Intel Select Solution for uCPE

There’s a revolution underway in enterprise networking and it’s gaining more followers as businesses accelerate their deployment of Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WANs). CIOs are realizing that SD-WAN technology gives them greater agility, helps them to alleviate network congestion and allows them benefit from more cost-effective and flexible internet connectivity.

Imagine a network where a new branch office or retail outlet can be brought online and securely connected to a corporate WAN via the internet in minutes. A network where managed service providers or enterprise IT departments are able to remotely deploy virtual network functions and instantiate new network service chains in a matter of seconds using state-of-the-art management and orchestration tools.  A network store where network administrators can purchase and deploy new services at the click of a button through self-service portals. And ultimately a network that is abstracted from the physical to provide unprecedented agility and cost efficiencies.

There is no need to imagine further. Thanks to their increasing adoption of software defined networking (SDN), software defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) and network functions virtualization (NFV), service providers have been able to make significant changes in their approach to enterprise connectivity at the network edge. An approach which simplifies the way networks are designed, deployed, and managed. This translates to greater flexibility, enabling both provider and customer to monetize on new business models faster, and to lower costs.
Key to a successful transformation of the corporate WAN is the disaggregation of hardware and software. This not only allows service providers to manage software and hardware lifecycles separately, but also avoids fixed function vendor lock in and provides the means to self-maintain the same software platform across multiple generations of hardware.
The first step to achieving greater network agility begins by disaggregating physical network elements such as routers, firewalls, application delivery controllers and SDWAN appliances into virtual network functions (VNFs) then reunifying them on open universal customer premise equipment (uCPE) based on Intel® architecture that can be scaled to meet performance, throughput and connectivity needs and programmed to fulfill new functions on the fly.

Above: Advantech FWA-3050 whitebox uCPE validated Intel Select Solution for uCPE

To support these platforms, Intel has developed the Intel® Select Solutions for uCPE reference design that combines Intel’s expertise with NFV systems architecture requirements with the performance foundation of the Intel® Xeon® D processor. Platforms designed for uCPE are often called white box uCPEs and can be defined as commercial off-the-shelf server-grade appliances operating on the customer premises where close proximity to users provides lower latency services. They are used for hosting VNFs that run on an open operating system such as Ubuntu, CentOS or Red Hat Enterprise Linux and provides a virtualization layer for resource abstraction and control.

Both open-source and commercial software solutions can be hosted and zero touch provisioning at power on can connect the uCPE to the internet using a secure and automated process over a choice of WAN connections. Encryption can be performed in software or accelerated by hardware based on Intel® QuickAssist Technology to ensure secure communications.

 The Intel Select Solutions for uCPE were defined based on the functional requirements of a wide range of uCPE use cases to arrive at a verified and workload-optimized configuration for VNFs and other NFVI applications. Intel has designed two product configurations as part of the Intel Select Solutions for uCPE reference design.

Two  variants of the Advantech FWA-3050 whitebox uCPE passed Intel Select Solution for uCPE base and plus configuration tests, integrating Intel Xeon processors D-2123IT and Intel Xeon processors D-2187NT and software porting is underway with strategic ecosystem partners for broad industry support.

For more information on the Advantech FWA-3050 verified Intel® Select Solution for uCPE, how to remotely access a uCPE for an evaluation, and how to order a platform, please visit: www.advantech.com/nc/spotlight/Intel-uCPE 
Paul Stevens – Telecom Sector

Marketing Director

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