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Verizon Taps Cisco, Juniper to Simplify Network with SDN

Verizon is partnering up with Cisco and Juniper Networks to simplify its network through software-defined networking (SDN) technologies.

That network simplification will take place on the edge, where SDN will be used to combine Verizon's routers for Ethernet and IP-based services into a single disaggregated platform.

A key tenet of SDN is the separation of network data and control planes (or hardware and software network layers).

"This new multi-service edge solution features a disaggregated control plane and leverages external compute to enhance the capabilities of that control plane beyond that of a traditional router," Verizon said in a statement today (April 30).

In addition to allowing Verizon to respond to industry technology changes more quickly, the company said the new initiative will result in improvements to processes such as the deployment and provisioning of network infrastructure.

Verizon has been among the leaders in adopting SDN technology, along with its cousin, network functions virtualization (NFV). Earlier this month, for example, it teamed up with other major players in the SDN arena to bundle virtualization services for enterprises looking for an easier onramp to the new technology. Last year it offered up new SDN- and NFV-based hosted network services for enterprises, and earlier this year joined the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) project to boost industry efforts in the automation space.

"Software-defined networking continues to deliver on its promise to improve network management and also enables us to be more nimble in the ways we serve our customers," said Verizon exec Michael Altland. "By decoupling the control plane from a carrier-grade provider edge routing platform and moving it to general compute servers, we can serve our consumer and enterprise customers from the same platform, giving them all the functionality they need, while running our networks far more efficiently. This will also allow us to take advantage of future advances in server technology as our networks continue to grow."

With deployments of the new initiative already started and expected to continue on Verizon IP networks through the end of next year, the company said the new platform is targeted to eventually replace all Verizon network legacy edge router functions.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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