AT&T rebrands Network Functions on Demand into FlexWare, expands product offerings

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AT&T said it will rebrand its Network Functions on Demand service into the FlexWare brand. The company also said it added several new options to the service, including a smaller device and security services from Palo Alto Networks.

FlexWare stems from AT&T’s investments into software-defined networking and network functions virtualization. The carrier has said it is on track to virtualize 30 percent of its network this year on its way to virtualizing fully 75 percent of its network by 2020. AT&T argued that its move to SDN and NFV technology “speeds ordering, simplifies network operations and helps improve total cost of ownership. This provides customers with a foundation to create flexible services that can grow as their needs change.”

"AT&T FlexWare offers businesses flexible networking options," AT&T’s Roman Pacewicz, SVP of Offer Management and Service Integration at the carrier’s Business Solutions division, said in a release. "One size fits all doesn't allow businesses to compete. Our software-centric ecosystem allows businesses to start with one set of network functions and add as they go. We're empowering businesses to control and change their services to match their needs across the world."

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Specifically, AT&T said FlexWare – part of the carrier’s Network on Demand platform – allows its enterprise customers to set up multiple virtual network functions, such as a router and a firewall, on a single FlexWare device. Customers can deploy those functions into different countries, can manage their services online, and can deploy new services on existing routers, as needed.

More than 1,700 businesses across multiple industries have signed up for AT&T Network on Demand solutions. 

In rebranding to FlexWare, AT&T said it also introduced a smaller device that supports the platform. The small device can run up to two VNF applications, while the carrier’s previously available larger version runs up to four. The carrier also said it is now offering Palo Alto Networks’ next-generation security platform in its catalog of VNFs for its enterprise customers.

AT&T has been working to expand and refine its SDN and NFV services since moving into virtualization last year. The company earlier this year launched its NFV on demand service in 76 countries and territories, allowing multinational businesses to reduce network costs and service activation time. And it also launched a new network threat monitoring and management service dubbed Threat Intellect.

More recently, the telco announced it is working with Intel to optimize NFV packet processing efficiency for the AT&T Integrated Cloud. Additionally, AT&T and Intel will define reference architectures and align NFV roadmaps to accelerate its network transformation.

For more:
- see this AT&T release

Related articles:
AT&T brings NFV on-demand service to 76 countries, territories
AT&T, Intel optimize NFV packet processing for cloud network
AT&T on track to virtualize 30 percent of its network functions by end of 2016

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