RAD, an Israel-based company that’s been around since 1981, created a virtual network function (VNF) named vAccess. The software helps service providers monitor the other VNFs they have running on white box servers. And vAccess also helps them interface their white boxes with other physical network connections in their architectures.
The vAccess software works with any white box over any access. The application can run on a white box from RAD or from any other vendor, said Lior Mishan, head of marketing at RAD. Likewise, the operating system for the white box could be from RAD or a different vendor.
Mishan explained that the vAccess VNF provides two capabilities: it does performance monitoring of other VNFs, and it provides interfaces for any type of access network.
“Operators like white boxes because of the cost reduction,” said Mishan. “But these don’t come with monitoring capabilities. VAccess checks the performance of the other VNFs on that white box such as vRouter and vFirewall and allows the operator to confirm the other VNFs are functioning properly.” It can also check the performance of software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) technologies.
In addition, the software helps service providers connect their white boxes with their legacy physical network for centralized management. In terms of the connectivity part of the “access,” the software works with boxes that are handling MPLS, gigabit passive optical network (GPON), xDSL, and wireless.
White boxes sometimes lack connectivity options that cannot always be virtualized, yet are still required by operators, according to RAD. Its vAccess bridges these gaps by supplementing universal CPEs (uCPEs) with universal access. It does this by creating interfaces via its pluggable physical network functions.
“Using those pluggables allows the operator to use the same white box,” said Mishan.
The company said vAccess is already in use by a Tier 1 operator in North America where it is helping to extend the service provider’s uCPE beyond fiber access to provide a consistent portfolio of services. This is important because traditional TDM circuits still make up 20 percent to 30 percent of deployments, especially in rural sites, according to RAD.