There has never been a time when there was a greater need for an evolutionary transformation of the enterprise WAN. Modes of application use and destinations are changing as more applications move out of enterprise datacenters and off enterprise managed networks; bandwidth demands are increasing rapidly as enterprises try to bring the home broadband experience into retail stores or branch offices; regulatory and security requirements are increasing and evolving; and new technologies have emerged that enterprises want to incorporate into WANs, including price disruptive consumer broadband internet connectivity (e.g., cable) and cellular wireless data links.
Enterprise adoption of software-defined networking in a wide area network (SD-WAN) is opening a new opportunity for communications service providers (CSPs) to meet enterprise WAN challenges that arise with network functions virtualization (NFV)-based SD-WAN virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE). The business value of vCPE is driving significant market growth. Analyst firm IDC forecasts that the worldwide vCPE infrastructure market will grow to exceed $3 billion for hardware and software by 2021.
SD-WAN services lets branch offices continue to more securely access corporate applications while also taking advantage of broadband links for cloud service access. vCPE systems provide an open platform dedicated to supporting SD-WAN virtualized network functions (VNFs) to replace closed fixed-function systems, reducing potential capital and operating costs while providing increased service provisioning flexibility. Low system costs for SD-WAN vCPE for branch office locations are important, as is delivering line rate performance for deep packet inspection (DPI) and IPSec packet encryption/decryption and routing.
With Interface Masters Technologies-based embedded appliances offered at a range of price and performance points, enterprises can standardize on SD-WAN services across all size facilities down to the smallest branch offices. Organizations with large branch office networks, such as retail stores or banks, can centralize the purchase of SD-WAN services and work with their CSP to deploy the services across their corporate landscape.
With SD-WAN the existing enterprise WAN network is retained and used for data transport and new, centrally controlled networking software is added at the enterprise network edge. The network is improved in terms of management agility by the centralized and automated management of the new edge networking layer.
There are many potential benefits of an SD-WAN architecture, including:
- Automation of standard tasks: An SDN system can bypass many of WAN administration steps by incorporating standard designs and best practices within the automation.
- Optimization of physical resources: Adding intelligence at the edge and utilizing a central controller improves optimization of resource usage well beyond what is possible with existing networking capabilities.
- Ability to synthesize logical WAN links: Data replication techniques such as forward error correction can be used when link packet loss requires them and traffic can be spread across multiple paths for higher throughput.
- Handles regulatory requirements within the network: With SD-WAN, the issues of regulatory compliance and when and what encryption must be used to protect the transmission of sensitive data can be largely managed within the network.
Architecture for SD-WAN at Scale
Communications service providers (CSPs) can deploy Interface Masters Technologies’ embedded appliance solutions to provide virtual customer premise equipment (vCPE) to their business customers for reduced Capex. Their new vCPE model allows CSPs to manage their customer’s network infrastructure from a centralized location, providing networking services on demand, leading to lower costs, faster service deployments, and higher service availability. Additionally, end users can manage their own services from a self-service portal, which leads to faster service changes, increased customer satisfaction, and Opex savings for the CSP.
The vCPE hardware infrastructure layer comprises embedded appliance platforms from Interface Masters which are widely adopted in CSP data centers today and easily scalable with future business growth. The vCPE hardware layer delivers on the twin goals of SD-WAN cost reduction and service agility. It is an open, platform capable of supporting a variety of new services in the future, and a self-service portal that facilitates an on-demand network services marketplace.
Interface Masters Technologies’ embedded network appliances are scalable NFV platforms capable of supporting large-scale SD-WAN commercial deployments for communications service providers. The Interface Masters NFV appliances feature off-the-shelf server hardware technologies to enable a fully converged, virtualized infrastructure designed to support high-performance and secure SD-WAN services. The embedded appliance platforms also includes foundational software and open interfaces for management and orchestration, simplifying operation and enabling easier integration. From a deployment perspective, the Interface Masters NFV Platform can be equipped for SD-WAN applications in a carrier environment, anywhere and at any scale.
Interface Masters Technologies has for over 20 years been providing off-the-shelf innovative network security solutions with customization services to OEMs, Fortune 100 and startup companies. Our headquarters are located in San Jose, California in the heart of Silicon Valley where we are proud to design and manufacture all of our products. Based on MIPS, ARM, PowerPC and x86 processors, Interface Masters appliance models enable OEMs to significantly reduce time-to-market with reliable, pre-tested and pre-integrated networking solutions that can meet the most challenging security requirements.