AT&T Virtualizing Router Functions to Offer Managed Internet Service on Demand

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AT&T has added a Network on Demand service to the Switched Ethernet it rolled out a year ago: Managed Internet Service on Demand.

Made possible by the carrier’s use of Network Function Virtualization (NFV) to virtualize routing in its core network and at customer locations, the offering will streamline Internet setup and allow users to scale Internet access to fluctuating needs in near real time. The service also eliminates the need for router hardware at the customer premises.

In its announcement, AT&T drew the illustrative use case of a real-estate firm, using Network on Demand to turn up network services as tenants come and go, in a matter of minutes. Ports, services, and bandwidth could all be dialed up or down online in near real time, achieving an up to 95 percent improvement in provisioning cycle times.

Managed Internet Service on Demand is scheduled to roll out in select U.S. cities this fall and spread to more locations by year’s end. AT&T promises more Network on Demand-enabled services to come.

In a related announcement, AT&T announced new additions to the menu of popular cloud services pre-integrated through its NetBond aggregated cloud-management platform. NetBond offered secure, reliable access and account management to nine leading cloud providers as of Sept. 29, including Salesforce, Box, HP, VMware, Amazon Web Services, SoftLayer, Blue Jeans Network, Sungard Availability Services and Equinix, the carrier said.

With this announcement, AT&T is adding Microsoft GovCloud, Amazon Web Services GovCloud and Cisco. Earlier this week, AT&T added aspects of the CSC Agility cloud management patform, exposing a unique set of application programing interfaces (APIs) and predesigned templates that let users manage cloud partners, modify and automate policies, adjust bandwidth and apply governance controls.

According to the release, NetBond works within existing AT&T Virtual Private Networks (VPN), requiring no additional equipment or access lines. It adds a level of traffic isolation and therefore protection from Internet security risks, savings on networking costs through smart bandwidth usage, and up to a 50 percent performance improvement. 

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