A short while ago, we posted about BT’s Dynamic Network Services plans. BT has now taken the next step, launching the Cisco ENCS platform as the delivery point for its Connect Services Platform for NFV. Their snappily titled press-release (BT and Cisco accelerate partnership for future networks) has more to say.
There’s a bit of BT rebranding going on, with the Cisco ENCS becoming the BT Connect Edge platform. BT has deployed the Cisco Network Services Orchestrator to manage the NFVs on the platform. Cisco’s NSO becomes the BT Connect Services Platform, reachable via the BT MyAccount portal. These include routing, acceleration and security, as well as the Connect Intelligence platforms. It contains language that talks about “cutting time and costs” in deploying network functions across a global estate. It also mentions de-risking the move away from hardware appliances.
Customers now have an understanding of virtualisation, with most running a virtualised stack, even if it is in the cloud. So it’s not just about customer choice and flexibility, but also what it brings to BT. By using virtualised appliances, it should be easier to update software versions on large estates mitigating security concerns. Also, it saves them time by removing field engineer deployments in the future. I’m not sure this would be a zero-touch deployment of the ENCS platform itself. (BT may still want their field engineers to install NTE to terminate the access-lines.)
The key is what BT charge for the Connect Edge platform. As the ENCS platform can provide more functions that a standard router it offers savings over the long-term primarily when deployed with other services. If they’re looking to drive customers to this model, it truly must be cheaper to implement up front. Your BT account team should have an answer on this. So if you’re going to plan on a router and other devices solution for your next site, ask about Connect Edge and NFV.
BT’s Dynamic Network Services initiative helps global businesses deliver against their networking and security strategy and reap the benefits of software-defined networks, virtualization and cloud services. BT already has a track record of deploying NFV and SDN services. These services give multinational customers automation, flexibility and choice they need to transform their operations. Our 25-year partnership with Cisco is one of the strongest in the industry and a key cornerstone of our customers’ future networks. By combining BT’s strong virtualisation, service management and security expertise and new Cisco technologies, we are reinforcing our position as a trusted partner to our customers, guiding them on their digital transformation journeys.” – Maria Grazia Pecorari, president, digital, global portfolio & marketing, Global Services, BT