Developing virtual customer premises equipment (CPE) capabilities has been the goal of many traditional Ethernet equipment vendors during the past few NFV-heady years: The market could see very clearly that dedicated CPE boxes were set to be replaced with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) white box hardware that would house multiple virtual network functions (VNFs).
Overture was among the companies that built an R&D strategy around that trend and began developing a range of NFV-related capabilities, including a virtual switch. The resulting technology was part of the portfolio acquired by ADVA Optical Networking earlier this year and which is now ready to make an impact on the market as the deployment of "virtual CPE" technology accelerates. (See ADVA Adds NFV Smarts With $35M Overture Acquisition and ADVA CEO: Overture Acquisition Adds to Our Open NFV Pitch.)
Virtual CPE functions are already being deployed by some of the more progressive network operators and others are set to follow: Offering multiple services via virtual CPE will be one of the first significant commercial use cases of the NFV-enabled market as new revenue-generating services, particularly for the under-served small and midsized enterprise market, are developed around virtualized functions.
ADVA is one of the companies ready to capitalize from this trend and, to provide a proof point for its virtual switch, known as Ensemble Connector, it submitted that product for an independent evaluation of its performance and scalability by experienced communications networking test lab European Advanced Networking Test Center AG (EANTC) .
The results will be published here at Light Reading this week and will provide invaluable insight to anyone wanting to see how companies such as ADVA have built upon the foundations of open source technology to develop virtualization technology that's ready to be considered for production service provider environments.
The importance of independent evaluations by trusted third parties such as EANTC is hard to overstate: Every vendor claims its technology is carrier-grade but operators want to see validation of such claims by organizations such as EANTC as they make their plans and consider what will be the vital first few steps into the challenging but potentially rewarding world of virtualization.
ADVA, which has also been involved in the The New IP Agency 's testing program that operators are tracking closely, understands the increasingly important role that independent evaluations are playing in the virtualization sector and was prepared to put its technology into EANTC's hands. For that it should be applauded and, one would expect, it will benefit from taking that strategic decision. (See Lucky 13 Sign Up for NIA's Next Interop and 5 Firms Join NIA As It Enters Phase 3.)
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading