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Procera Claims NFV Performance First

Carol Wilson

Procera today is announcing what it is calling a performance breakthrough for its PacketLogic/V virtualized software, delivering 150 Gbit/s on a standard Intel-based hardware platform, making an NFV-approach competitive with traditional hardware-based CPE solutions. (See Procera Makes NFV Breakthrough, Lands Boingo.)

The announcement is part of a trifecta of Procera Networks news that includes announcing Boingo Wireless Inc. 's deployment of the PacketLogicV to manage the customer experience as it virtualizes its WiFi hotspots, and a new Procera Alliances Program that aims to integrate multiple vendors in the virtualization space in joint solutions for customers.

Procera, which has leveraged its deep packet inspection capabilities into a broader approach to customer experience management that includes network optimization that can be tailored to traffic and user, has been running its software on standard platforms such as Dell servers for some time, notes VP of Marketing Cam Cullen. The company still found persistent belief among some customers that the out-of-the-box performance of virtualized functions faced performance limits that fell short of hardware-based solutions.

"We believed we had to demonstrate that was no longer the case before we could start engaging in some of these discussions," Cullen notes. "Our goal with NFV was to get to the point where it wasn't a performance implication one way or another."

Get up close with vendor NFV strategies in our NFV Elements section on Light Reading.

Working with the Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) Network Buildings program over six months to identify and eliminate some of the "speed bumps" that exist to getting the maximum performance from the Intel's Xeon Processor E5 v3 family of COTS hardware, Procera was able to increase the throughput by 40 Gbit/s over its previous performance test.

Having the maximum performance for its virtualized CPE is a key factor going forward for Procera, and aided the vendor in landing Boingo as a customer. The operator is virtualizing its global network of WiFi Hotspots, taking advantage of NFV to eliminate the need for specific hardware deployments while supporting varied levels of traffic. Boingo installed Procera's virtual CPE to providing traffic shaping and apply the profiles and policies needed to support multiple classes of services used in its S.M.A.R.T. Network service.

Moving from hardware-based to virtualized CPE approaches enabled Boingo to improve its return on investment and maintain deployment flexibility, the company said.

Procera's Alliance program isn't NFV-specific but will enable NFV-based ecosystems. It has two tracks: a Solution Partners track aimed at tackled pre-defined use bases, and a Technology Partners track, which includes hardware and platform vendors as well as NFV technology partners with whom Procera collaborates to create certifiable interoperability for easier joint sales and post-sale configuration.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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