Service providers and enterprise network operators would like to simplify the way that Wide Area Network (WAN) connectivity and applications are purchased, provisioned, and managed. Whether it’s an enterprise network manager trying to build a WAN, a consumer connecting to broadband, or a service provider building a new WAN service, network end users are tired of complicated, proprietary networks that require specialized knowledge and complicated configurations. In addition, service providers would like a more simple way to push services out to their customers.
Service providers and enterprises are taking a page from the software-defined networking (SDN) and networking functions virtualization (NFV) world to do this – by applying software-defined principles to the WAN and the network edge, where the customer plugs into WAN services. The network edge is traditionally the land of specialized proprietary equipment – including routers, Network Interface Devices (NIDs) and Customer Premises Equipment (CPE). The industry is aiming to change that, replacing specialized gear with commodity hardware that can be rapidly updated and provisioned from the cloud, with open software.