The Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) drumbeat continues. CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and Cyan (Nasdaq: CYNI) today announced that CenturyLink will use Cyan’s Blue Planet NFV Orchestrator to deliver NFV services to enterprise and small and midsized business (SMB) customers.
The deal confirms a trend we’ve been writing a lot about here on The Rayno Report: the move to more flexible, scaleable services based on NFV and Software Defined Networking (SDN) technology. It looks as if 2015 is going to be the year of commercial NFV deployments, and this Cyan and CenturyLink deal represents one of the first.
Software-based technologies allow service providers to deploy a wide range of enterprise data and connectivity using the cloud, by hosting them on industry-standard hardware. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, several large service providers announced new NFV implementations and demos.
In this particular deal, Cyan’s Blue Planet management software will enable orchestration for CenturyLink’s Programmable Services Backbone (PSB), a platform that delivers virtualized services. CenturyLink says this software-based approach will allow it to quickly scale new services.
The services that will be supported by Cyan and CenturyLink include virtual functions such as virtual firewalls, virtual DPI (Deep Packet Inspection), virtual EPC (Evolved Packet Core), virtual routing, and others. Virtualized services are faster to deploy because they do not require hardware to be deployed on the customer premises and can be installed with software only.
Rayno Report research, including detailed interviews and surveys of operators over the last few months has confirmed strong demand for NFV and SDN technologies. Operators want to deploy services more quickly with commodity hardware and automated provisioning, according to the findings of the “Service Provider Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) Overview and Market Forecast,” which was released last week. In that report, survey results indicated that 60% of global operators said they were lacking the capability to launch new services in a cost-effective and time-effective manner.
The same trend was confirmed in the “Future of Cloud WAN” study, which indicates the market for virtualized enterprise services in the cloud could be as large as $7.5 billion. The trend is simple: Service providers want the ability to deploy any number of services, including security, enterprise connectivity, and data services with software and cloud provisioning.
CenturyLink has been particularly aggressive in building out an SDN and NFV-based network. James Feger, VP of Network Strategy and Development with CenturyLink, recently told us that virtualized services are a focus of the company. It has even opened up its own cloud development center in Seattle, which is home to 300 employees working on cloud technologies and services, including the use of open-source code and new virtualization platforms such as Docker.
The need for more flexible and agile services deployment is the subject of our new 32-page report. “Service Provider Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) Overview and Market Forecast” can be purchased here for $850 for a single-user license. Please inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org for enterprise licensing.