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Good on Paper Isn’t Enough: Making vCPE Deployment Work


Guest Author: Isaac Mandelblit, Corporate Strategic Alliances, RAD


The virtualized CPE (vCPE), designed to virtualize and relocate networking functionality associated with conventional customer premises equipment, is basking in the spotlight at this moment and is often mentioned as the ideal candidate to test the waters of NFV and the programmable network concept.


As far as greater agility and lower costs go, vCPE sounds great on paper. But how should a service provider proceed? After all, each deployment is, in a very real sense, unique. Size, performance requirements and security restrictions are but some of the factors in which enterprise customers vary, ultimately affecting the way carriers should roll out their vCPE-based business services.


The challenge of deployment demands maximum flexibility – and this is where RAD and HP step in.


To maximize the options for enterprises, RAD and HP are offering a joint vCPE solution that combines RAD’s award-winning Distributed NFV (D-NFV) technology and HP’s OpenNFV architecture. This single, integrated platform includes a variety of embedded and virtualized capabilities that meet the diverse needs of business service providers. All aspects of service and VNF provisioning, management and orchestration are handled by a single entity – the HP NFV Director.


The joint HP-RAD vCPE solution provides various alternatives to implement the vCPE at the customer edge, depending on performance, cost and security requirements:


  • vCPE option 1 (for medium/large branches or a corporate headquarters): RAD’s ETX-2i Layer 2/Layer 3 NID with built-in x86 virtualization engine (network access and a server in the same device) to host 2-5 VNFs (e.g., HP VSR) with advanced service provisioning and performance monitoring for value-added services
  • vCPE option 2 (for very large branches or a corporate headquarters): a standalone HP server (hosting six or more VNFs) with RAD’s MiNID miniature Layer 2/Layer 3 NID – a pluggable programmable demarcation device providing network connectivity and service demarcation
  • vCPE option 3 (for SMEs and small branches): consists of only a physical CPE (pCPE) at the customer edge, such as MiNID or ETX-2i, coupled with network/cloud-based vCPE functionality


In options 1 and 2, service chaining can be performed with additional network/cloud-based vCPE functionality.


Such flexibility offers a wealth of benefits for service providers that translate to increased revenues and lower total cost of ownership (TCO):



This week at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress in Dusseldorf, RAD will be demonstrating the various vCPE implementation options: physical connectivity monitoring using the ETX-2i and MiNID, VNF instantiation (including HP VSR) and service chaining, and remote VNF control.  






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