BONDED ADSL

Cost-effective alternative to fixed links and fibre connections.

BONDED FTTC

Multi-line aggregated throughput, designed for cloud apps.

BONDED FTTP

The fastest, most reliable internet connections on the market.

Leased Lines

Your leased line should be Intelligent, Resilient, Agile.

The sector:
agricultural
The challenge:
increased resilience and bandwidth, along with traffic prioritisation, to support business critical services.
The sector:
education
The challenge:
improved internet connectivity to meet staff and pupils’ downloading requirements.
The sector:
retail
The challenge:
increased bandwidth and resilience at all sites. A managed WAN linking all sites. And more.

Category: Blog

New SLA – Better than Any Leased Line

Every Ethernet connection we supply to every customer is resilient across multiple tail circuits, and routed via the UKs only multiVNO access network, delivering platform level resilience – something no other UK ISP can match.

There is a perception in the market place that leased lines somehow offer a better SLA or “guarantees” when it comes to uptime or fault fixing. This isn’t the case. Leased lines still have faults – they still go down. And when they do, they take a business down with it.

The question any business owner or IT Manager needs to ask themselves is, if I suffer an extended period of downtime, will a small rebate make up for the hassle and lost revenue?

The new Evolving Networks SLA is market beating in terms of uptime and fix time guarantees but it doesn’t change our core proposition – make everything as resilient as possible, use all your bandwidth (why pay for a back up circuit that you don’t use) and ensure that failover is seamless and requires no change of IP address.

Nic Elliott, CTO comments; “whether they are built on ADSL, FTTC, leased lines, 4G or a combination of different tail circuits there is not a more resilient ethernet connection available in the marketplace and we felt it was time for our SLA to reflect that.”

To find out more about our market beating SLA, contact your Account Manager today.

Bonding is so 2008

We’ve been providing multi-line connectivity now for a decade, under the guise of “Bonded Internet Connectivity”.
Whether it’s Bonded ADSL, Bonded FTTC, Bonded FTTP, Bonded Leased Lines or a combination of different technologies, we’ve stuck with the term bonding to describe the service. But now that’s going to change.

Connectivity has moved on a lot in the last 10 years, and the term “bonding” no longer does justice to the much wider feature set our solutions provide.
As the only team of UK Software Engineers and Network Developers focused on designing and deploying our own software for UK infrastructure, we’ve taken the decision to reflect developments we’ve made with a change of product name.

Bonding is the foundation of our product, allowing us to establish a network virtualisation fabric across any connectivity. But to reflect the changing communication landscape, as technology like FTTP and G.fast becomes more prevalent, all our business and enterprise products will now be known as Multipath Ethernet.

Whether deployed as part of a wider SD-WAN connecting multiple sites together, or for a single business premises, Multipath Ethernet is our Agile, Intelligent, Resilient connectivity solution – Ethernet grade, multi-line, software-defined, tailored to your business.

What is Multipath Ethernet?

  • Multi-line resilience – where MPLS has none
  • Aggregated bandwidth of all component links – not load balanced
  • Any combination of circuit technology – Broadband, Leased Line, 4G, FTTP, G.fast
  • Prioritised for YOUR cloud applications with Zero-Touch QoS
  • VoIP traffic protected, on every connection, not just leased lines
  • Delivered over our self-healing Multi-VNO SDN Platform
  • SLAs that beat leased lines
  • Constantly monitored by our AI and network engineers
  • Elimination of single points of failure

It doesn’t stop here

Our software developers are still hard at work adding new features, whether its Layer 2, virtualised appliances or automatic fault diagnostics.
We’ll keep adding and refining, and trying to make connectivity in the UK the best that it can be, while keeping your business online through thick and thin.

New Office New Starters

We’re settling into our new offices well. Its been a couple of months now and whilst we’re still getting used to the extra space we’ve been quick to start filling it up!
We’re pleased to welcome four new starters. Siobhan and Josh join our Administration team, with three new Software Developer Apprentices (Mikey, Brandon and Joao) also joining the DevOps team.

