The India-based digital consulting behemoth Tech Mahindra will make AT&T’s FlexWare platform available to its global clients. Tech Mahindra intends to combine AT&T FlexWare with its systems integration portfolio. And Tech Mahindra also plans to use the virtual network functions (VNF) platform internally for its own digital operations.
FlexWare has the ability to virtualize network functions such as routers, firewalls, unified threat management, and WAN acceleration and put these software functions on a single device, said AT&T Assistant Vice President Rupesh Chokshi. “It supports a number of different use cases for our customers.”
FlexWare is now available to enterprises in more than 200 countries. “The model is we utilize the partners that we have in the ecosystem that provide VNFs,” said Chokshi. “We can mix and match and service chain different configurations depending on customer needs. We have device choices, software choices.”
Some of AT&T’s VNF partners include Palo Alto Networks, Check Point, Juniper Networks, and Fortinet. Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) is also being deployed on FlexWare devices as a VNF. AT&T’s SD-WAN offering is based on VeloCloud technology.
FlexWare is very, um, flexible in terms of connectivity options.
FlexWare can use Ethernet, MPLS, and broadband Internet. “We support AT&T transport and third-party transport,” said Chokshi. “We have customers that have AT&T MPLS VPN. At each endpoint we would run FlexWare that would provide a virtual router in conjunction with MPLS. We could do the same with our Layer 2 Ethernet VPN. We also support third parties. If the customer has third-party MPLS, we can provide FlexWare globally.”
AT&T does run FlexWare’s VNF software in its AT&T Integrated Cloud (AIC). But the platform is not limited to AT&T’s AIC zones or footprint. “With AT&T FlexWare we are able to deploy globally,” said Chokshi. “From a market perspective we offer FlexWare in 200-plus countries.”