Orchestrating enterprise virtual networks
Verizon’s enterprise customers are seeing a huge transformation in their business with new consumer and technology trends. Consumer expectations are increasing and becoming more dynamic. E-commerce, social media, and online TV have put new requirements on the network. Enterprises need network services that scale seamlessly to meet these dynamic business needs.
To help their customers succeed, Verizon, working closely with Ericsson, has leveraged Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) to build an analytics-driven programmable network. New services can be orchestrated across the provider network and customer premises equipment (CPE). The primary services offered today are SD WAN, security, and WAN optimization as part of the Virtual Network Services (VNS) offering.
The orchestration technology that made it possible
The Ericsson Dynamic Orchestration solution enables different vendors and open source providers to quickly onboard their Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) into the Verizon environment. Verizon aims to build a comprehensive marketplace of VNFs for their enterprise customers. These onboarded VNFs can then be used to design network services such as the SD WAN service.
Once a service is provisioned, the enterprise IT staff can manage it through a self-care portal. For example, if a retail company wants to set up a secure network for a new retail branch office, this can be orchestrated through the portal. The enterprise has the flexibility to choose the firewall vendor from the Verizon portal and install it either on premises or in the provider’s cloud (as a hosted network service). Enterprises can change VNF vendors easily and are not locked in. When the service is in operation, it is important to maintain the customer SLAs.
Ericsson’s orchestration solution performs the closed-loop assurance for the network services. Policies enable a self-healing process when there is an application or infrastructure alarm. The next step is to use analytics and machine learning to understand patterns and proactively prevent some of the failures or determine the best corrective action for a given issue.
The business benefits of virtual networks
Moving from a traditional physical model to orchestrating virtual networks has transformed the way Verizon’s services are delivered, simplifying business processes and reducing time to market and associated TCO. Services are easily scalable with flexible “pay as you grow” pricing. It has brought down the service delivery time from weeks/months to days.
In the traditional model, engineers had to go to the enterprise site to set up and configure a service. With virtual services, once the CPE is connected to the network, all configurations can be orchestrated centrally. The CPE could be an existing terminal device, or a new one can be shipped to the enterprise overnight. Services are now more personalized and can be customized to meet dynamic enterprise needs. Verizon and Ericsson together have leveraged new technologies to create business value, and customers are already seeing the impact.
In the video below, Verizon’s Peter Konings, Director of Products EMEA, shares how Ericsson Dynamic Orchestration lets Verizon stay ahead of the market by allowing easier onboarding of partners, zero touch provisioning for customers, and closed-loop assurance that enables Verizon to deliver a higher level of SLA.
Editor’s Note: This was originally published as an Ericsson Digital Services blog post by Arvind Duray.