Our CEO, Nick Johnson; “we’re very pleased to welcome Siobhan, Josh, Mikey, Brandon & Joao to the team. By expanding both our Admin and Software Dev Operations we’re adding a lot of capacity, which will help accelerate development of our software and improve internal administration. We’re excited to keep expanding to meet the challenges of growth.”

“Adopting a DevOps culture in our technical teams also means that even for the smallest support issues, the team has access to the most senior software developers and network engineers, who have a permanent mentoring function within the team.”

Evolving Networks provide innovative software enhanced connectivity and SD-WAN solutions to businesses throughout the UK, delivered via their Network Virtualisation software and unique, multiVNO access network.

Our commitment to the apprenticeship scheme has seen us previous winners of the UK Apprenticeship Providers of the Year Award. Joao Vittoriano says; “its exciting to join a fast paced industry and to work at a company that has such a focus on apprenticeships, there’s a lot to learn but we can’t wait to get developing!”

Our Own Office Move a Breeze With Layer 2 SD-WAN

So, after 5 years it was time to move on from Datum House, our home since 2013. We had a very enjoyable time there, with the offices serving us well, but when our lease expired we decided to take the opportunity to move into larger premises that could continue to support us through the next phase of our growth.

We’re not moving far, just across the car park in fact, from Datum House (number 3) to the newly named Nexus House (number 7).

Whilst we’re not moving a long way in terms of distance, Nexus House gives us substantially more space, and the opportunity to significantly enhance our software development lab, as well as a larger NOC and meeting spaces.

The move also gives us an opportunity to see things from the other side – we get calls every week from businesses planning an office move, and here at Evolving Networks we eat our own dog food!

Enter a resilient layer 2 SD-WAN connection between the two offices.

The technical details can be expanded upon another time – or call and speak to us if you desperately want to know the nitty gritty – but the ability to deliver resilient connectivity at the new location (a resilient mix of ADSL & FTTC, naturally) and then extend our LAN via layer 2 through our Intelligent Network Fabric made the transition between the two offices a piece of cake.

New hosted VoIP phones appeared on the LAN in the new office, and the physical transitioning of PCs and network appliances was no more difficult than walking them across the car park. No change of external IP and no downtime.

It was interesting being on the customer side of things for a change, we get now just how stressful office moves can be, but we can at least make the issue of transitioning your internet connectivity easier, be it ADSL, FTTC, EFM or leased line. Please give us a call if you are considering an office move, and we’ll talk you through now easy we can make it.

10 Years and Still Going Strong

Where does the time go? In 2008 Evolving Networks opened our doors and began selling bonded ADSL solutions to business in the UK who wanted a little more throughput and resilience than they could get elsewhere.

Those heady days of bonding ADSL Max Premium and delivering upload capacity of 1.2mbps, or even more, really do seem like a lifetime ago.

What we have never done is rest on our laurels. While other ISPs looked on bonding as a stop gap solution, we never bought into that theory.

First it was ADSL 2+ that was going to be the “death of bonding” offering mind bending speeds of 24mbps download and 2mbps upload. Who would possibly feel the need to bond more than one of those?

Then it was VDSL, or FTTC that was going to be the panacea. This mindset led to a lack of innovation in the ISP industry – our competitors either blindly sold the new technology or hawked leased lines to their customers, value for money be damned.

Of course, as each new technology arrived, we bonded it, we made it faster, more resilient, more responsive to business needs. Last year we delivered our first gigabit and bonded FTTP connections.

We have always worked to extend and develop our technology. We were first to prioritise critical business traffic, such as VoIP or cloud apps, long before anyone else was thinking in this way.

We built our own network, the UKs first multi-VNO SDN platform, to deliver a secure, resilient and low latency underpinning to our software overlay.

Others now see the benefit of this approach, but they simply do not have our decade of experience in providing software enhanced connectivity solutions in the UK.

This experience and expertise is being recognised now, both in the customers that we are winning, and the awards we are being nominated for, as well as in the industry press.

We think all businesses should have an internet connection that is agile, intelligent, resilient and tailored to their needs. And we would love to talk to any existing or potential customers – come and see us in our new offices, meet the team, have a cup of tea and see how we deliver the best network connections in the market!

