Colt Launches SDN-Based Data Center Offer

The wholesale player is taking advantage of SDN technologies to support new features for its customers.

Iain Morris, International Editor

October 15, 2015

3 Min Read
Colt Launches SDN-Based Data Center Offer

DUSSELDORF, Germany -- SDN & Openflow World Congress -- Colt has revamped its recently launched DCNet data center interconnectivity offering, taking further advantage of SDN technology to provide additional flexibility for customers of the Ethernet service.

Introduced in June, DCNet provides data center interconnectivity from a range of European and Asian facilities, but the update will give the operator's customers a lot more control over the service they receive.

Announced at this week's SDN and Openflow World Congress in Dusseldorf as part of its broader Novitas transformation programme, the new SDN-based offering is being marketed under the label of DCNetaaS (for DCNet as a Service) and comes with various on-demand and automated features.

"You can reserve ports through a web portal and modify bandwidth in real time," said Mirko Voltolini, Colt Technology Services Group Ltd 's vice president of technology and architecture, during a presentation in Dusseldorf on Wednesday morning. "Customers can pick and choose options and it's all available on a pay-as-you-go basis."

Such flexibility and "service agility" is frequently cited as one of the key attractions of SDN and NFV for service providers, and Colt is one of a small number of operators to have pioneered the rollout of these New IP technologies.

In a blog published on Colt's website yesterday, the operator said the service will be deployed in Europe this year and across Asia in 2016.

According to Voltolini, however, Colt is already able to provide the service in 57 locations where it has installed additional hardware (with DCNet available at 130 data centers across Europe and Asia, according to the operator's latest update), and the self-service portal is currently live.

"We moved into production just a couple of weeks ago," said Voltolini. "You can set up connections between available data centers, change the connections and it's very flexible."

In its blog, the operator indicated that an imminent service trial would focus on the UK, Germany and France and that full details on the general availability of the service would be announced soon.

But Voltolini let slip that Colt is planning to expand to a much bigger set of capabilities. "Today it is limited to data centers but it doesn't take much to make it available even on customer premises," he said.

Want to know more about the emerging SDN market? Check out our dedicated SDN content channel here on Light Reading.

Colt's next SDN-based service update is due in January, with the operator looking to provide its LANLink and dedicated cloud access services in the same on-demand way.

Even so, Voltolini urged suppliers to address various barriers to the more widespread rollout of SDN- and NFV-based services. "We need common APIs so that we don't have to repeat developments every time we engage new suppliers, he said. "Global networks are across borders and involve hundreds of carriers and we don't want a mess of complexity in terms of setting up multiple APIs."

Colt is promising to release some documentation in the next few weeks "to help frame this activity," in Voltolini's words.

Other key objectives include the development of standardized virtual CPEs -- while there has been some progress in this area, these are not yet in full production, noted Voltolini.

Colt has previously blamed vendors' unwillingness to adapt their commercial practices for delays to the full adoption of a standardized, multi-vendor operating model. (See Colt Blames Vendors for NFV Holdups and Telecom Italia Warns of Virtualized Silos Risk.)

The operator has previously teamed up with Accedian , Cyan Inc. and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) networks on the deployment of a virtual CPE. (See Colt Bigs Up the Benefits of Virtual CPE .)

— Iain Morris, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, News Editor, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Iain Morris

International Editor, Light Reading

Iain Morris joined Light Reading as News Editor at the start of 2015 -- and we mean, right at the start. His friends and family were still singing Auld Lang Syne as Iain started sourcing New Year's Eve UK mobile network congestion statistics. Prior to boosting Light Reading's UK-based editorial team numbers (he is based in London, south of the river), Iain was a successful freelance writer and editor who had been covering the telecoms sector for the past 15 years. His work has appeared in publications including The Economist (classy!) and The Observer, besides a variety of trade and business journals. He was previously the lead telecoms analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit, and before that worked as a features editor at Telecommunications magazine. Iain started out in telecoms as an editor at consulting and market-research company Analysys (now Analysys Mason).

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