Why do we want to virtualize the network – especially the WAN? As we mentioned, there are benefits to both the providers and the consumers.
Much of the functionality that CPE has come to contain – including modems, switches, routers, firewalls, VoIP servers, DCHP servers, wireless controllers, management – can be pulled out and executed in software, in a virtual instance in the enterprise/carrier’s cloud/data center (vCPE) and in some cases, on new virtual infrastructure running on customer premises but managed and configured from the cloud. This enables the organization to use basic, standard hardware on-premises, allowing advanced features to be centrally managed, automated, secured and optimized. To understand where enterprises and service providers are with the deployment of vCPE we surveyed1 the SDxCentral community and asked them about their existing environment and plans.
How the Distributed Enterprise is Deployed and Managed Today
Enterprises leverage a mix of technologies to access the Internet, such as Carrier Ethernet/MPLS (58%), DSL (45%), wireless (36%), cable (33%), FTTx -Optical (21%), T1/T3/etc. (9%).
The majority of enterprises (57%) manage their own remote office/branch connectivity solutions. For security, enterprises generally deploy and run their own firewalls (76%). Some enterprises also rely on an integrated firewall (27%), firewall services provided upstream by a service provider (27%) and cloud-based solutions (21%) to secure some or all of their remote offices. Most enterprises (75%) use VPNs to connect their multiple locations and remote workers. The most commonly referenced vendor used by enterprises for their VPN solutions was Cisco.
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