Evolving Networks the Only UK Business Named in Top 10 Most Dynamic SD-WAN Companies Globally

It’s official. Evolving Networks is the most dynamic SD-WAN provider in the UK.

Tech industry media platform Enterprise Management 360 has ranked Evolving Networks alongside Cisco and VMware in a global top 10 list of the most dynamic SD-WAN companies – the only UK business to make the list.

The feature article cites data from market research company HIS Market, listing the revenues of the highest earning SD-WAN vendors for the third quarter of 2017, regardless of whether they are merely resellers or whether they actually have deployable CPE (note Huawei in the list).

Innovation and Promise

But while big industry names like Cisco dominate revenue figures purely due to acquisition of existing providers, Evolving Networks have been recognised in a wider look at the market focussed more specifically on innovation and promise.

And so, we’re ranked alongside the likes of Juniper and HP as one of the most dynamic SD-WAN providers in the world, for our focussed approach delivering a much-needed network service in the UK market.

As the only UK company in this global list, it’s also good news for UK business and our entrepreneurial telecoms sector. And it must make us the most dynamic SD-WAN company in the UK!

End User Experience is Paramount for SD-WAN

EM360 have recognised our focus on enabling businesses to provide good quality, reliable connectivity to their users, regardless of where their apps lie. Private cloud, public cloud, locally hosted or a hybrid, end users don’t care about WAN connectivity – they just want to be able to get on with their job and use the apps they need.

Delivering them the access to achieve this, wherever they reside, is paramount to successful SD-WAN deployments.

The Only Software-Defined Network Ecosystem

They go on to note our approach in building an ecosystem of platforms and services to support SD-WAN as a Service in the UK.

Without this ecosystem, and the extra levels of intelligence, redundancy and orchestration that it brings, SD-WAN in the UK can be complex, expensive and unwieldy.

Much Deserved Recognition

This is great news, and testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire Evolving Networks team, as we innovate with new SD-WAN features, and show the growing market that there is a different, more intelligent way of networking.

Read the article here.

Zen Awards Validate Multi-VNO Approach

Evolving Networks Wins Two Awards

Zen Internet have awarded us Connectivity Partner of the Year 2017 and overall Partner of the Year 2017.

When we integrate a new VNO partnership into our SDN Platform, it goes through a rigorous testing regime, as well as essential network compatibility checks.

Remember, every connection from Evolving Networks is supplied with multiple circuits from separate, non-overlapping, high performance VNO platforms.

Comprehensive Multi-VNO Structure

Choosing, tailoring and managing those VNO agreements and integrating with those VNO networks is a complex and time-consuming business, but it leads to an access network that we overlay with our Intelligent Network Fabric delivering software-defined always-on connections.

The only SDN platform of its kind in the country, our Multi-VNO Access Network allows us to deliver truly resilient connectivity to our customers, without them having to worry about where to buy their broadband from and how to fix it when it breaks.

Integration Into SDN Platform

By integrating tightly into our provider networks at an API level and having managed modem nodes and network virtualisation appliances providing telemetry and responding to commands, our automated orchestration systems remotely diagnose and fix broadband issues on the fly, often without any human intervention.

SD-WAN Platform Recognition

Whether its for a full SD-WAN or just a single internet connection for a small office, our unique SDN ecosystem supports and delivers high uptime, high quality connectivity, prioritised for cloud applications.

As we have ramped up our usage of the Zen network over the last 2 years, our relationship has gone from strength to strength.

It’s great to get the recognition from key suppliers that we’re on the right track.

The ADSL2+ roll out has only taken 10 years

It’s 2007

Fixed rate ADSL has finally been supplanted by a new technology that is rate adaptive and gives up to 8mbps of bandwidth for those closest to their telephone exchange.

Looking back, the rollout of ADSL Max was child’s play. From my experience a majority of lines had a boost in bandwidth, both in download and upload (thanks to ADSL Max Premium), and it seemed to happen over night.

