Cisco, Verizon Team Up To Expand Virtual Network Services For Businesses

Verizon Business is adding Cisco’s Enterprise Network Compute System to its Virtualized Network Services portfolio to help Cisco-minded Verizon customers more easily virtualize their enterprise networks.

Cisco Systems and Verizon want to help businesses build out agile networking infrastructure, especially in light of new IT demands due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Verizon Business Thursday said that it is growing its Virtualized Network Services (VNS) portfolio with the addition of Cisco’s Enterprise Network Compute System (ENCS) to its existing catalog of compute devices. Cisco's ENCS platform will now be included within Verizon’s catalog of virtual network functions and service chains available to its customers, according to the Basking Ridge, N.J.-based carrier.

Verizon’s VNS portfolio of white-box offerings lets customers replace traditional network devices, such as routers, firewalls and switches, with virtual network functions. These functions can then be managed from one central location. Network virtualization can help businesses on their path to digital network transformation because it reduces or removes the need for manual intervention, Verizon said.

Sponsored post

[Related: Cisco's Chuck Robbins To Partners: Now Is The Time To Work On Business Recovery]

Verizon's VNS portfolio is available today through channel partners. The Cisco ENCS platform within Verizon's portfolio is in the process of being productized for Verizon's channel partners, according to a spokesperson for Verizon.

The addition of the Cisco ENCS compute platform can help Verizon Business customers with a preference for Cisco’s ecosystem easily deploy agile enterprise networking solutions, said Scott Harrell, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Intent-Based Networking Group.

Virtual network functions can be provisioned remotely, so new services can be launched by channel partners immediately, a benefit for solution providers during the COVID-19 pandemic when they can't visit customer sites.

San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco six months ago signaled a major shift in its approach to networking when it unveiled a new networking silicon architecture called Cisco Silicon One, which Cisco said would be available to third-party companies looking to add high-performance networking to their infrastructures. Cisco also introduced the Cisco 8000 router platform, which the company said would help service providers keep costs down when building out and operating large-scale networks. Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins at the time said that the new technology would be especially useful as carriers design and build their large-scale 5G networks.

Global networks have been bombarded as a result of the pandemic with video calling and messaging increasing dramatically, according to Jonathan Davidson, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Mass-Scale Infrastructure Group, during the Cisco Live 2020 digital event. Verizon told Cisco that at the height of the pandemic, the carrier saw 9 billion text messages in a single 24-hour period, Davidson said.

"What we are building here with service providers is critical infrastructure. It requires massive scale and it requires that infrastructure be completely trustworthy," he said. "It's critical we have the capabilities to stay connected at this time."