The VNF offering, called Easy Go Network, is a first step in the service provider’s network-as-a-service (NaaS) strategy.
“The security functions are virtualized at the PoP level,” says Pierre-Louis Biaggi, VP of the connectivity business unit at Orange Business Services. “This is our first step. We are virtualizing at the core first.”
The initial security VNF is offered through Orange’s VPN service.
Orange ships the customer an x86 server, which the customer simply plugs in for Internet access. The x86 is a small Cisco box that Orange configured to be self-installed.
“It’s fully orchestrated and deployed in our SDN engine that will be the basis for all our solutions,” said Biaggi, referring to the Ciena and Juniper software-defined networking (SDN) products.
The security functions being offered via Fortinet include firewall, web content protection, URL filtering, and malware defense.
Ultimately, Orange plans to offer a variety of VNFs via its Easy Go Network, including traffic acceleration, application visibility, and unified communications, including WiFi management. The provider also plans to eventually use Easy Go Network for its SD-WAN service, which currently rides on Cisco’s IWAN technology.
For Small Branch VPNs
The Easy Go Network service is targeted to small branch office sites to provide VNFs via online self-service ordering. Biaggi says Orange has a lot of customers who have small sites, such as retail outlets. These customers need VPNs for these sites, and they’d like to have security functions. But the deployment times for these services have been a pain for customers.
Easy Go Network is pitched as a way to get VPN with security in a flexible manner that can be hooked up or disconnected within minutes. Customers pay as they use it on a month-to-month basis; there’s no long-term commitment.
Orange has tested Easy Go Network in a year-long trial with its business customers. The service will be available in 75 countries by the end of 2016.
Today, eight PoPs comprise Orange’s SDN. It’s in the process of expanding that network to 40 PoPs by the end of 2018. It’s also planning to launch a universal CPE for larger sites in 2017.