Of course it did have a roll out, and it did take longer than a single day, but what I remember is how it felt. I don’t remember any frustration over when a particular area would be upgraded. It just happened.

But 2007 was a special year. After Ofcom forced BT to unbundle their exchanges, ADSL2+ had been enabled in certain exchanges via LLU providers. Of course, they only did it where it made economic sense to do it – areas of high subscriber density, but it put pressure on BT to actually upgrade to this technology themselves.

And so this was the year that the BT rollout of ADSL2+ started.

We’re used to roll outs of broadband now

We’re used to the frustration of whether the new technology is coming soon to our location, of the delays in implementation, the over promising of bandwidth or reliability.

We’re used to the fact that most roll outs mean that those closest to the technology get a faster connection and those furthest away get nothing.

We’re now used to there being multiple roll outs at a time, where there weren’t really before.

ADSL2+, FTTC, FTTP, G.Fast. We currently have 4 broadband roll outs on the go, and none of them are finished.

And this is my point. After 10 years, the ADSL2+ roll out is finally looking like it might be coming to an end. Nationwide coverage of ADSL2+ by 2018.

I feel really sorry for those still on ADSL Max, and indeed those on less than 2mbps broadband where Max doesn’t even improve it for them.

One of the favourite things in my job is seeing customers get told that they have access to a new broadband technology and that we are upgrading them for free.

It’s people in those locations with the worst broadband that obviously experience the most relief.

And what’s really interesting to me is that most of them don’t scale back their number of lines. For customers where we have been bonding 7, 8 or even 9 ADSL Max lines together to give them a bandwidth of maybe 8-15mbps, and they suddenly can get FTTC, they have all kept that many lines.

The step change is obviously amazing if you go from 8mbps to 400mbps, or from 15mbps to 600mbps, but this is what business needs these days.

There’s a commercial reality to what locations get broadband first, or at all

We’ve blogged before about the commercial realities of rolling out new technology (particularly FTTC where you have to replace the local cabinets) and how there are economic pressures.

We’ve also passed comment on how living in a rural location offers many benefits that you shouldn’t expect elsewhere, and that asking for super fast broadband as a right is the same as saying you want a 4 lane motorway next to your door because you have a right to easy access to London. You have to take the rough with the smooth.

But despite it not being a universal right, I can’t help but feel that the rollouts of successor technologies to ADSL2+ could have been delayed a bit in order to finish the WBC 21CN upgrade programme.

Surely we could have helped those areas sooner than 10 years?

I wrote an email ten years ago saying “Good news, we are upgrading you to ADSL2+” that was sent to any customer about to benefit from the roll out, explaining what we need to do next and how we would make it seamless.

That email is still going out today as exchanges are upgraded and will do until next year at least. Surely it should have been obsolete a long time ago?

Another Bonding Supplier Goes – We’re Here To Stay!

Bye Bye Easynet

Easynet have had a bonded offering for many years.

It was always pretty restrictive. Based only on a basic implementation of MLPPP and only able to bond 2 or 4 lines (no odd, or greater numbers), it had slow failover reaction time, and was delivered over a highly contended network.

The Easynet Etherstream and Surestream bonded products also mandated fresh PSTN lines, so there was no easy migration or upgrade process for customers.

MDNX, Viatel, Solution1, Griffin

Easynet have been through many changes over the last few years. Bought by MDNX, which brought with it Viatel, Griffin and the Solution1 networks, this entity struggled to deliver a coherent offering.

But the bonded services stayed in the portfolio, until now.

The industry consolidating once again, Interoute bought Easynet.

As a result of that integration, they are withdrawing their Etherstream V and Etherstream A products – bonded FTTC and bonded ADSL to you and me.

Network upgrades always have casualties, and in this case it’s the loss of the Redback routers that accomplished the MLPPP bonding in their network.

They are also losing access to the Sky LLU broadband platform, which was only a carry over from the previous ownership of Easynet by Sky over a decade ago. Sky only bought Easynet in order to take its LLU platform and run with it.

MLPPP not Good Enough for SD-WAN

MLPPP is a very old fashioned way of bonding. In software overlay terms it is primitive and inflexible, albeit is based on an agreed standard.

