Road to virtualizing CPE
Enterprises and Service Providers spend billions of dollars installing, configuring, and maintaining customer premises equipment (CPE), for enterprise and residential customers. Residential sites are typically equipped with multiple CPEs such as set-top boxes, storage and home gateways whereas the enterprise branch sites are equipped with dedicated appliances providing network functions such as routing, firewall, VPN, NAT, access control, bandwidth and policy management.
NFV aims at reducing the number of individual devices by virtualizing the network functions, and enables remote hosting, configuration, and management of functions traditionally resident at the customer premises. Further, NFV implements the Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) using commercial off-the shelf (COTS) servers thus reducing the overall CapEx.
Virtual CPE Solution
The Virtual CPE (vCPE) solution delivers the CPE functionality by consolidating many network functions on an X-86 server (Branch in a box model). The server will host VNFs such as Virtual router with FW, NAT and VPN, Virtual WAN optimization, Virtual Wireless LAN controller etc. In due time, many of these functions can be shifted to COTS servers hosted in Service Provider or Enterprise private cloud for better manageability and control.
The vCPE solution results in huge CapEx and OpEx savings as large enterprise customers and MSPs can support thousands of remote locations from their cloud. Further, the remote branches can be on-boarded within hours improving business agility.
vCPE Orchestration – Anuta NCX
One of the main barriers for deploying a Virtual CPE solution is the on-demand installation, management and service chaining of VNFs from multiple vendors.
Anuta NCX delivers vCPE functionality by orchestrating and service chaining network functions such as routing, VPN, firewall, security, WAN Optimization, etc. using VNFs from multiple vendors. Services can be deployed on demand within minutes.
NCX virtual appliance life cycle manager enables operators to customize the VNF configuration, activate licenses, and monitor the VNF performance and availability. The NCX service orchestrator instantiates new VNFs to dynamically scale-up and scale-down the network.
Anuta NCX supports
• Multi-vendor VNFs
• On Demand VNF instantiation
• Centralized Policy change and control
• VNF service chaining
• Starting, Stopping and Deletion of VNF Services on-demand
• VNF Performance Monitoring and Resource Planning
• VNF life cycle management including licensing, image management, dynamic scaling, disaster Recovery, backup and cloning of VNFs.
Anuta NCX enables Enterprises and Service Providers to offer Virtual CPE services on-demand within minutes while reducing the overall CapEx and OpEx.
For more information, check out our NCX page.
– Puravi Rajan Chetti, August 19th, 2014.