6WIND's vRouters power 10M subscribers across 80 ISPs

6WINDS' virtual routers are in use between two large IXPs in Chile and Florida. (Pixabay)

6WIND landed one of its largest customer wins to date by deploying its virtual routers (vRouters) across two internet exchange points (IXPs).

6WIND's vRouters replaced hardware border routers that were in use by Florida-based PIT US and PIT Chile to connect their network of ISP customers between data centers in Santiago, Chile and Miami. Both IXPs count more than 80 ISP customers between them, which combined have 10 million subscribers.

"This one is really incredible," said 6WIND's Kelly LeBlanc, vice president of marketing. "It was about a one-month process from start to finish from the time we were contacted to getting this going. This customer had an urgent need. They are growing really quickly and they have their sites in Florida and Chile. They really needed to be sure that they had a redundant configuration between the two. Given that this is an IXP providing the vRouters in these ISPs, a single ISP customer of PIT may generate 30 or 40 gigs of traffic."

RELATED: 6WIND notches another virtual router win with Czech-based JHComp

6WIND can deploy its vRouters in bare metal and virtual machine configurations, and run them on COTS-based servers. PIT US had commercial off the shelf (COTS) servers in place with Dell PowerEdge and HPE ProLiant. The Dell and HPE servers have Intel Xeon processors and 10G network interface cards (NICs.)

PIT US is deploying 6WIND's vRouters in virtual machines running on VMware's ESXI hypervisor on the COTS servers.

"We've been supporting VMware for quite some time," LeBlanc said. "VMware is a very popular VM deployment for us. I think the two most popular for us are VMware and KVM. When they made their final decision it was really important for them to have that ability to run in a VM.

"When one of their customers grows, or they want to add more capacity, this will allow them to create the capacity using VMs instead of buying new routers. You can you can deploy additional cores for your vRouter, you can add additional VMs or you can buy more of the vRouters. It depends on what you need, but it's very flexible."

For border routers, 6WIND competes against Cisco, MikroTik and Juniper Networks, while Cisco and Juniper both have virtual router implementations. 6WIND's last funding was by Cisco four years ago, but the company didn't disclose the amount.

The company's software packages are built with DPDK (Data Plane Development Kit), which 6WIND managed as an open source community before it was put into the Linux Foundation two years ago. 6WIND, which was founded in 2000, also participates in other open source communities such as StrongSwan and the Free Range Routing Project.