Deploying & Orchestrating ECI’s Mercury™ uCPE on Advantech White Boxes
Universal Customer Premise Equipment, or uCPE, is taking center stage as communication service providers consolidate physical network functions andevolve their Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) offerings to run in more generic,off-the-shelf universal platforms. With uCPE, SD-WAN can just as easily be deployed as a virtual network function (VNF) complemented by a wide choice of other network functions such as a router, firewall or WAN optimization.
A strong market outlook and uCPE uptake by
communication service providers has led to the introduction of a growing number
of hardware and software solutions from a vibrant ecosystem of suppliers. Solutions
are available that dramatically simplify complex networks, allow organizations
to reduce their capital outlays on equipment, and deliver services to end-users
in a more flexible, agile and cost-effective way from a centralized location.
The ability to select the right solution from a
growing choice of vendors may not seem such an easy task, and will depend on
multiple factors both technical and operational as well as economical. Much
hinges on in-house capabilities to integrate uCPE components and building
blocks or conversely the willingness to adopt a one-stop solution from a single
supplier. This Solution Brief focuses on the latter, with an open-source
software and commercial-off-the-shelf hardware approach in mind. One that
offers a fully validated and supported solution, while avoiding vendor lock-in by
the ability to mix and match vendor products and white box hardware.
Enabling Modernized Business Services
One peek into the communications closet of a typical business today brings you face-to-face with a clutter of single-purpose boxes for edge routing, cyber security, WAN optimization, SD-WAN and other networking functions. Each box is individually installed, managed, and upgraded.
Not anymore. ECI’s Mercury™ uCPE streamlines multiple customer premises networking functions into a single software-configurable appliance – directly reducing entry costs. But Mercury uCPE is much more than that. It allows service providers to combine networking functions flexibly in innovative ways to create value-added service mixes.
These can be tailored to individual customer needs, expand the services portfolio, and generate new revenue streams. In parallel, uCPE lowers operational costs through self-installation capabilities and centralized management, delivering remote zero-touch provisioning and upgrades, and eliminating truck rolls. This can even be incorporated into self-service customer portals.
Mercury uCPE is future-proof and can easily incorporate new networking functions as they become available. In short, Mercury uCPE is the ultimate vehicle to deliver modernized business services, while improving service providers’ top and bottom lines.
Maintaining physical Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) is costly for both service providers and businesses. It involves hardware from many vendors, truck rolls, manpower, and specialized skill sets to install each one physically at the customer site, and to perform upgrades, patches, and fixes. Then, there is the entire issue of deploying new functions and services.
Mercury Universal CPE (uCPE) revolutionizes this environment using network function virtualization (NFV), delivering CPE functionality as software running on commodity hardware. Mercury is ECI’s NFV platform, encompassing infrastructure (NFVi), VNF software, and management and orchestration (MANO). It is compatible with ETSI NFV specifications to ensure carrier-grade standards. Mercury lets customers select and combine best-of-breed VNFs from a library of certified ECI or third-party VNFs. For uCPE, these may include SD-WAN, edge routing, cyber security (such as universal threat management), session border control, WAN optimization, LAN monitoring, and enterprise storage, with more on the way. Selected VNFs are easily provisioned, managed, and upgraded remotely onto the customers’ Mercury uCPE appliances. They provide services such as internet access, voice services, L3VPN connectivity, or other value-added business services. As a managed service, Mercury uCPE is a source of new revenues for service providers, beyond connectivity. Mercury uCPE and associated VNFs supports diverse configurations. This gives the agility to deploy network functions based on individual customer needs and to optimize cost-performance.
The starting point for Mercury’s value is its library of certified, best-of-breed ECI and third-party VNFs. These include SD-WAN, edge routing (vRouter), session border control (vE-SBC), next generation firewalls (vFW), WAN Optimization, Enterprise Storage and more.
Mercury is highly versatile and can run multiple VNFs on the same platform simultaneously, and sequence the VNFs per service-chaining rules. This minimizes infrastructure costs and enables creation of custom-tailored service packages.
Bringing Service Agility Closer to the Network Edge
ECI’s Mercury Network Function Virtualization (NFV) family empowers your network to respond quickly to new customer service opportunities.
Mercury lets you mix and match a rich library of certified ECI and third-party virtualized network functions (VNFs) to create differentiable service value. This drives new revenues for fixed and mobile networks and streamlines operations, reducing OPEX.
Mercury is fully-compliant with ETSI Management and Orchestration (MANO) and is cloud native cutting edge technology based. NFV infrastructure platforms are available as thin or thick appliances.
Open Industry Standard Architecture
Mercury optimizes for network edge deployments through a family of run-time NFVi devices based on hyper-converged computing. This approach combines processing, storage, and networking in a manner expressly designed to bring the value of data center virtualization close to the end-user when high performance is demanded.
The Whitebox Advantage
The FWA-1012VC offers an optional integrated Wi-Fi access point and 4G/LTE connectivity. The4G/LTE option can provide failover protection for the primary WAN connections and can also be used for higher bandwidth bonding with the wireline WAN ports. In addition, the FWA-1012VC offers optional dual-SIM capability for active/standby and an optional cost saving PoE module that can power two IEEE PoE+ (25.5W) ports without the need for a PoE+ switch.
This versatile 1U rackmount platforms offers flexible WAN connectivity supporting multiple site-to-site communication protocols, broadband internet and 4G LTE through field-replaceable expansions.
The FWA-3050 can be configured to meet any enterprise needs thanks to Advantech Network Mezzanine Cards (NMC) that can be populated with a choice of 1, 10, 25 or 40GbE interfaces.
Integrated Intel® QuickAssist Technology accelerates execution of crypto algorithms including IPSec without burdening the CPU. As a result, secure branch connectivity including end-to-end encryption can be provided without compromising VNF performance or increasing cost.
Mercury NVE-100 thin Appliance FWA-1012VC
- uCPE application for SMB
- Up to 4 VNFs @ 250Mbs
- 6-2 LAN/WAN ports; WIFI/Wireless modem (optional)
Mercury NVE-1000 Thick Appliance FWA-3050
- uCPE application for enterprise
- Up to 8 VNFs@ 1Gbs
- 8 – 4 LAN/WAN ports; WIFI/Wireless modem (optional)
- Additional GE/10GE ports and acceleration HW expansions
- KVM-based hypervisor
- OVS and Routed data path
- ECI “Board applications”
- OpenSatck agents
Mercury WAN Connectivity Options
- VDSL/VDSL2/G.fast/GPON access
Management and Orchestration
- All ETSI defined components provided as bundle or separately
- Zero touch Provisioning
- Full lifecycle management
- Customer management and portal
- Container based platform running over ECI PaaS
ECI’s Mercury uCPE running on open architecture Intel-based white boxes from Advantech gives service providers and integrators a head-start on fully integrated UCPE deployment, reducing time-to-rollout and risk when building next-generation network services.
Advantech Contact Information
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