AT&T launches network functions on demand

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AT&T launches network functions on demand

AT&T is putting network functions virtualisation (NFV) into the hands of its end customers with a new managed services product.

Network Functions on Demand lets businesses make adjustments to their networking services through virtualised functions deployed on one piece of on-premise equipment -- a standard x86-based appliance - instead of through several disparate routers, firewalls, or WAN optimisers.

The US-based carrier did not respond by publication time to CRN USA request for comment on the latest service's availability through the channel, or if partners would be able to manage the latest service for their customers.

Network Functions on Demand is the third service to be added to AT&T's Network on Demand platform, a system launched in 2014 that businesses can use to add or change their network services in near real-time. 

The latest Network Functions on Demand will let businesses manage four different network functions initially, according to AT&T. The first virtualised functions the carrier is making available to customers is Juniper Networks' virtual routing, Cisco's virtual router offering, Fortinet's virtual security capability, and Riverbed's virtual WAN optimisation.

Because the new service can be run on AT&T's own universal Customer Premises Equipment (uCPE), a standard or “white-box” appliance, the offering will help customers save money on the hardware side, AT&T said.

AT&T said it will continue to add new products and features based on in-house technology, as well as from other technology partners down the road.

The latest service, much like AT&T's switched ethernet on demand, and managed internet service on demand, runs on AT&T's distributed cloud architecture housed in the carrier's 74 AT&T Integrated Cloud (AIC) data centres.

Network Functions on Demand is now available in 76 countries and territories, the largest initial rollout of an AT&T service, according to the carrier. A local representative confirmed it would be available in Australia.

AT&T has been on a software-defined networking tear. The carrier has been injecting virtualisation within its own network before exposing those capabilities to its end customers in the form of Network on Demand. AT&T has publicly committed to virtualise 75 percent of its own network by 2020.

Local providers Telstra and Optus launched their own consumption-based networking products earlier this year.

This article originally appeared at crn.com

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