Verizon to deliver Virtual Network Services

  • Verizon to deliver Virtual Network Services

Verizon to deliver Virtual Network Services

The U.S. telco's Enterprise Solutions business is making the Virtual Network Services option immediately available to businesses globally under an as-a-service model.

The announcement comes four days after AT&T Inc.

TBR also cited Verizon for being tough on the vendor community, with the research form noting criticism from Verizon on "incomplete orchestrators, not delivering on multitenant solutions capabilities, providing "gray" boxes (ones that still contain proprietary designs) rather than true commodity white boxes and not fully addressing service assurance".

"Building networks by deploying network functions in software is a major shift in network design", said Ralph de la Vega, Vice Chairman of AT&T and CEO of AT&T Business Solutions and global. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Juniper Networks Inc.

The initial service release includes equipment from Cisco, Juniper Networks, Fortinet, Riverbed, Palo Alto Networks and Viptela.

Verizon is virtualizing and bundling its network services into easy-to-deploy packages for business customers looking to transition away from hardware in favor of flexible, software-based infrastructure.

Set to go live this fall, Verizon's virtual CPE service is a network cloud-based model where the functions are deployed on the same platform for its own SDN-based wired and wireless networks.

Get up close and personal with service provider NFV strategies in our NFV Elements section here on Light Reading. Customers then choose which virtual functions they want from the first three available: security, WAN optimization and advanced routing.

Another analyst sees the Verizon offering as part of a natural evolution. "We wanted to start with what was most mature today", Lonker says.

There are multiple service pricing models including monthly, a-la-cart, contract and non-contract. "But today customers consume and use applications much differently". "Right now, [carriers] are mostly dealing with eagerly interested larger enterprises, who are heavily staffed and can put the resources into making this work".

Lonker added that some customers are "mixing and matching where at some sites they may have multiple virtual functions using firewalls and another site they might just need a router". Analyst Sapien notes that's a new way of working for network operators and will have its own execution challenges - the companies that manage that potentially complex process more successfully will stand out in what is expected to be a crowded market.

Enterprise customers have changed the way they do business, said Konings. "They will have options with Verizon because we have a variety of options available with SD-WAN". "The network is finally catching up to the data center and these same catalysts ... are actually driving the virtualization of apps in the network and that's resulting a need for networks that are dynamic and agile along with network functions that are also dynamic and agile". "Or if they have SD-WAN gear on premises, they can use that also". They seem to be emphasizing hardware and to me it's all about software now.

That doesn't even have to happen on Verizon's network, she says, although obviously that would be the preference.

"The way in which network services are delivered is going through an unprecedented shift- the biggest we've seen since the broad adoption of MPLS", said Shawn Hakl, vice president of networking and innovation, Verizon.