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vCPE is real world business opportunity and this presentation from Brocade’s Robert McBride and Yogesh Kumar will help you navigate the advantages and disadvantages of vCPE in the cloud or premise. In this journey to deploying vCPE in the cloud or premise, selecting the right partners and understanding the myriad of deployment models is key. Even though vCPE offers the promise of decreased operational time and convenient service generation, we need to keep in mind that not all VNFs are created equal. Read the below Q&A from for more.
What is the maximum performance of a single Brocade vRouter VNF?
Brocade: The Brocade vRouter has been validated by both Telefonica and SDxCentral for performance – proving 80+ G/bps as a single virtual machine deployment. There is no pre-determined limit to the performance capability of the Brocade vRouter. The performance is tied to the platform and the characteristics of the server/compute platform – meaning clock speed, bus capacity and speed, quantity of cores, and of course type and quantity of network interfaces.
What VIM or VNFM can be utilized with the Brocade vRouter for cloud–based vCPE?
Brocade: The Brocade vRouter can be orchestrated by OpenStack, and has various plugins that are validated for distributions from Red Hat and others, that would address the typical virtual infrastructure management (VIM). From a VNF management, the Brocade vRouter has libraries and interoperability with solutions offered by OpenDaylight or the Tacker Project under OpenStack. Additionally, the Brocade vRouter has been leveraged and brought into solutions from our partners (such as Overture, Ciena, Red Hat, and HP) that also have VIM and VNFM for network functions virtualization (NFV) solutions.
How does the licensing work? Is there any central server with a license pool? And does the number of licenses in the pool get reduced once vCPE comes up?
Brocade: The Brocade vRouter is licensed based on vCPU usage for the Data Plane currently. This is fulfilled by utilizing activation codes to entitle the Brocade vRouter for the purchased number of vCPUs. The current license structure is not based on a per instance of Brocade vRouter installations, but based on the quantity of vCPUs you purchase – which can be allocated to the number of Brocade vRouters and their data plane allocation today.
Could you please describe more clearly how vRouter is related to vCPE?
Brocade: In a vCPE platform, there will be number of VNFs; some providing new value added services and a VNF that will perform the typical CPE function, like routing, NAT, ACLs, QoS, etc. It will typically be a vRouter. This is the VNF where the connection from WAN terminates and this then connects to others service VNFs forming a service chain on the vCPE platform. Brocade vRouter can provide these and more advanced functions on vCPE platform.
Brocade: The Brocade vRouter is a Multi-function VNF. It offers all features and services within a single package. Deployment options may dictate to have a separate installation of Brocade vRouter as a Firewall, and another installation for routing VNF services. In summary, the product supports all capability as a single VNF deployment. The vRouter is not licensed by feature sets today
Since you use one VNF for your vRouter, how does this facilitate service chaining across the different functions? Would you do this the same way using VLANs or PBR?
Brocade: SFC (service function chaining) can be done in a number of different ways. Since the vRouter is just a VNF, it would leverage functions like PBR and VLANs to map the appropriate traffic in a defined chain as one method that would be supported today
Does the price remain the same whether you use one or multiple functions?
Brocade: Brocade vRouter is licensed by vCPU in fixed term (subscription) or perpetual term based licenses. The product does not have individual feature licenses today.
Where does the vRouter get deployed? On the edge CORD pod or the core CORD pod?
Brocade: The Brocade vRouter can be deployed in either the Core or Edge CORD depending on your use case and general architecture. In response to the specific webinar and the conversation of vCPE – the Brocade vRouter would be likely deployed at the edge CORD.
How does that compare to your competitors?
Brocade: The Brocade vRouter competes with a number of other VNFs currently in the market. The positioning and deployment location may vary depending on the functionality of the VNFs being offered. If you would like a more detailed competitive view of the portfolio, please reach out to Brocade for a meeting. However, as a note: The way Brocade vRouter is architected, it is one of the leanest in utilization of compute resources, especially CPU threads. It offer highest throughput for a given vCPE resource. Comparing performance should also consider PPS, not just throughput. The vRouter resource efficiency also means it can deliver the same bandwidth at much smaller packet sizes. This is the result of architecting vRouter data plane from ground up, using DPDK, for virtualization. One key advantage Brocade vRouter has is that it doesn’t have the legacy of data plane written for proprietary ASICs and doesn’t have to emulate those ASICS.
What server hardware is needed for the Brocade vRouter?
Brocade: Brocade vRouter supports any Intel base x86 compute platform – ranging from Atom to Xeon based processors. The Brocade vRouter does leverage DPDK, so it is important for the compute and NIC be of a generation that supports DPDK as well to ensure end to end performance and quality. Please always reference the Brocade vRouter Data sheet to see a list of NICs that are supported.
What other NFV use cases does the Brocade vRouter address or support?
Brocade: The Brocade vRouter can be leveraged for FW, routing, NAT, and VPN for a variety of NFV use cases. In general, a use case that requires VNFaaS, can leverage the Brocade vRouter VNF in that solution – examples could be the vRouter within a vIMS solution, or as a standalone VNF offering value add services such as NAT to existing offerings.
What about tenanting between multiple enterprise groups in the same building as the vCPE (servicing more than one group)?
Brocade: Multi-tenancy can be accomplished by utilizing PBR, VLANS, VRFs, and embedded firewall capabilities to ensure security between distinct groups, as well as separate instances of VNFs like the Brocade vRouter per group. To get a more comprehensive understanding of the product and positioning, please contact us for a meeting.