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Colt and Verizon raise the bar for inter-operator SDN

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At an event in London Colt and Verizon claimed the first two-way inter-operator SDN network orchestration demonstration.

Both companies were able to make near-real-time bandwidth changes in each other’s production networks, we’re told, which is an important step towards enabling real-time network automation between operators. In turn this is the sort of thing that needs to be sorted out before the virtualized network utopia we have all been promised can become reality.

“Enterprise networking is in the midst of a revolution,” said Peter Konings, EMEA head of product development at Verizon. “Organizations today want intelligent, dynamic networks that respond automatically to their changing business needs. Before today, no-one has been able to demonstrate elastic flexibility across carriers. Today’s demonstration is the first time anyone in the world has been able to flex network capacity in both directions across network boundaries. This will be a game changer for enterprise networking.”

“This showcase positively demonstrates the power of software defined networking and how increased adoption is putting operators and customers in control of their networks and services,” said Mirko Voltolini, Head of Network On Demand at Colt. “Previously, closed systems have made interoperability between service providers extremely difficult. Further, it validates Colt’s strategy of providing on-demand flexibility to truly enable customers’ digital transformation journeys. Through the use of SDN, providers are now able to better collaborate and innovate, ultimately benefitting customers.”

That’s about it really. The two companies are also working with MEF (Metro Ethernet Forum) to advance the development of industry standards, with the aim of accelerating the availability of this flexibility from many more partner networks. The virtualization promised land will probably be reached through a combination of individual initiative and collective coordination, so this sort of thing feels like a step in the right direction.

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