AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) will be unveiling white-box network gear for Enterprise this week. The company is expected to introduce astandard *server that can take the places of four specialized network devices (white-box). AT&T believes that NFV (network function virtualization) and SDN, are the future of networking in the coming years, the company is about to have a third of its infrastructure virtualized this year.
An important fact with these technologies for enterprises is the option for customers to the same thing at their locations. Andre Fuetsch, AT&T senior vice president, Architecture & Design, noted that the White Box does depend on what software the customer requests. At the start, the Ucpe (Universal Customer Premises Equipment can perform Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) virtual routing, Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) virtual routing, Riverbed Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:RVBD) WAN optimization and FortinerVirtual security.
CEO of AT&T Business Solutions and AT&T International, Ralph de la Vega, noted that customers would be able to buy a particular vendor’s hardware box, and they would have to run their software. He further notes that by having a more open flexible box, which allows customers to choose what particular Virtual network function they run: one supplier’s load balance, one supplier’s firewall, one supplier’s virtual router.
AT&T last week released its network automation software, named ECOMP, as an open source. The carrier has already noted that it will keep adding functions developed in-house and by partners who can add features through APIs (application programming interface).
According to de la Vega, Through SDN, AT&T is cutting enterprises’ networking cost and helping them adopts and modify services in less than 10 minutes. Specialized hardware usually requires higher capital investment and operations cost, in additional to the expertise to manage a particular type of appliance. De la Vega notes that standard servers can change the equation customers.