AT&T announces its Embracing Cloud Principles for its Network

AT&T announced its User-Defined Network Cloud which is kind of puzzling.  So, the current network is a non-user defined specialized equipment environment where people (mostly men) picked their favorite equipment in self serving perspectives thinking of their jobs and users should trust these people to be the experience they wanted? This was the old way, but technology is moving too fast, and users expectations are growing.  Here is a graphic that illustrates the change AT&T is making.


NFV aims to address these problems by evolving standard IT virtualization technology to consolidate
many network equipment types onto industry standard high volume servers, switches and storage that
can be located in data centers, network PoPs or on customer premises. As shown in Figure 2, this
involves the implementation of network functions in software, called VNFs, that can run on a range of
general purpose hardware, and that can be moved to, or instantiated in, various locations in the
network as required, without the need for installation of new equipment.

The document that has this graphic is here.

Here is another graphic that shows the change.


Here is the blog post from AT&T’s John Donovan.  I think if John had added these simple graphics to his blog post it would have communicated much more clearly what AT&T is doing.

I found this information thanks to GigaOm’s Kevin Fitchard post.

Software is eating the mobile network, too, as AT&T begins its journey into the cloud




photo: Gigaom Illustration

AT&T is taking the first steps toward transforming its network into a data center. It’s not touching the cellular network — at least not yet — but it will start virtualizing its mobile core and application infrastructure.