The CTO of Masergy Communications will give a keynote presentation at Light Reading’s NFV Everywhere conference Wednesday afternoon, and his spokespeople tell us he’s likely to share the company’s experience with virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE), one of the hottest use cases for NFV today.
In June 2015, Masergy launched an online portal called Virtual f(n), for customers to order two vCPE elements — Brocade virtual routers and Fortinet virtual firewalls — with additional pieces such as session border controllers and WAN accelerators to be added in the future. Virtual f(n) is targeted for mid- to small-sized businesses with bandwidth requirements up to 100 Mb/s.
Tim Naramore, CTO of Masergy, says “There were lots of lessons learned [regarding vCPE], but the most important was to focus on solving a real business problem for the customer. This guided us through the year-long development cycle and helped decide direction multiple times when technical obstacles presented themselves. This approach has been validated by our customers.”
The vCPE moves the intelligence of on-premises gear into the cloud. It allows businesses to enable new end-user services without truck rolls, and it reduces network operating expenses, according to SDxCentral’s NFV Use Cases page.
Naramore blogs that the top three use cases for NFV are:
- Switching, applied by elements such as broadband network gateways and routers.
- Security and analysis via firewalls, virus scanners and intrusion detection systems.
- Signaling with session border controllers and IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) components.
Not surprisingly, Naramore’s top NFV use cases involve things that Masergy does.
In February, the company launched a cloud-based vCPE router, enabling customers with less complex routing needs to avoid deploying physical routers and to centralize control. In 2011, Masergy introduced a cloud-based managed firewall that can sit next to the closest Internet peering location, eliminating backhauling while retaining centralized control. And as mentioned above, virtual session border controllers are coming soon to Virtual f(n).