As part of its virtualization strategy, Verizon is planning to add 16 more data centers to its telco cloud this year. The carrier has created its initial telco cloud with five U.S. data centers, as SDxCentral reported last week.
Its goal is to add four more data centers in the United States and 12 internationally by the end of 2016, says Chris Emmons, director of network infrastructure planning with Verizon. “We also have several regional sites in the U.S. we’re deploying as well this year,” he says.
Those regional sites will address functions that Verizon wants to virtualize but that need to have access to radio access network (RAN) resources.
As far as how many data centers and regional sites Verizon will ultimately build for its telco cloud, Emmons says, “We’re still rationalizing that. It’s as few sites as possible, but of course the network itself dictates where the resources need to be. [We will] need to have an actual edge virtualization strategy as well.”
Designers at Verizon are already looking at virtualizing the network edge, determining those locations where fiber can bring traffic back to a regional site and where compute resources will have to be located at the edge.
“Design is working along at the same pace as the things we’re virtualizing,” says Emmons. “As we virtualize appliances, we learn what they need. Foolishly, we thought at the beginning we could have four big data centers.”
The telco plans to ultimately virtualize its entire network — both wired and wireless — and design it “for 5G by default,” says Emmons.