Change is definitely the operative word in the Carrier marketplace at the moment. As new competitors have emerged, and user expectations for what is possible have expanded, there is a serious effort on the part of carriers to innovate and find opportunities to establish leadership in the delivery of new value-added services.
Of course, this has required a close look at, and in some cases a complete rearchitecting of some Carrier’s source of competitive advantage – their extensive and high performing network infrastructure. At Light Reading’s Big Communications Event in Austin last week, a glimpse of the future was on full display. Carriers, vendors, carrier competitors, and customers were on hand to hear about how Carriers will adapt to the changing reality of tomorrow’s networking demands. Fortinet was proud to be a part of that mix.
As a leading provider of carrier-class solutions, Fortinet is focused on providing a key enabler of this new carrier future – security. Security is recognized as an essential element to support the adoption of cloud, the delivery of managed services, the successful implementation of 5G, and the coming Internet of Things (IoT). High performance Carrier Security is also key to the here and now – ensuring that the infrastructure that delivers mobile services, LTE capabilities, remote and on-demand datacenter infrastructure, IMS networks – and a host of other critical carrier functions – remain available and efficient. Fortinet is proud to deliver those services as well.
What about tomorrow? At BCE we took part in a groundbreaking Live Interoperability demo sponsored by the New IP Agency, NIA, where we showed how our Fortigate-VM functions as a VNF (virtual network function), providing next gen Firewall Security Functions in a service chain. Twelve vendors participated in this activity, showing how real functionality could be built using virtual functions. Fortinet was tested in various orchestrated service chains, working in concert with solution elements from Adva, Ciena, Ubiqube, Juniper, and Ixia. The Fortigate-VM performed exceptionally as both VNF and vCPE (virtual customer premises equipment). It even played a role in demoing how bandwidth could be borrowed from one traffic flow for use on another. You can see the results here
We also had something to say about the future, as Fortinet’s Tyson Macaulay participated in a thought provoking conversation on a panel moderated by Patrick Donegan of Light Reading, on Service Provider Security Strategies. The subjects ranged from segmentation strategies for IOT to implication of SDN (software defined networks) and NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) on security strategies.
It was very interesting to not only see what is coming, but to also see how much preparation has already taken place for the changes on the horizon. I am very happy to report that the future is here, and Fortinet is ready.