Strong market traction worldwide for SD-WAN is driving evolution and change in the requirements and characteristics of Universal CPE (uCPE) technologies. Several very large vendors dominate the enterprise CPE segment, including for example Cisco, Juniper, and Nokia-Nuage Networks, and other SD-WAN solution vendors such as Versa Networks, Silver Peak, and Fortinet offer proprietary uCPE products. Vendor lock-in for black box products placed at the customer premise is counter-intuitive to the software-defined, open-standard-based, and agile principles that SD-WAN promises to deliver. Vendor black box products add overhead and cost, restrict flexibility of services, and add other operational burdens for both service providers and their enterprise clients.
The x86 Intel Processor white box has generated new and compelling possibilities for deploying an SD-WAN as a VNF on a white box, along with additional service chained VNFs such as firewalls and routing, while Arm-based uCPE offers low relative power consumption for uCPE services in partnership with Telco Systems and NXP Semiconductor.
Telco Systems, in partnership with Arm, offers a compelling alternative uCPE solution, recently demonstrated in a POC with service provider partner Vodafone. In the POC, Arm, NXP Semiconductors, Telco Systems, and Vodafone developed uCPE that supports SD-WAN, routing and firewall, with the following positive outcomes: