Service Provider Cloud

Enterprise Cloud Requires Cloud-Like Carriers – Riverbed

Enterprise applications such as cloud and the Internet of Things require carriers to deliver services that can traverse multiple geographic locations and be managed from the network core to the edge, according to the team at Riverbed Technology.

In addition, carriers will need to transform existing investments in NFV to launch cloud-based services much more quickly to customers and grow their business, Riverbed says.

To that end, the company launched its the Riverbed Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: RVBD) Service Delivery Platform on Wednesday, to provide what Riverbed calls "network-as-a-service."

"The platform we're building will enable service providers to be more cloud-like -- to deliver more services to customers in a more efficient and agile fashion," Irena Farooq, Riverbed VP product management, tells Light Reading.

Existing NFV has been focused on rolling out new services and consolidating branch equipment, but Riverbed's technology is designed to operate across the breadth of carriers' networks, the company says.

The platform is designed to integrate with MPLS services; provide a DevOps approach to service design, onboarding and deployment; provide elasticity and resource pooling to support multi-tenancy; offer service delivery optimization; and improve customer intelligence and service assurance.

The ability to move services across geographic locations and to the edge of the network will be particularly useful for Internet of Things applications, some of which will require low latency and the availability of local compute and storage capabilities.

Also, Riverbed is looking to help carriers provide standardized services across international boundaries. In the case of security, for example, an enterprise with manufacturing in parts of Asia and a retail operation in North America may have different requirements for security compliance in different regions, and would benefit from working with a service provider that could meet all those needs, says Phil Harris, general manager and senior vice president for the Riverbed's service provider business.

It's been a busy month for Riverbed, which just introduced a product combining WAN and SD-WAN optimization. (See Riverbed Optimizing SD-WAN.)

With its Service Delivery Platform, Riverbed faces a crowded competitive landscape. Carriers are universally looking to make their networks more fungible and agile, able to spin up new services in seconds or minutes rather than days, weeks, or months. That's the vision behind SDN and NFV, and it's driving the strategy for all the major networking vendors.

Want to know more about the cloud? Visit Light Reading Enterprise Cloud.

The phrase "network-as-a-service," which Riverbed uses to describe its platform, turns up 458 results on Light Reading alone, with NetCracker introducing a network-as-a-service product and Telefónica and Orange re-architecting their networks to support the vision. And Versa is delivering a set of managed services for carriers combined with SD-WAN. (See NetCracker Unveils Network-as-a-Service, Orange Plots Mass Network-as-a-Service Rollout, Infinera, Telefonica Demo Network-as-a-service and Versa: A Lot More Than SD-WAN.)

Caroline Chappell, then an analyst for Heavy Reading, presented her vision for the "composable telco" at the Light Reading 2020 Executive Summit in Dublin in 2016. (See The Composable Telco.)

Chappell described a vision where VNFs would be freed from hardware and live in the cloud, making telco networks more flexible and able to meet customers' fast-changing demand. (See Telcos Clamoring for Cloud-Native VNFs.)

— Mitch Wagner, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor, Light Reading Enterprise Cloud

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