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Verizon launches virtualized services for enterprises

ICYMI: Verizon launches VNF service to enterprises; Ethernet organizations plan 2.5, 5 GbE plugfest for fall and Riverbed beefs up SteelCentral.

Verizon is launching a virtualized services offering for enterprises, aimed at growing its presence in the emerging SDN and NFV marketplace. Called Virtual Network Services, the product is intended to aid businesses in transitioning to a virtual infrastructure.

The new service -- delivered via an appliance at the customer's site with cloud-based virtual functionality available this fall -- includes security, SD-WAN and WAN optimization tools from vendors Cisco, Juniper Networks, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, Viptela and Riverbed Technology. Verizon says that it wants virtualized services to allow its clients to manage "living" networks, which are able to change quickly.

"The way in which network services are delivered is going through an unprecedented shift -- the biggest we've seen since the broad adoption of MPLS," said Shawn Hakl, vice president of networking and innovation, in a statement. "Today the network is transitioning to a virtualized model using similar technology that drove the disruption in the data center market," he added.

Verizon's virtualized services package comes on the heels of a similar move by AT&T, which launched its Network Functions on Demand service in mid-July.

Ethernet and NBASE-T Alliances partner

The Ethernet Alliance and NBASE-T Alliance announced a collaboration to accelerate deployment of 2.5 and 5 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and said they are scheduling a plugfest multivendor interoperability event at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory this fall.

"The availability of tested, interoperable equipment conforming to a single standard will drive future generations of advanced network performance and innovative new applications," said John D'Ambrosia, chairman of the Ethernet Alliance, in a statement.

The new Ethernet protocols, an upgrade to the 20-year-old 1 GBE standard, are expected to be formally ratified in September. The new speeds will allow enterprises to support multi-gigabit transmission of wired and wireless data without requiring any changes in the underlying cable infrastructure.

The groups said they'll share results of the interoperability testing, which is scheduled for the week of Oct. 10.

Riverbed acquires end-user experience monitoring firm

Riverbed Technology acquired Aternity Inc., a Westborough, Mass.-based developer of software that lets companies understand what end users are experiencing when they access a mobile or desktop application.

No financial details were disclosed about the transaction, which is expected to close next month.

Riverbed said it would incorporate Aternity's software within its SteelCentral performance monitoring platform, thus extending SteelCentral's visibility to end-user devices.

"With the increased use of mobile devices, virtual desktop environments and the cloud, the ability to manage end-user experience has become more important and complex for IT organizations," said Riverbed CEO Jerry Kennelly, in a statement.

Aternity now monitors more than 1.7 million mobile, virtual and workforce endpoints, according to Riverbed.

The Aternity acquisition is the second major purchase Riverbed has made this year. In January, it bought SD-WAN provider Ocedo, whose technology underpinned SteelCentral, an SD-WAN product Riverbed released in April.

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