CenturyLink has previously stated a goal of having full virtualization coverage in its IP core network and data centers by 2018, and that it’s targeting 40 percent of that goal by year’s end.
CenturyLink announced the PSB in March, aiming to provide virtualized services to enterprises and small and midsized businesses on-demand using the cloud.
Alcatel-Lucent, Nuage’s parent company, provided equipment for CenturyLink’s network. So Nuage was a logical choice for PSB, as CenturyLink’s James Feger, VP of network strategy and development, previously told SDxCentral.
CenturyLink puts applications and services close to the network edge in order to deploy them quickly and scale them as business demand increases. CenturyLink has previously used NFV to roll out firewalls and content distribution networks, and now it’s started to deploy virtualized data and voice infrastructure services, including customer service endpoints.
Nuage’s Virtualized Services Platform (VSP) overlay will play a part in two areas, Nuage CEO Sunil Khandekar tells us.
The first use case is CenturyLink using Nuage’s network automation. “For example, CenturyLink has talked about virtualizing and scaling their content delivery networks,” Khandekar says. “They want to scale out their CDN infrastructure on the fly, and they’ll use Nuage’s technology to do that.”
The second is the blending of CenturyLink’s VPN services with cloud services from CenturyLink’s distributed micropods. An example would be virtual firewalls that are service-chained based on location.
A micropod has hosted virtualized functions, compute and storage, and the SDN functions in a smaller footprint, Khandekar says.
“What they are doing is putting the micropods in these highly distributed POP [point-of-presence] locations, and some of them will be served from terrapods, which are classic data-center locations,” he explains.
In addition to Nuage, CenturyLink previously announced the following vendors contributing to PSB: Ciena (NFV service orchestrator), Ericsson (OSS/BSS), Arista Networks (switching), Red Hat (software systems stack), and Supermicro (servers).