The trend of cloud computing presents an opportunity to replace physical CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) with virtualized, software-defined CPE in order to establish flexible branch-to-cloud connections. Over the past few years in the industry, many enterprises have implemented virtual branch network by focusing on virtualized network services. In other words, virtual machines are replacing physical equipments to assure branch network connectivity while saving hardware costs. Therefore, enterprises today are seeking a reliable yet compact gateway solution that help them optimize and monitor their cloud connectivity between enterprise centers and branches.
The required performance platform must be based on open architecture and designed with programmable and scalable elements. In fact, an ideal virtualized CPE for network service connectivity has to be deployable anywhere and be able to run on various mainstream operating systems. Once installed with open source software, the hardware platform shall comprehend multiple service scenarios such as VPN, WAN Optimization, DHCP, NAT, QoS, Firewall, ID/IPS and other area network application. In addition, the software-defined and virtualized platform is used to connect private and public data centers with branch offices. Thus, the platform shall be programmed with central intelligence so that it is a deployment-ready CPE that can manage the network from the center remotely. With central intelligence and manageability, the hardware platform will save high amount of installation cost and time, while optimizing enterprise-to-branch cloud connectivity.
Therefore are several technical factors for the supported platform for the virtualized network environment:
Open architecture can greatly shorten the development and installation time and cost as operating systems and central management software must be compatible with the hardware platform.
Virtualization is the key point for the software-defined, virtual CPE so that the hardware platform must support virtual machines.
Since security is the main concern for network traffic, the central platform must support encryption for Internet Protocol Security (IP-sec).
High Availability and Reliability
In case of network connectivity failure, the hardware platform must be designed with LAN bypass to establish alternative traffic route.
Multiple Ethernet Connectivity
The hardware platform shall comprehend multiple LAN ports to be assigned for functions required in a branch environment.
With regards to the technical requirements above, Lanner offers FW-7525 vCPE gateway controller that enables software-defined, virtualized CPE applications for branch office network to optimize efficiency while saving physical hardware cost. FW-7525 is driven by Intel® Atom™ Processor C2358 (2-core)/C2518 (4-core) CPU (codenamed “Rangeley”) with the built-in function of AES-NI (Advanced Encryption Standard – New Instruction) encryption policy for IP-sec. Regarding cryptographic performance, FW-7525 is designed with Intel® QuickAssist to accelerate crypto-related applications. The processor is also designed with Intel virtualization technology that enables virtual machines to operate on this platform. By integrating Intel x86 architecture, AES-NI and virtualization support, FW-7525 helps branch offices IT management to evolve to meet today’s SDN and NFV challenges.
Hardware wise, FW-7525 provides 4 to 6 GbE LAN ports for multiple network functions and one pair of LAN bypass is built-in these RJ-45 ports for high availability. The fanless design and compact form factor of FW-7525 allow it to save maintenance costs for IT management.
Lanner also offers FW-7551, designed with a 8-core Intel Rangeley CPU as a higher performance desktop solution, while other hardware specifications are highly similar to the previously discussed FW-7525.