BT is taking the next step in its network virtualization journey, announcing a partnership with Cisco to integrate the vendor’s Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) software platform for network automation for business customers.
As part of the extension of the partnership with Cisco, BT will include two new capabilities: a new Cisco-based customer premise equipment virtualization solution managed by BT (BT Connect Edge) and the integration of Cisco’s network automation and orchestration software platform into BT’s networking offerings (BT Connect Services Platform).
These new capabilities are part of BT’s broader Dynamic Network Services initiative, which is focused on providing the provider’s business customers greater choice, security, resilience, service, and agility.
Set to be launched during the first half of 2018, BT’s Connect Services Platform and Connect Edge will subsequently be rolled out to customers in 180 countries.
By serving up the combination of Connect Edge and Connect Services Platform, BT said it will allow customers to cut the time and costs needed to deploy network functions such as routing, acceleration and security across their global facilities, while de-risking the transition from standalone hardware-based appliances to a fully virtualized network environment.
Service activation is a key element of the platform. Using the integrated BT and Cisco technology, the Connect Services Platform allows customers to deploy new network functions at branches and remote locations within hours. These functions will run on the Connect Edge multifunctional hardware, combining Cisco’s Enterprise Network Compute System (ENCS) platform with BT’s global service management, design capability, security wrap and support coverage.
“BT’s Dynamic Network Services initiative helps global businesses deliver against their networking and security strategy and reap the benefits of software-defined networks, virtualization and cloud services,” said Maria Grazia Pecorari, president of digital, global portfolio & marketing at BT Global Services.
Customers will also be able to avoid the pain and time of having to deploy new devices when new functionality is needed. These functions will be deployed and managed remotely without the need for specialist technical staff to visit each site for installation. As a BT-managed service, the solution will support virtual network functions (VNFs) from multiple vendors’ and will be accessible to customers via their BT MyAccount portal.
Connect Edge is a new virtualized customer premise equipment (vCPE) service based on Cisco’s ENCS technology enabling NFV for the branch office. The associated virtual network functions will run via BT Connect Services Platform, which is the carrier’s new managed services solution.
To deploy its new virtualization offerings, BT has integrated Cisco’s Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) software platform and virtual Branch Core Function Pack into its own networks and uses network automation to deliver high-quality services faster and more easily to its customers. The NSO platform will improve BT’s ability to simultaneously manage, improve and orchestrate service delivery across NFV projects, SDN offerings and more traditional networks.