What’s Next for Our User-Defined Network Cloud?
AT&T’s Cloud Evolution Ushers in the Third Wave of Virtualization
AT&T recently launched the next phase of its Cloud Networking architecture — the AT&T User-Defined Network Cloud (UDNC) — at Mobile World Congress.
The first step in the journey was the virtualization of the Wide Area Network (WAN). AT&T introduced our MPLS Virtual Private Network (VPN) services years ago, and customers world-wide have adopted them to run their enterprise networks. We think of MPLS as the first wave of virtualized service. In essence, we virtualized the wide area network, creating a flexible, multi-tenant platform with such enterprise features as logical separation of customer traffic, class of service, and network security.
The network function virtualization (NFV) moves network functions from hardware-based appliances into software platforms inside virtual computing machines. As a result, we can update network functions from almost anywhere and do it quickly without having to redeploy new hardware and software. We can dynamically reroute traffic, add capacity, and introduce new features through programmable, policy-based controllers. Much like the phases that came before it, this third wave of virtualization will evolve over a number of years. However, as the basis for this wave is in fact each of the waves that have preceded it, we expect it will advance quickly.
We are excited about the possibilities this presents and the many leading-edge partners and customers who will be part of this next journey. To read more, visit our Networking Exchange Blog or check out this page for related white papers and job opportunities.