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Summary

Cogent SD WAN & SASE: Review, Pros, Cons and Marketplace Research Data

Analyst: 

Thomas Stroude   Contact: tstroude@netify.co.uk

If you have questions about Cato and how their capability is aligned to your needs, email the Netify research team. UK: uk@netify.co.uk North America: northamerica@netify.com

(Please use the UK email for ROW - Rest of the World - questions or enquiries)

Categories: 

  • SD WAN  

Sub-categories:

  • SD WAN Managed Services 
  • SD WAN Service Provider 

Pros:

  • Global Tier 1 Optical IP Backbone: Cogent offers high quality services worldwide, whilst keeping costs low.
  • Fibre Optic connectivity: Direct fibre connection from the premises into Cogent’s network, providing high speeds
  • Reviews from customers addressing the level of support from IT services are consistently positive.

Cons:

  • Cogent’s focus on fibre optic services means that other underlay options are often perceived as limited. 
  • Possible poor connectivity in non-metro areas, as Cogent’s backbone is focused in large cities.

Netify Review:

Ideally suited for single to large multi-site enterprises that require global, dedicated bandwidth backed by strong SLAs. As an ethernet-based solution, per bit/byte costs are kept competitive whilst also keeping high bandwidth speeds. Cogent’s high capacity IP network allows high speed (up to 100Gbps) connectivity to large bandwidth connections whilst remaining at a competitive price. Provides services for corporate and net centric businesses with a facilities based network spanning: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. 

Contents:

  • About Cogent SD WAN Solutions
  • What is the Cogent SD WAN solution?
    • Configuration-Based Key Features
    • Security-Based Key Features
    • Performance-Based Key Features
  • What is the Cogent SASE Security Solution?
  • How does Cogent access Cloud vendors?
  • Does Cogent offer WAN acceleration and optimisation?
  • How does Cogent support remote users?
  • Which connectivity underlay services are supported?
  • Do Cogent manage and support SD WAN underlay?
  • What is the Cogent managed services solution?
  • What reporting and management is available via the Cogent portal?
  • Does Cogent offer DIY and Co-managed SD WAN?
  • What is the Cogent SLA?

About Cogent:

Founded in 1999, Cogent are a network service provider headquartered in Washington, North America. They leverage their global Tier-1 optical IP backbone, which provides connectivity over 48 countries with over 3,000 PoP’s. Their offices are located in North America, Canada, The Netherlands, Germany, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Spain, France, Sweden and Singapore. The company is able to cater for small-medium enterprises (SMEs), and large global corporations, as well as netcentric companies such as service providers. Cogent has been consistently ranked as one of the top 5 networks in the world. Cogent’s clients currently include 80 percent of the top 100 US law firms, top financial institutions and major stock exchanges. Cogent were ranked №1 amongst US competitive providers for Ethernet services in concurrent years between 2017 and 2020.

What is the Cogent SD WAN solution?

Cogent’s SD WAN solution is primarily fibre optic and focuses on DIA and data transport via their Global Tier-1 Optical IP Backbone. However, they also offer connectivity to AWS via their partnership with CloudHelix (See How does Cogent access Cloud vendors?) In addition to fibre optic DIA and cloud, Cogent offer VPLS connectivity using ethernet ports. Colocation services are available with 54 internet data centres, plus 1,309 carrier-neutral data centres worldwide. They have 1,187 PoPs worldwide, which can connect into cloud services such as AWS (See How does Cogent access Cloud vendors?). SD WAN overlay is available via Cogent vendor partners. There are a number of key features: 

Configuration-Based Key Features:

  • Integrated VPN and Internet/Cloud: Cogent route VPN, internet and cloud traffic via a common pipe, which is available with three classes of service.
     
  • Local Loop: Dedicated connection to the nearest Cogent PoP.
     
  • Cloud-Native: Clients are able to store data in the cloud, which is accessible via Cogent’s network.
     
