Verizon unveils ‘virtual network services’

Hard on the heels of a similar pitch from AT&T, Verizon this morning is taking the wraps off a lineup of Virtual Network Services (VNS) that it bills as a natural extension of data-center virtualization that promises enterprise WAN customers fast, flexible provisioning as well as cost savings.

Industry analysts say such an expansion of existing software-defined networking will find an audience, but that not every customer will be ready for the deep end of the pool at the same time, a caveat Verizon readily acknowledges. The Verizon package – initially including security, WAN optimization and SD-WAN services — offers customers multiple delivery and pricing models, as well as managed software from a roster of brand-name vendors such as Cisco and Juniper the company says will expand.

“The enterprise CIO tells us they want to worry less about the network itself and more about their customers’ experience,” says Victoria Lonker, director, product and new business, at Verison. “This means they need solutions that offer an integrated management option all the way from the app to the cloud in a very simple way that hopefully reduces total cost of ownership.”

The Verizon network services are globally available via three models: customer premises equipment (CPE), cloud-based virtual CPE services and hybrid where users can mix the two, Verizon says. Customers may use public, private or wireless networks from Verizon or other service providers and any combination of same. Juniper will make the initial on-premises equipment, which Verizon describes as “more like a server” than existing single-purpose appliances and Verizon will manage and service the devices as part of the VNS offering.