AT&T Speeds Transition to Cloud Architecture
By Craig Galbraith
September 23, 2013 - News
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AT&T has launched a program that it hopes will significantly reduce the time needed to move to the cloud while accelerating time-to-market with advanced products and services.

AT&T's Supplier Domain Program – Domain 2.0 –  is integrated through AT&T’s wide-area network (WAN) and uses network function virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networks (SDN), as well as modern architectural and operational approaches. AT&T plans to simplify and scale its network by separating hardware and software functionality; separating network control plane and forwarding planes; and improving management of functionality in the software layer.

AT&T says delivering this will require some of its current providers, but also will require some new providers with different skills and capabilities. The carrier plans to begin selecting vendors and awarding business later this year and through 2014.

“Our goal is to ensure that each investment accelerates our move towards an advanced all-IP broadband, all-wireless, and all-cloud infrastructure, delivers on the full promise of game-changing technologies, provides an industry leading customer experience, and maintains focus on a capital-efficient network," said Tim Harden, president, AT&T supply chain.

AT&T plans to increase the value of its network by driving improved time-to-revenue; providing cost-performance leadership; enabling new growth services and apps; ensuring world-class, industry leading security, performance and reliability; and facilitating new business and revenue models.

These capabilities build off the principles of SDN and NFV. SDN is an architectural framework for creating intelligent networks that are open, programmable and application aware. NFV is the process of decoupling hardware from software that transforms dedicated network functions into software-based virtualized network functions that can operate in a common, standard, execution environment, supporting a large variety of services.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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