AT&T Signs Direct-Sale SDN Pact With Juniper Networks

AT&T is teaming up with Juniper Networks to inject software-defined networking (SDN) functionality into the AT&T Integrated Cloud (AIC) infrastructure.

Juniper's SDN platform Contrail Networking automates and orchestrates the creation of highly scalable virtual networks by integrating with physical routers and switches. Contrail is powered by open standards-based technology that rivals Cisco's SDN products, which take a less vendor-agnostic approach. AT&T will use open-sourced Contrail to help automate, scale and accelerate the deployment of new applications and network services within its AIC infrastructure so customers will be able to easily customize their cloud environments, the company said in a statement.

While this partnership was the result of a direct sale engagement between Juniper and AT&T, Juniper has an ecosystem of partners - including Ericsson, Mirantis and Amdocs - that the vendor works with closely to develop solutions to meet customers’ specific needs, a Juniper spokesperson said.

[Related: Juniper Targets Cisco With Launch Of New Enterprise Architecture]

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Telecom billing software provider and AT&T partner BluLogix sees NFV as the next generation of services that VARs and MSPs will be reselling from upstream providers such as AT&T and Juniper, said Tim Cook, founder and CEO of Great Falls, Va.-based BluLogix.

Cook believes that this partnership is a natural extension of both companies' existing businesses because network function virtualization, or NFV, facilitates the evolution of selling and supporting hardware-based LAN and WAN solutions that are more cost effective, secure, and more scalable for VARs and MSPs, he said.

"With NFV, the essential functions are not new -- it is how these functions are delivered via the cloud," Cook said. "The challenge for most VARs and MSPs is not the delivery of these services but re-tooling their businesses to effectively manage the process of provisioning, de-provisioning and (the) monetization of these services."

AT&T declined to provide any additional details regarding this announcement.

Last week AT&T also launched its Managed Internet Service on Demand, the latest addition to its SDN-enabled Network on Demand platform. In an effort to add more SDN capabilities into the platform and reach more customers, AT&T is working with an ecosystem of next-generation networking vendors including Cisco and Brocade, as well as Juniper Networks, which was publicized in a separate announcement.