Verizon, working closely with a number of its key technology partners — Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Juniper Networks and Nokia Networks — announced today it is transforming its network by implementing a software defined network architecture, laying the groundwork for new innovative services and applications. This SDN-based architecture is designed to introduce new operational efficiencies and allow for the enablement of rapid and flexible service delivery to Verizon’s customers. SDN is a new approach to designing, building and managing communications networks. It enables network programmability leveraging a centralized controller and orchestrator to program network flows. This centralized network control will drive a number of key customer facing benefits, including:
- Elastic, scalable, network-wide service creation and near real-time service delivery.
- Operational agility via dynamic resource allocation and management as well as automation of network operations.
Verizon has a long history of driving significant technology shifts with support from its technology suppliers. Verizon was the first major carrier to deploy a large-scale fiber-to-the-home strategy; the first to launch a nationwide 3G network; and the first national carrier to broadly deploy LTE. Today’s announcement highlights Verizon’s ongoing efforts to change the way it designs, develops and manages its networks. To enable its network vision, Verizon and its technology vendors have co-authored a comprehensive SDN network architecture document, which includes all interface specifications and reference architectures plus requirements for both the control layer and forwarding box functions. This network architecture document will enable Verizon’s key technology partners to develop solutions to achieve the business and technical benefits of an SDN-enabled network. Much of the foundational work required to deliver on Verizon’s next-generation network has been underway for several years. Verizon has created live lab environments in San Jose, California; Tampa, Florida; and Waltham, Massachusetts, and has commercial data center environments on both the East and West Coasts.
Read our interview with Shawn Hakl, head of network platforms and managed services, to learn how software defined networks are redefining enterprise IT.