AT&T looks to attract more businesses to NFV by promising rapid router and firewall rollout and simpler management
AT&T is looking to make it easier for organisations to adopt Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) with an expansion of its Network on Demand Software Defined Networking (SDN).
NFV involves the replacement of physical network infrastructure with software. This means components such as routers and firewalls can be rapidly deployed, scaled up or down, and ensures businesses can benefit from the latest network innovations.
AT&T claims its ‘Network Functions on Demand’ lets customers pick a single piece of equipment and roll it out across multiple countries. This, it says, saves time and money, while a unified point of control makes it simpler for admins to monitor their networks.
Seventy-six countries – including the UK – are supported at launch with capabilities including Juniper Networks virtual routing, Cisco virtual router, Fortinet virtual security, Riverbed virtual WAN optimisation.
“Building networks by deploying network functions in software is a major shift in network design,” said Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Business Solutions and International. “We’ve broken through traditional, cost-prohibitive barriers. Our software platform delivers a simple, flexible and efficient experience for any business, virtually anywhere and anytime they need it.”
AT&T launched Network on Demand last year and says it has 1,200 customers. ‘On Demand’ networks have grown in popularity in recent years, with vendors like Alcatel-Lucent and HPE offering ‘pay as you go’ subscription models.
The telecom industry has been a keen adopter of NFV and SDN technology as they seek to rapidly create new services at a time when traditional revenue streams, such as voice calls, are being eroded by over the top (OTT) applications.
More advanced networks will make it easier for telcos to gain a slice of the revenue for cloud applications, VoIP and other services that use their infrastructure. This will become even more vital as 4K video, virtual reality and 5G become mainstream
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