France-based OneAccess Networks today unveiled an array of virtual network functions (VNFs) for service providers to supply to their enterprise customers. The VNFs are offered on a new range of white-box hardware, also from OneAccess.
“The problem with [most] white boxes is: Once you start to put VNFs on them from established brand players, that consumes a lot of the resources of the white box,” says Pravin Mirchandani, chief marketing officer for OneAccess. “We’re bringing a package. The primary product is the software that sits on the white box.”
The 16-year-old company’s core business has been designing and selling routers to telcos. It counts about 110 telcos as customers, mostly in Europe. But with this new network functions virtualization (NFV) offering, OneAccess is setting its sights on North American service providers, too.
“It’s very much global,” says Mirchandani. “But in particular for white box, we’re finding more interest from North America than Europe. In Europe the operators have spent a lot of time to get the price of access platforms down to an attractive price point more aggressively than in North America. The economics [of white box] don’t stack up as easily in Europe.”
“Cisco is not very much in favor of white boxes,” says Mirchandani. “It would like to protect its traditional equipment.”
But he notes that Juniper has been willing to work with white-box hardware.
In late 2014, Juniper said it would offer its own white-box switch, built around Open Compute Project specs and running its Junos operating system. And in 2015, Juniper rolled out its NFX250 that can run VNFs from Juniper and third parties, simultaneously.
When he announced the NFX250, Juniper’s CEO Rami Rahim said he wanted to “transform the economics of networking,” and he talked about licensing flexibility.
Mirchandani says OneAccess has created push reporting for its VNF licensing so that operators are free to move their VNFs around as they like. For instance, if an operator wants to replicate a VNF in additional data centers, the VNF reports its own licensing event, and the operator doesn’t experience any delays.
OneAccess intends to target more the small to midsized business segment, while it sees Juniper as more of a VNF and hardware provider to very large enterprises.
Today’s new OneAccess products include:
- The Open Virtualization Platform (OVP), which lays the foundation for hosting, chaining, and managing OneAccess and other VNFs. OVP combines white-box hardware with the management and programmability afforded by Netconf.
- A catalogue of VNFs that includes a vRouter as well as VNFs for a session border controller, a WAN optimization controller, and VPN services. All OneAccess VNFs can be run in a virtualized data center, can be composed into specific service bundles, and can be run in combination with other vendors’ VNFs.
- A range of white-box customer premises equipment (CPE) that can run OneAccess and other vendors’ VNFs, where both the platform and the VNFs can be directly integrated into service providers’ management systems using Netconf and YANG.