Legacy customer premises equipment (CPE) poses a real barrier for service providers driven to differentiate offerings and deploy platforms for upselling on-demand services. Expensive to maintain, difficult to manage, and impossible to upgrade remotely, most on-premise CPE acts as a bottleneck for operators who want to quickly and dynamically change the types of network services they offer at branch offices.
A new use case from Brocade outlines how operators can innovate and upgrade the legacy business CPE by creating an on-premise virtual CPE (vCPE). In this video, Brocade’s Robert McBride explains how a vCPE solution virtualizes common network functions onto a commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) platform to provide more architecture for branch offices.
Traditional CPE involves multiple purpose-built appliances to deliver functions such as firewall, VPN, routing, or WAN optimization. This set-up poses complex problems for operators who want to quickly replace, troubleshoot, maintain, or configure the functions. McBride outlines how providers can replace legacy CPEs with COTS platforms that provide a virtual infrastructure on which to host virtual network functions (VNFs).
Of course, consolidating multiple, hardware-based appliances onto a single COTS server poses its own challenges. Not only must providers virtualize, deploy, and instantiate the various services and network functions being utilized at the premise – they also must manage the lifecycles of the VNFs being located on the COTS platform.
McBride explains how Brocade’s vRouter acts as the core VNF, supplying routing, VPN and firewall in one package, while key management and orchestration (MANO) systems help provision, monitor and manage the vCPE platform as well as the VNFs that constitute the solution. The framework also manages the instantiation of existing service or new services so providers can rapidly introduce new functionality into the vCPE.
The solution can be blended into hybrid deployments with some network functions running in CO (central office) or POP (point-of-presence) locations, or utilized in its pure form in situations where existing POP/COs do not have the ability to accommodate servers.
To learn more, check out the on-premise vCPE use case sheet and watch the video, or check out Brocade’s website. Learn about other SDN and NFV use cases on the new use cases section of our site, where we define and categorize the most common SDN and NFV use cases to help you get the most out of the technologies.