CenturyLink's Feger: We have deployed SDN, NFV in 36 network locations

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) has been making strident progress with its SDN and NFV transition, equipping over 36 locations in multiple geographies with its virtual network services (VNS).

Working with its diverse set of network suppliers, the service provider is offering its evolving suite of virtual routing and firewall services to its business customer base.

"We're deployed in 36 locations today across multiple countries and that number has really grown mostly this year," said James Feger, vice president of network strategy and development for CenturyLink, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "Going into 2016 we plan to significantly enhance that as well to meet our goals."

Throughout this evolution, CenturyLink will continue to refresh the technology platforms it deploys. Part of this evolution includes the addition of process and automation, which Feger says "brings a set of capabilities we did not have."

As the service provider implements SDN and NFV across the network, customers won't initially see a large change.

They'll really start to see the real benefits from the transition as it rolls out new services.

"The biggest advantage to the customer comes as we develop new offerings," Feger said. "One of the questions I had internally from some folks here, the customer doesn't immediately see anything, but as we evolve the network and we enhance the products to leverage this infrastructure is where they see the advantage."

Some of these capabilities customers could get, but are not limited to, are data recovery or disaster recovery that they could get on demand.

Feger said that the virtualization functions could also help business customers accommodate traffic fluctuations.

"One of our clients is extremely predictable and the traffic changes exponentially for a short amount of time and giving them the ability to add in WAN acceleration or additional data center to their infrastructure is a powerful thing," Feger said. "That's the difference the customers will see."

The service provider has set an aggressive SDN and NFV network plan, announcing that it will virtualize 40 percent of its global IP core network by the end of this year and plans to have full global virtualization of its IP core network and data centers by 2018.

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