Verizon Turns to Sedona for Transport SDN Management & Automation Smarts

Ray Le Maistre

Verizon has deployed software from transport network management startup Sedona Systems to help it gain visibility into, and manage, its extensive optical and IP transport networks.

It may not come as a surprise to many people in the optical and IP transport sectors, but now the deployment is public: The two companies made the deployment public by sharing a video interview between Glenn Wellbrock, director, optical transport network -- architecture, design and planning, at Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and Ori Gerstel, CTO at Sedona Systems (see video below).

The four-year-old Tel Aviv, Israel-based vendor (which also has offices in Cupertino, Calif.) has talked for some time about an engagement with a major Tier 1 operator but has never been able to publicly identify Verizon.

The announcement, and deployment, is a big deal for Verizon, Sedona and the broader industry.

It's a big deal for Verizon because the operator now has a converged transport network management system (for legacy and SDN-enabled optical and IP technologies) that is not only multivendor and multi-layer but also capable of enabling the Verizon team to gain an accurate inventory of transport assets, analyze the entire network as one single entity, and plan and manage resources based around the services and applications running across the network, rather than managing the network around traffic volumes. (See Sedona Adds Analytics to NetFusion.)

Those capabilities are, in turn, enabling Verizon to automate processes and, ultimately, benefit from greater efficiencies. "Automation is the key ... going forward," says Wellbrock in the conversation with Gerstel. "We pushed capex down over the years, [and] we continue to do so of course, but it's opex that is the tough one to do. If we can automate more things, then we can reduce our operating expenses as well as our capital expenses … then we get the added benefit of optimization of that physical resource, because we know where it is," he adds.

Tellingly, Wellbrock adds that having accurate data about a network is critical to being able to introduce automated processes, a point also stressed recently by the CEO of BT's technology, service and operations, Howard Watson, during a recent interview with Light Reading. (See Automation Opportunities a 'Top 5' Topic for BT, Says Tech Chief.)

"What's killed a lot of automation programs in the past is errors. If you don't, you know, if you kick something off, it may sound really great on paper, but if you try and automate it, and it makes mistakes, then obviously the program is shut down, because you just can't afford mistakes in the network."

The news is obviously a massive deal, and critical reference, for Sedona's NetFusion system and looks set to help the company secure its future and attract the attention of more Tier 1 operators seeking to get to grips with their hybrid transport networks, something that has always been important but which will be critical as they introduce SDN-enabled elements, virtual network functions (VNFs) such as virtual routers and plan their networks for a 5G, cloud-centric future.

Sedona obviously isn't the only company with Transport SDN management tools, but it is regarded as having a more complete set of functionality than other vendors, giving it the edge currently in this critical space.

News of the deployment is also important for the industry as, with Verizon as a live production network example, the model of multivendor, multi-layer hybrid transport network management, using what Sedona calls a "network controller," is now no longer just an architectural suggestion in the network diagrams from organizations such as the IETF, ONF and MEF. It also delivers a solution to the challenge of enabling "service-aware" transport networks. (See Amzallag's Four Horsemen of the Telepocalypse.)

Now, of course, the pressure is on Verizon to enable that automation and deliver those efficiencies, while for Sedona it's critical that the US operator's network is seen to run smoothly and deliver enhanced benefits.

News of the deployment comes as Sedona starts to articulate a new strategy: More on that in the coming days on Light Reading.

Check out the video chat between Wellbrock and Gerstel below:

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Beer
2/20/2018 | 7:38:32 AM
Smart Move
Wih the ever growing and changing market demand, Verizon has been able to do away with a challenge it faced and is now in an effort for an  automation  of its services. good work!
Sterling Perrin
Sterling Perrin,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/23/2018 | 1:19:42 PM
Very Positive
This is vrey positive for Sedona as well as for the validity of SDN-based IP and optical integration in general. Verizon has taken a pragmatic approach to SDN from the beginning, so this is about real results - not operator fanfare. 

Featured Video
From The Founder
The world of virtualization is struggling to wrench itself away from the claws of vendor lock-in, which runs counter to everything that NFV stands for.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 22, 2018, Denver, Colorado | Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 28, 2018, Kansas City Convention Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
April 9, 2018, Las Vegas Convention Center
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Has Europe Switched to a Fiber Diet? Not Yet...
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, 2/15/2018
Will China React to Latest US Huawei, ZTE Slapdown?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, 2/16/2018
IBM, Microsoft Duke It Out Over Chief Diversity Hire
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 2/15/2018
5G: The Density Question
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/15/2018
T-Mobile Injects AI Into Customer Service
Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Editor, 2/16/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed