Orange Business Services is partnering with Ekinops and Dell Technologies to deliver a new universal customer premise equipment (uCPE) platform to mid-market and large global enterprises.
The uCPE utilizes hardware by Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions and runs middleware by Ekinops and will be available later this year. Orange is collaborating with Ekinops on virtual network functions VNF validation and orchestration to provide customers with a catalog of over 30 third-party VNFs. In addition, Orange will work closely with customers to meet their specific requirements for VNFs. Enterprise customers can deploy a number of network functions remotely on the uCPE including SD-WAN, routers, firewalls and WAN optimization.
Orange partnered with Cisco about two years ago on a uCPE platform, which includes the Cisco SD-WAN VNF. Laurent Perrin, director of product management application-driven networks at Orange Business Services, says this new uCPE is a strong addition to Orange's existing uCPE services and will provide customers with a platform that combines both IT functions and networking support.
Perrin says Orange has partnered with French-based Ekinops for many years on traditional routing and CPEs in France. In addition, he says Orange selected Dell because of the "value of the platform they can provide from small branches to large sites," and their global presence.
"With the partnership with Dell, we are moving in a new direction of merging the network and IT world... deploying VNFs such as routing and SD-WAN together with IT functions," says Perrin. "We see a growing interest in this area."
In addition, the uCPE platform could assist customers in deploying edge applications such as IoT, AI and video by performing data processing at the edge to improve application performance and data privacy.
"Beyond the network function, our customers could host some of their edge computing and IT functions within the uCPE…it will be an easy solution to support IT and edge requirements, especially in the area of IoT," say Perrin.
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— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading