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4G/5G Network Infrastructure Goes Virtual to Increase Security and Performance


Guest Author: Kelly LeBlanc, VP of Marketing, 6WIND

 DZ_6WIND_TelecomIQ_Bnner.jpgAs we prepare our annual trip to Mobile World Congress Barcelona, one of our most popular meeting topics this year is securing and scaling the mobile backhaul network. With bandwidth capacities constantly being pushed to the limits, competitive Mobile Operators are turning to 4G/5G to satisfy these needs. 4G/5G converges data and voice onto a single IP-based network, which brings simplification benefits along with security and performance challenges.



The mobile infrastructure, specifically the mobile backhaul, must protect against threats associated with untrusted IP networks and meet increased performance requirements while controlling costs. Operators are also moving to virtualization to further decrease costs while increasing flexibility.


In the anatomy of the 4G/5G infrastructure, the mobile backhaul network is an IP network that connects eNodeBs to the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and carries user, control and management data. Securing the mobile backhaul is the task of a high performance IP Security Virtual Private Network (IPsec VPN) appliance called the Security Gateway (SeGW). Deployed at the EPC location, SeGWs have the important task of aggregating and terminating the IPsec VPNs carrying traffic from eNodeBs. IPsec further reduces the risk of cyber-attacks by providing confidentiality, privacy and integrity to the mobile backhaul.






Mobile Operators share common requirements for SeGWs as follows:

  • Security Performance: Support thousands of IPsec VPN tunnels and scale traffic loads across 10, 40 and 100G connectivity.
  • Virtualization Readiness: Provide incremental software upgrades to virtualize the complete SeGW function including the control plane and data plane.
  • High Availability: Eliminate single points of failure through local redundancy and geo redundancy techniques.
  • Management and Monitoring: Integrate into existing Management and Orchestration (MANO) and Operational Support Systems (OSS).


Previously, specialized hardware-based IPsec VPN equipment was necessary to meet these requirements. This allowed performance scalability and control plane virtualization at a high cost, while the requirements for data plane virtualization could not be met due to rigid hardware limitations. To lower costs while delivering the required performance and open compatibility for data plane virtualization, market innovation is needed.


Companies like HPE and 6WIND are leading market innovation by partnering to combine 6WIND’s software networking products that can be deployed on HPE ProLiant servers as an alternative to expensive, locked hardware solutions. For Mobile Operators, 6WIND Turbo IPsec is a ready-to-use IPsec VPN software appliance, and HPE OpenNFV application partner product, that can beat the performance of today’s big name system vendors by running on HPE servers at a surprisingly low cost.


By combining 6WIND software and HPE servers for mobile infrastructure security, operators get an easy upgrade path from bare metal to virtualization for NFV deployments, with the same software and the same performance. And when comparing the 6WIND and HPE server SeGW solution to legacy hardware systems, CAPEX savings can be between 50-80% so that operators do not have to sacrifice security for cost.


For more information on 6WIND’s Mobile Infrastructure Security solution, visit:


 Don't miss 6WIND discuss this topic live at Mobile World Congress in the MWC Discussion Zone (booth #3E11). See the full MWC Discussion Zone agenda for more details on this and other sessions.



hpe.com_csp_nfv.png CSPResources.jpg NFVResources.png @hpe_csp.jpg @hpe_nfv.png


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