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Telstra, Cisco unveil SDN products for cloud security, datacentre connection

The two companies have outlined their three SDN and NFV products after partnering on cloud and datacentre security and connectivity.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Telstra and Cisco have announced their three upcoming software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV) products to improve cloud security and global datacentre interconnection, with the first now in beta.

Cloud Gateway Protection, the first of these products to be made available in beta, is a virtual security application designed to secure cloud services, internet access, and Next IP networks against cyber attacks and unauthorised access.

The second of the products, named the Internet Virtual Private Network, will provide a secure and encrypted office network over public internet for businesses to use across several sites and by mobile workers.

Internet VPN will launch later in March.

Data Centre Interconnect, the third product, extends Telstra's SDN PEN1 global datacentre interconnection product through the addition of Australian points of presence. Through PEN1, business customers can directly set up and configure links between overseas and domestic datacentres on flexible contracts.

Telstra and Cisco said Data Centre Interconnect will be available later in 2016.

According to the two companies, these three products will "transform" and "revolutionise" the use and function of cloud and managed services.

"SDN and NFV technologies are redefining the user experience on the network," said Philip Jones, Telstra executive director of Global Products and Solutions.

"By allowing us to overcome the constraints of traditional network infrastructure, the software-driven customer experiences dramatically increases our agility by enabling us to quickly create new solutions, and puts the control of those solutions into the hands of our customers."

Connecting the three new products is Telstra's "single, self-service portal with on-demand functionality", Jones added. This platform will house the SDN and NFV solutions.

Cisco, which has a long-standing cloud, communications, and collaboration partnership with Telstra, said the combined effort would leverage both companies' strengths.

"Software and virtualisation are set to transform the network and customer experience for thousands of businesses everywhere," said Kelly Ahuja, Cisco senior vice president of Service Provider Business, Products, and Solutions.

"By combining Cisco's agile and flexible software platform with Telstra's customer-focused and customer-friendly range of products, we send a powerful message to the industry and a provide a clear example of how to develop and design the network services of tomorrow."

Telstra in January unveiled two additional functions for its SDN PEN Platform, allowing customers to procure virtual network functions and make digital partnerships on demand.

The first of the two new SDN services, called PEN Exchange, enabled customers to connect their network services with those of other PEN customers.

The second of the SDN service enhancements was PEN Marketplace, which the telco described as a basic online hub through which organisations can order NFV equipment in real time, including routers and firewalls, with a choice of various vendors.

Prior to Tuesday's announcement, Telstra's PEN Platform had 26 points of presence across Beijing, Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Los Angeles, New York, Tianjin, Taipei, Hong Kong, London, San Jose, and New Jersey.

In October, Telstra additionally announced a partnership with HP, F5 Networks, and Alcatel-Lucent startup Nuage Networks to design a proof of concept for a multi-vendor NFV solution, certified by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

HP's OpenNFV virtualisation framework provides an end-to-end networking service, from ordering to deployment, operations, provisioning, and management, with ISO seven-layer stack fulfilment.

It is open to equipment providers, software vendors, and systems integrators, allowing telcos to choose between the vendors and components on offer that are most appropriate for their needs.

Under the collaboration project, HP's Helion CloudSystem framework was paired with F5 Networks' virtualised network functions, as well as Nuage Networks' virtual services platform.

Telstra's involvement in the proof of concept provided an opportunity for the telco to test the use and implications of software-defined networking-led NFV for network fault correction.

"Telstra has a strong working relationship with HP and other organisations, with the goal of furthering our NFV strategies and programs through proof of concepts and field trials," David Robertson, Telstra Operations director of Transport and Routing Engineering for Networks, said at the time.

"Partnering with multiple vendors helps us to deliver impactful virtualisation and orchestration capabilities within a flexible architectural framework. As service providers look to build seamless application delivery networks, vendors that have qualified their technologies with the industry's standardisation groups are seen as more attractive to customers."

Telstra also renewed a deal at the end of 2014 to use Ericsson optical network equipment and services to build out its SDN and NFV offerings.

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