Recently, Verizon has looked to Ericsson for orchestration of its virtual network functions (VNFs). But today, Ericsson is tapping Verizon to deploy its managed software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) service within Ericsson’s own corporate IT environment.
Ericsson will expand the reach of its corporate IT infrastructure, using Verizon’s global IP network.
Verizon’s managed SD-WAN service, provided by Viptela, is integrated with virtualized security services and managed enterprise radio access network (E-RAN) capabilities. Verizon’s managed SD-WAN and E-RAN products are both part of Verizon’s network-as-a-service (NaaS) offerings.
The management layer delivering these services is a joint effort that incorporates Ericsson’s dynamic orchestration, service assurance, and virtual network function (VNF) on-boarding platform — all features that Verizon has used itself in the past.
Viptela, which is being acquired by Cisco for $610 million, enables Verizon to offer its customers a choice in different transport options including MPLS, wireless, LTE, broadband, and Ethernet. This allows customers to implement a hybrid WAN that combines these different types of links and pick the best connection type for a given application.
In addition to Viptela, Ericsson also plays a key role in enhancing Verizon’s managed SD-WAN service. Ericsson’s software helps the carrier manage and orchestrate hybrid client networks in real time.
The software includes its Cloud Manager for model-driven configuration management and its Order Care, which provides the orchestration engine. And Ericsson’s VNF Factory allows Verizon to on-board and validate VNFs into its ecosystem.
Verizon and Ericsson seem to have a back-and-forth relationship. In March, former Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg landed a new gig as executive vice president of Verizon’s new network and technology team. He’s in charge of the company’s network architecture and network assets, which includes a nationwide LTE network, a 5G testbed, a residential fiber network, a global Internet backbone and undersea cable network, and the fiber assets that Verizon acquired through its purchase of XO Communications.