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 '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 (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.
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.