AT&T Uses Virtual Machines as Part of Larger SDN, NFV Effort

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2015-05-17 Print this article Print
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In the telecommunications space, NFV in particular is beginning to take hold, according to analysts at Dell'Oro Group. In a report earlier this month, the analysts said that while most implementations up till now have been of smaller scale, they are expecting some large NFV projects to start getting under way in the next 12 months.

"Over the past 12 months, we have seen a marked shift in industry sentiment around NFV," Dell'Oro Vice President Shin Umeda said in a statement. "While NFV technologies are still immature, the industry is continuing to push hard on development and the discussion has changed from 'if' it will happen to 'when' it will happen."

AT&T is not the only carrier looking into SDN and NFV. Verizon officials last month announced that the company is working with such tech vendors as Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco Systems, Ericsson, Juniper Networks and Nokia Networks to create a new network infrastructure that will help Verizon save money and more quickly create new services for its customers.

In a post on the Verizon blog, Shawn Hakl, head of network platform and managed services for Verizon Enterprise Solutions, wrote that, given the growing demands on the network from the rising number of mobile devices, the shift toward the cloud, the growing cyber-threats and increasing variability in traffic, networks need to change if businesses are to survive.

"Networks today are relatively static because they are so complex—when you change them, you risk breaking something," Hakl wrote. "With this model, you can realize more sophistication in the network without adding complexity. … SDN lets enterprises keep up with the changing nature of their businesses, enabling them to be more responsive to users, customers and market opportunities."

Verizon is years into the effort and has created live lab environments in Massachusetts, California and Florida, officials said.

In addition, officials with Singapore-based telco StarHub said last month it is working with Huawei Technologies on a two-year project to change its existing core and access networks into cloud-based environments that use SDN technologies.



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