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Make partnership a priority for network virtualisation

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In my two previous blogs, I talked about the benefits of network virtualisation at the edge and the challenges in realising them. The sheer complexity and an imperative to break from legacy are two reasons why you need an expert partner. In this blog, I’d like to make the case for BT and hopefully shine a light on how we are leading from the front when it comes to game-changing network technology.

With decades of experience in the global deployment of network solutions, BT has a hard-earned reputation for innovation and service delivery that continues into a new era of connectivity. We identified early on that a platform would be the best mechanism for delivering NFV (Network Function Virtualisation). In the first phase, a platform enables our solutions to undergo proof of concept trials and rigorous security testing. Then it’s about managing and orchestrating the deployment of routers, firewalls, etc., and facilitating service chaining across the entire network.

From the centre to the edge

We launched our Connect Services Platform to deliver on this vision. Not only does it fulfil the triple functions of testing, securing and managing, it provides flexibility and choice in execution. We use it to offer a range of industry standard VNF options, from accredited partners such as Cisco, InfoVista, Riverbed, Checkpoint and Fortinet, as well the ability for customers to “bring their own VNF”. If you have a point of sale app or server that’s business critical and needs to be virtualised, you can do that too.

This flexibility extends to the very edge of the network, those hard-to-reach branches that get stuck with legacy because its expensive to transport hardware and upgrade. The problem is solved with virtualisation. With Connect Edge, our new virtualised Customer Premises Equipment (vCPE) service, customers can choose from a range of Cisco Enterprise Network Compute Systems for different site types, and be up and running at less cost than a physical install.

The endgame is VNF deployment from a central portal to an edge device. And because everything is virtualised, it can be maintained, updated and supported centrally, all via the BT Connect Services Platform.

Work with people you can trust

Our platform gives network infrastructure the type of functionality that has driven cloud adoption.  By transforming once complex implementations into ‘as-a-service’ delivery models, organisations end up with a more agile way of managing and optimising network infrastructure. It’s also easier to integrate with other services, such as SD-WAN and multi-cloud connectivity.

BT expertise is available at every step of a complex end-to-end journey, giving our clients a strong foundation and future-proofing their infrastructure to cover just about every eventuality. At the outset, we will provide cost benefit analysis and proof of concept modelling to see virtualisation in action. Our specialists will demonstrate the customisable power of the Connect Services Platform, running trials that showcase the business case for each client and their unique requirements. Not only will BT design, build and deliver the VNF solution that’s best for your business, we will provide ongoing support to ensure continual improvement.

At the core of our proposition is partnership. Through this blog series I have looked at the obstacles to VNF, why it demands a break from the past to secure a place in the future. Like a lot of new technologies, it demands a different mindset – never easy for organisations where cultural practises and vendor relationships are deeply embedded. But the biggest business lesson of the last decade is about the need for continual reinvention to avoid disruption. Network virtualisation should be part of the conversation; BT would be happy to talk to you about it.

Further research

1.       Watch our video: The 3 use cases for virtualising network functions

2.       Read our insights: Boost your flexibility and control with virtualisation

3.       Download our datasheet: BT Connect Services Platform including Connect Edge

Steve Coakley

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