Virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE) can be used in SD-WAN implementations to reduce the the number and cost of physical hardware appliances required at the customer premises for hosting connectivity and other SD-WAN functions. By deploying commodity hardware platforms either in end-user locations or centralized data centers, operators can remotely instantiate, configure, and manage a variety of WAN services and functions.
The vCPE approach is a new model for delivering WAN services. Previously, CPE consisted of specialized hardware provided by the service provider (think of a set-top box such as those use in the cable industry) which were deployed at the end-user location. Installing this equipment often required sending network technicians onsite to provision and configure CPE. This could result costly deployments. vCPE enables the deployment and configuration of the services to be executed virtually, using the cloud.
SDxCentral research has found that vCPE is often recognized as one of the leading use cases of the SDN movement, as the NFV model for service deployment from the cloud gains momentum. By deploying a cloud platform using vCPE for customer connections, service providers can install one NFV platform that uses a consistent management and orchestration approach to deliver a wide range of virtual services. Both service providers and end users have frequently cited the appeal of such a software-centric approach, which they expect to give them more fexibility and agility in managing network services.
Today, CPE can be used to deliver a number network functions such as firewall, access control, applications delivery, WAN optimization, policy management, and discovering and connecting devices on the customer site. There is a wide range of technology aiming to virtualize, automate, and provision WAN services using the SD-WAN software model.
The listings below provider technology vendors supplying vCPE products that might be used in SD-WAN deployments by either service providers or enterprise end users.
- *Brocade Communications: Brocade Vyatta Network OS
- *Ericsson: Ericsson Cloud VPN
- *Huawei: Huawei AR1000V Virtual Router
- *Juniper Networks: Cloud CPE
- *Netcracker: NEC/Netcracker NaaS
- *Sonus Networks: SBC SWe
- *Tempered Networks: Identity-Defined Networking (IDN) Solution
- 6WIND: 6WIND Turbo Router
- ADVA Optical Networking: FSP 150 ProVM
- Accedian Networks Inc.: SkyLIGHT VCX Controller
- Adtran: Virtual Network Function (VNF) Solution Suite
- Brain4Net: B4N vCPE
- Ciena: Ciena 3906mvi Service Virtualization Switch
- ECI: Mercury uCPE
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE): HPE vCPE Solution
- Metaswitch Networks: Metaswitch Perimeta Session Border Controller
- Nokia: Dynamic Enterprise Cloud CPE
- OneAccess Networks: Open Virtualization Platform
- Open Networking Lab (ON.LAB): Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter
- RAD: ETX-2i vCPE Platform
- Wind River: Titanium Server
- Wipro Limited: vCPE
- iPhotonix: iPhotonix GSX 100 Universal Access Software