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Verizon Switching to Software-Defined Networking

Telecommunications giant Verizon announced today it's evolving its network by implementing a new software-defined networking (SDN) architecture.

Verizon said it was working with key technology partners -- Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Juniper Networks and Nokia Networks -- to implement its SDN vision. That vision includes introducing new operational efficiencies and enabling rapid and flexible service delivery to customers, the company said.

"SDN is a new approach to designing, building and managing communications networks," Verizon said in a statement. "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; and operational agility via dynamic resource allocation and management, as well as automation of network operations."

Verizon and its partners have created a document to outline the envisioned architecture, detailing interface specifications, reference architectures and requirements for control layer and forwarding functionality. "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," the company said.

The company noted the underlying work to implement a next-generation network has been ongoing for the past several years, through live labs set up in different locations across the United States and commercial datacenter environments set up on both coasts.

"What SDN offers is scalability, but more important, it offers a deeper, richer experience for clients," company exec Shawn Haki said in a Q&A today. "This gives enterprises a more sophisticated network feature set/service experience that allows for greater operational efficiency by moving the functionality into the software layer, thereby optimizing traffic.

"Centralized management allows for more agile operations and execution, which, in turn, helps control costs. It also treats network resources as 'on demand.' Furthermore, it allows for integration through APIs to deliver real-time management of traffic through a higher degree of automation of compute, network and storage."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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