According to Verizon director of networking Vickie Lonker, the virtualized services will give businesses much more flexibility and scalability to meet growing consumer demands.
The Verizon network services are globally available via three models: customer premises equipment (CPE), cloud-based virtual CPE services and hybrid where users can mix the two, Verizon says. “By the end of the year we will have a solution based out of our Verizon network cloud”.
“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 worldwide. “Our software platform delivers a simple, flexible and efficient experience for any business, virtually anywhere and anytime they need it”. “I see this new (Verizon Virtual Network Services) offer as a platform for improved management, bandwidth control and network efficiency that allows customers to manage different services and providers, direct some best-effort traffic to lower-cost network services as well as lower cost of overall connectivity”. The fact that it is platform-based is the major differentiator between AT&T’s offering and that from Verizon. Among the services are security, WAN optimization and SD-WAN. Verizon is crafting solutions with partners more than building a whole foundation itself, Chander said. In some countries there are hard import restrictions on certain customer premises equipment (CPE), and Verizon would in theory be able to offer virtualised services directly to customers that did not have the physical hardware.
Each new service can be deployed across public, private, and wireless networks from Verizon or other service providers, or a combination of providers across multiple networks.
With the universal CPE option – a trend that CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is also following with its software-based services – Verizon will equip businesses with a so-called universal platform.
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”.
One benefit for Verizon customers of the “as-a-service” model is that they don’t have to worry about software licenses or long-term contracts, Lonker notes.
Verizon is providing vSecurity with Cisco, Fortinet, Juniper Networks and Palo Alto Networks, vWAN Optimization with Cisco and Riverbed, SD-WAN with Cisco and Viptela, as well as uCPE with Cisco and Juniper Networks. “We believe our open network architecture delivers a unified approach to network virtualization, automation and orchestration and ultimately helps Verizon continue to lead in creating new opportunities for their clients”.