  • Off-Net services: Cogent offer services to off-net premises (those without fibre installed).
     
  • Flexible Topology: Includes options for full mesh VPN, hub and spoke, or split tunnel.
     
  • Ethernet Port: Cogent will deliver an ethernet port to customer suites, creating a fibre optic connection direct into Cogent’s network. 

Security-Based Key Features:

  • IPsec: Cogent’s offering is fully encrypted with IPsec tunnelling (AES 128-bit). VPLS is optional, adding an encapsulation layer. 

Performance-Based Key Features:

  • High Speeds: 85% of line speed is available via Cogent DIA and Ethernet VPLS.
     
  • End-to-End Monitoring: offers constant monitoring via a cloud-based Portal to identify blackouts or brownouts before they happen. Also offers traffic analysis. 

What is the Cogent SASE Security Solution?

Currently Cogent do not offer a SASE security solution, it is instead available via one of their vendor partners, such as Cisco Meraki.

How does Cogent access Cloud vendors?

Cogent provides the connection between CloudHelix and AWS, creating a hybrid cloud solution ideal for clients looking to replicate data between two private networks without the complexity of a VPN. 

Does Cogent offer WAN acceleration and optimisation?

Cogent’s offering has multiple service classes and can support throughput of 85% of full line speed. This solution leverages 1,309 carrier neutral data centres to provide symmetrical fibre internet connection. WAN is optimised and secured through IPSec/AES 128-bit encryption and VPLS encapsulation. VPN and Internet network traffic are divided locally or via a hub due to split tunnel topology. The SD WAN topology is flexible and utilises full mesh, hub and spoke or split tunnelling. Cogent’s ethernet services handle speeds from 100mbps to 1Gbps and offer support for both electrical and optical ethernet ports. 

How does Cogent support remote users?

Support for remote users is provisioned via third party vendors, who often also provide an overlay solution to Cogent’s offering. 

Which connectivity underlay services are supported?

Cogent leverages DIA and ethernet VPLS, to support their Global MPLS-enabled Tier-1 Optical IP Backbone.

Do Cogent manage and support SD WAN underlay?

Yes, as a network provider Cogent provide support and management for their underlay solution which provides data transport and internet access. Cogent also offer managed colocation in 54 worldwide data centres. 

What is the Cogent managed services solution?

Cogent primarily provide internet access and data transport services as well as colocation at their global data centres. 

What reporting and management is available via the Cogent portal?

End to end network monitoring and traffic analysis is available via Cogent’s cloud based monitoring portal. 

Does Cogent offer DIY and Co-managed SD WAN?

The ability to offer DIY or Co-managed SD WAN should be discussed with a Cogent account manager as this may require a third party solution. 

What is the Cogent SLA?

Metric

Threshold

Network Availability 

100%

Installation Guarantee

 

On-Net

17 business days

Colocation

17 business days

Off-Net

90 business days

Notification of Outage

Within 15 minutes 

Network Latency

 

Intra-North America 

<45ms

Intra-Europe

<35ms

New York to London (Transatlantic)

<85ms

Los Angeles to Tokyo (Transpacific)

<140ms

Packet Delivery

99.9%

(N.B. - Off-Net basic services customers are not eligible for SLA guarantees. Notification, Latency and Packet Delivery guarantees apply to Dedicated Internet Access customers only.)

Cogent Clients may also be provided with service credits upon failure by Cogent to meet a service availability set out in the SLA, provided claims are made with Cogent customer services  within 7 business days after the end of the month for which the credit request is made. 

Which Vendors do Cogent Support?

Cogent uses the following telecommunications master agents through its Channel Partner Programme: AB&T Telecom, AppSmart, ARG, BCM One, Sandler and Telarus. 

Focus

Proposition Focus

15%
15%
30%
40%
Managed services
SASE security
Portal
SD WAN

Cloud Focus

50%
50%
AWS
Cloudhelix

Other Focus

10%
60%
30%
Remote users
Simplicity
Complex requirements

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