Virtual CPE

Virtual CPE (vCPE)

Virtual Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) aims at providing a number of network functions such as routing, security, VPN, NAT, WAN optimization, access control etc. at customer premises by implementing select network functions in software that can run on industry-standard servers. Network devices are virtualized using ETSI NFV framework to replace traditional CPEs with lightweight versions, moving common functions and complex traffic handling into POP (points-of-presence) or a centralized Datacenter.

The vCPE solution enables IT to offer multiple services to lines of business that require different physical devices from multiple vendors. The solution delivers huge CapEx and OpEx savings for hundreds of remote locations and accelerates service activation.

The vCPE solution has emerged as the prominent use-case for Network Function VirtualizationMany Service Providers (CSP, MSP), System Integrators and Enterprises (with distributed locations such as Retail Branch offices, ATMs) have adopted vCPE to dynamically adjust the capacity as per the customer demand.

Anuta ATOM vCPE Solution

Anuta ATOM vCPE solution configures the CPE network functions as required by the enterprise on an x86 server (Branch-in-a box). The CPE functionality can be virtualized on the branch server using virtual appliances for network functions such as Router, NAT, VPN, and ZBFW.

On-Demand Spinning of Virtual appliances:
One of the main challenges of deploying a Virtual CPE solution would be the on-demand installation of virtual appliances and their management. With Anuta ATOM, orchestrating a multivendor solution in the virtual environment can be done in a few minutes. ATOM supports deployments on a host or a cluster with support for multiple Hypervisors. Virtual appliance OVAs can be customized to suit customer requirements.

All virtual devices can be spun at the time of service instantiation using ATOM and need not be pre-provisioned for each service rollout.

Centralized Policy change and control:

In a distributed network with virtual CPEs, policy change & control can be difficult as virtual appliances and services are loosely tied together. Anuta ATOM overcomes the above challenges using a Server-Agent Model wherein the ATOM Server sits in the central Datacenter and a thin ATOM agent resides on the Branch Server. The ATOM Agent VMs monitor the local environment within the branch while the ATOM Server VM can deploy granular network-wide policy changes affecting some or all branches.

Hybrid Architecture:

ATOM will provision all the physical network elements that are part of the Network Service along with the virtual appliances that are spun during service instantiation. This gives the administrator flexibility in choosing the appropriate service design. If the service can be deployed on physical devices, it can be deployed using any combination of supported virtual or physical devices using ATOM. Enterprises have the flexibility to decide on the appropriate mix of on-device or virtualized capabilities from multiple vendors using ATOM.

Service VM Placement:

ATOM provides the flexibility to choose where the virtual appliances can be provisioned based on different criteria such as affinity between tenant or application VMs and service VMs and HA requirements for the service VMs. It is also possible to deploy certain virtual elements of a service on one host and another set of virtual elements on a different host using ATOM.

Virtual Appliance Licensing:

Managing the licenses of a huge number of Virtual devices manually is an administrative overhead. Also, it is difficult for the administrator to keep track of new features that are added for each virtual appliance sourced from several vendors. ATOM manages the licensing for each virtual device instance of a network service for all supported vendor devices. ATOM pulls the appropriate licenses from a Central License Server and uses during instantiation of the service. Alternatively, the administrator can create a license pool using ATOM to manage license manually.

Monitoring Device Performance and Resource Planning:

Managing the virtual appliance performance, network health, utilization of resources and resource planning for onboarding new services across the network can be difficult using conventional Virtualization techniques and OSS/BSS methodologies. Anuta ATOM vCPE solution will help organizations in installing the virtual appliances on demand, orchestrating new services and managing the physical and virtual infrastructure using the ATOM Element Manager.

ATOM can monitor CPU, memory and other network parameters of each virtual appliance on demand or using a scheduled inventory run. In addition, resource utilization at a service level such as IP address pool exhaustion, VLANs, VRFs etc. can be monitored and resource limits can be enforced by the admin at any time using ATOM Virtualized Infrastructure Manager. Using Anuta ATOM orchestration suite, entire service chains can be provisioned from a single user interface and the admin has an overall view of the network reducing the chance for inconsistent device configurations.

Patch Management:

ATOM upgrades and patches can be applied in a non-disruptive manner. Any service deployed and running whether it is physical, virtual or hybrid will not be impacted during an upgrade/patch to ATOM. When the upgraded ATOM VM comes back online, all service definitions and tenant offerings will remain intact and there is no need to define the services again.

Using Anuta ATOM, TCL reduced CPE provisioning time from 60 minutes to 5 minutes.Learn more about Anuta ATOM