs in check.

Comcast Business is billing it as the first “cable-delivered, gig-ready SDN platform in the country, and said Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN), an alternative to multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) running over T1 lines, is the first business product powered by its ActiveCore platform.

As an SDN approach, ActiveCore delivers services and changes in software, rather than relying on purpose-built hardware. Comcast Business said ActiveCore can be paired with the operator’s new DOCSIS 3.1-based gigabit broadband service, which has been launched in the company’s Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic and Central regions, and will reach Comcast’s full service area by the end of 2017.

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Early SD-WAN customers include Jim Ellis Automotive Group in Atlanta, Ga., which operates 15 locations across the state with more than 1,000 employees, Comcast Business said.

Comcast Business is adding ActiveCore as it looks for more ways to stoke unit of the company that is already growing and seeking ways to move up-market and serve enterprise customers that operate in multiple locations. Comcast generated $1.5 billion in business services revenues in Q2, up 12.6% year-on-year, though much of it is still tied to small business customers.

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“ActiveCore and SD-WAN represent a ‘generational moment’ for our industry and are designed for businesses that embrace the consumerization of IT, SaaS and cloud services to run their enterprise operations,” Kevin O’Toole, senior vice president of Product Management for Comcast Business, said in a statement. “We now offer enterprises a robust, future-proof alternative to legacy MPLS solutions; allowing them to easily add capacity to branch offices at scale and unlock the potential of virtualized networks for today’s connected economy.”

Comcast also released this video promo about ActiveCore: