Adva and 6WIND were among the vendors to provision Germany-based WiTCOM's new edge cloud platform that will host smart city services.
WiTCOM is using Adva's Ensemble Connector for its universal customer premises equipment (uCPE) applications in tandem with 6WIND's Turbo IPsec virtual router to enable IoT, traffic control, surveillance, and wholesale services. The edge cloud platform also uses network function virtualization (NFV) to provision WiTCOM's smart city initiative.
The multi-vendor platform also includes uCPE white boxes from Advantech and uCPE appliances from Dell Technologies. For system integration and managed services, WiTCOM tapped dacoso.
WiTCOM said the uCPE approach brought increased efficiencies and scale for its ICT service provider's business. WiTCOM provide business customers and ICT service providers in Wiesbaden, Germany with telecommunication services and data center services.
Universal CPE is a jack-of-all-trades for service providers and their enterprise customers. Universal CPE devices provide a "pico cloud," including compute, storage and switching capable of executing virtual network functions (VNFs) such as virtual firewalls, SD-WAN, virtual WAN, virtual application delivery controllers and optimization appliances.
It also allows WiTCOM to streamline multiple VNFs across a single installation that can be deployed closer to end customers. With the new edge cloud platform, WiTCOM can offer its enterprise customers a networking operating system and hosting environment for VNFs, such as firewalls and SD-WAN, on lower cost off-the-shelf white boxes. While uCPE deployments have been slow to take off, the hope is that they can run multiple VNFs and cloud-native functions in production.
According to information from 6WIND, the combined solution has been deployed on a central hub site as well as remote spoke sites. The spoke sites are located in outdoor cabinets that have Advantech's uCPE white boxes inside of them. Each of the spokes is connected to the hub through a secure tunnel using 6WIND's Turbo IPsec vRouter, which in turn is hosted by Adva's Ensemble Connector software.
The hub site aggregates and terminates the secure connections through 6WIND's Turbo IPsec vRouter deployed as a VPN concentrator with 10 Gbps throughput. It also connects to the NFV management and orchestration (MANO) layer of the Ensemble software suite.
The hub site network services are hosted on Dell EMC VEP 4600 uCPE appliances with Intel Xeon 2100 processors that have dual 10 GbE NICs. The initial deployment included IoT infrastructure for the transportation and mobility industry. Dacoso plans to use the WiTCOM rollout as a template for deployments across the Germany, Austria and Switzerland region.
The new edge cloud platform is currently in use by a customer. Among the lessons learned so far was the need for end-to-end IPv6 for IoT applications and MANO, and full automation. With the first deployment and the lessons learned, WiTCOM plans to move to a standard service offering.
“We took an innovative approach for an open multi-vendor solution to power our smart city initiative working with 6WIND, ADVA, Advantech, Dell Technologies and dacoso,” said WiTCOM's Volker Bodenbach, head of technology and operations, in a statement. “Together we designed a secure open platform that powers edge cloud for IoT, video and next-generation services across our IPv6 network that can further be deployed worldwide across many verticals.”