AT&T hopes to “virtualize and control over 75 percent of our network using this new architecture by 2020.”
That’s the word from John Donovan, AT&T’s SVP of technology and operations. In an end-of-year blog, Donovan called the 2020 target an “ambitious” one, but ran down a list of steps AT&T has already taken to accomplish that goal.
Many of the new features allow customers more control over the network, but the network itself is also getting more intelligent.
As the name suggests, the new software-defined network (SDN) allows AT&T to make changes to the network simply by installing new software.
“Since our Mobile World Congress announcement, we’ve already begun to virtualize and put into production critical network functions such as Domain Name Service (DNS), Network Analytics, Intelligent Data Platform, and Virtualized Provider Edge Router, improving cycle time, elasticity, and operational efficiency,” Donovan said in the blog.
Donovan said that AT&T has already launched its Network on Demand, which allows customers to adjust their network speeds as needed, and dial back down when traffic recedes. Among other things, AT&T Labs Advanced Technologies team launched quality-of-service technology in its data centers that detects which applications a customer is running and intelligently allocates bandwidth for the most critical tasks.