Designed more for the ISDN era, it’s time has long been up, and its not surprising that Easynet is abandoning it.  MLPPP is not the kind of technology you can build new and innovative products like SD-WAN on, which is what businesses are asking for now.

Interoute are now pushing their Ethernet circuits to existing customers with Etherstream. For many people this just isn’t viable based on their location, or the depth of their pockets.

It also downgrades their resilience (we all know what happens to leased lines when popular UK datacentres go offline).

So to any customers of Easynet that want to continue benefiting from a resilient bonded internet connection, and also want to add advanced software-defined features such as VoIP prioritisation, zero-touch QoS and bandwidth amplification, Evolving Networks stand ready to help you out.

Evolving Networks Isn’t Going Anywhere

We never saw bonding as a stop gap technology and still don’t.

The industry has seen Upstream Internet close down, O2/BE Broadband withdraw its bonded product when purchased by Sky, Xrio go under, and now Easynet withdraw its bonded internet services.

There have been others of course too, those who try adding bonding to their portfolio, but never quite make it work.

Well we’re not going anywhere, and will continue to supply resilient, intelligent, flexible internet connections, based on bonding.

The UK’s First Software Defined Access Network

In November 2014, we started work on the next phase of our network expansion and evolution.

Entitled Project Awesome, it would be the biggest change to our network and the way we provision customer connections since the company’s inception in 2008.

We had already seen through substantial improvements to our network, such as moving to a dual datacentre virtualised platform, and seeing the addition of FTTC, EFM and LLU access technologies.

We also have always had a focus from Day 1 on monitoring and analytics, building data collection, analysis and presentation functions into the fabric of the network, and deeply integrated into sales and support provision.

Constant live analysis of throughput, circuit sync rates, latency and SNR margins, as well as core router CPU usage and other network metrics have been crucial to building a scalable, self-healing platform.

But this was something different, and so fundamental a change, that we took the view that we should build our new core infrastructure from scratch.

By Spring 2015, every new connection was being provisioned on this network. A complete replacement built in parallel and adopting new principles of network design and management.

In the same way that servers have redundant arrays of disks (RAID), so has our entire network been designed.

Over engineered. Redundant. Built at scale.

A pioneering use of Network Function Virtualisation (NFV), with the ability to provision quickly with commercial off the shelf hardware, and with the raw power of the protocol that binds the internet together (BGP), this platform is the first in the industry in the UK.

By November 2015, only a year since the planning phase, we had effected a full migration of our entire customer estate onto this new platform.

And that’s just the core network, now resilient across 4 geographical locations (with no limit), and fully cloud based.

Along with this migration came a wholesale change in the way we provision broadband.

A move from a single broadband network to 3 distinct DSL platforms. Each with isolated LNS clusters and RADIUS, and dedicated internet transit.

Each DSL platform is managed independently, is uncontended, and none of them share any points of presence, either in their wholesale connectivity with BT and LLU partners, or to each in the location of their LNSs.

By the end of 2015 every customer connection had the benefits of multi-platform DSL and next generation cloud core routing infrastructure.

No other network is like this in the world, and no one else is provisioning connectivity as we do.

And because of this huge leap in design, we were able to ride out the major UK network events of the last 18 months.

Sovereign House, Harbour Exchange, Telehouse North; all experienced big outages, but our customers didn’t experience any downtime at all.

And now we come to our latest improvement in network circuit diagnostics; an evolution in our AI.

Systems that automatically diagnose hardware and line faults without the need for human engineers.

With direct control of every network node, constant data feeds of telemetry and northbound integration by API to each DSL platform, we have not only eliminated the need for human intervention for a majority of broadband faults, we have delivered tangible performance benefits.

Less circuit downtime.

More bandwidth available.

More time for the connection to do what the customer needs it to do.

This is the UK’s first Software Defined Access Network.

Allowing us to take Software Defined Networking to the customers’ premises.

Future proof, over engineered, and always on.

A platform built for bonding, built for SD-WAN and built for whatever comes next.

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