Light Reading

Colt Targets Network Virtualization in the Data Center and Beyond

Mitch Wagner

While the industry is still talking about network virtualization, Colt is putting ideas into action in the data center, customer premises, and on the wide area network (WAN).

Let's start with the WAN: Colt Technology Services Group Ltd (London: COLT)'s Modular Multiservice Platform, launched late last year, looks to virtualize wide area connections to streamline the planning, configuration, activation and management of enterprise customer connectivity.

The earliest iteration of this project won the Light Reading Leading Lights Award for Most Innovative Ethernet/Optical Service this year, and further proof-of-concept work is underway with technology partners such as Cyan Inc. and Accedian Networks Inc. (See Colt Wins Leading Lights Innovative Ethernet Service Award .)

Colt is also looking at NFV, with requests for information (RFIs) out to nine vendors to provide orchestration, virtual network function (VNF) management, virtual CPE, firewall and load balancer capabilities. Colt expects to finish evaluating the RFIs by the end of the month, and hopes to go to PoC by September.

Find out more about data center strategies at Light Reading's dedicated Data Center Infrastructure channel.

But Colt's most mature virtualization project is in the data center. Colt has introduced SDN in four of its 20 data centers in Europe, and hopes to wean itself from a proprietary, Cisco architecture to a more open platform using technology from Arista Networks Inc. and VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW), among others.

I talked with Mirko Voltolini, VP, Technology and Architecture, at Colt, about the company's ambitious network virtualization strategy. To hear about Colt's plans in detail, see our Prime Reading feature: Colt Pulls the Trigger on Data Center Virtualization.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to

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8/21/2014 | 12:00:15 PM
Cisco Response
I'm wondering if this  "wean itself from a proprietary, Cisco architecture to a more open platform" may be part of Cisco's current problems in searching for a business plan that's going to be profitiable for them now and in the future. Seems like Cisco may be seeing a lot of folks leaving them for this very reason?
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