Aricent has teamed up with white box vendor Lanner Electronics to enable SD-WAN functionality on uCPE devices for businesses.
Aricent’s SD-WAN uCPE operating system, which includes an orchestrator, will run on Lanner’s LUNA (Lanner Universal Network Appliance) series of Intel x86 Network Appliance platforms.
The platform supports Aricent’s SD-WAN virtual network function (VNF), which is built on Aricent’s virtual router and virtual firewall. The uCPE operating system is cloud-native and supports containerized, low-resource footprint workloads for cost effective uCPE deployments.
“As enterprises continue the road to digital transformation, they increasingly are incorporating uCPE as a key component of that journey,” said N. Mohan Rangan, Aricent's chief engineering officer, in a prepared statement. “Aricent’s partnership with Lanner creates a next-generation framework that enables enterprises to increase capacity and improve resiliency by offloading hardware and supporting stackable systems, ultimately reducing costs by as much as 80% over traditional solutions.”
According to research by IHS Markit, the uCPE market is projected to grow from $7.7 million in 2017 to $1.02 billion in 2022, which is a cumulative $1.9 billion market over the six years from 2017 to 2022.
Universal CPE is a jack-of-all-trades for service providers and their enterprise customers. Working in tandem with network functions virtualization, uCPE reduces the number of devices on a customer's footprint that are needed to provision services.
By using generic network equipment, uCPE also cuts costs associated with installation while giving service providers the flexibility to deploy or update services at a faster pace than traditional hardware. The flexible nature of software running on standard compute allows multiple VNFs to run on a single uCPE.
Colt Technology Services announced last year that it was preparing to launch a uCPE service by working with vendor Adva. AT&T Business, Verizon and Orange Business Services, among other carriers, have uCPE services in front of their customers.
Despite the promise of uCPE, it has had a long runway to takeoff. Lee Doyle, principal analyst at Doyle Research, wrote in a recent FierceTelecom blog that uCPE challenges include service providers "sorting through multiple supplier or open-source options for each feature, integrating the various features into a common centralized, management platform and deploying a cost-effective platform with the horsepower to run this functionality with good performance."
"In addition to these challenges, CSPs must deliver uCPE functionality that is competitive with options available from the broad, and highly competitive, SD-WAN and SD-Branch supplier community," Doyle wrote.