As Light Reading has reported before, 2016 is the year that will see network functions virtualization (NFV) plans migrate from proof-of-concept (PoC) stage to actual network deployment in a serious way. But to achieve that crucial shift, network operators need to be able to source reliable, carrier-grade solutions that can ultimately deliver efficiencies and new business opportunities while existing alongside current multivendor production platforms. (See NFV: Coming, Ready or Not!.)
There's plenty of noise and many claims about the capabilities of various NFV systems, which is why operators are very keen on independent evaluations that provide useful information, and which can help speed up decision-making processes: That's why multiple operators have joined The New IP Agency and are encouraging Light Reading to commission independent tests. (See Colt Says NIA Can Help Speed Up NFV Rollout, DT Has High Hopes for the NIA and EXCLUSIVE! NFV Interop Evaluation Results.).
Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) is the latest company to put its virtualization technology in the hands of the experienced team at European Advanced Networking Test Center AG (EANTC) and let them devise evaluation tests that reflect the needs of operators.
The EANTC team evaluated Juniper's Cloud CPE solution on its ability to be deployed easily and quickly, to provision and manage network elements and services, to enable multiple network/data center topologies, to provide end users with intuitive self-care capabilities via a web portal and to provide appropriate monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities.
As the resulting report shows, the vendor's Cloud CPE solution provides a number of key capabilities that operators are keen to have as part of their virtualization strategies.
Among those capabilities are: multivendor service creation; automated service installation; easy selection, deployment and configuration of services via an end-user portal; carrier-grade scalability and resilience; and support for BGP and/or MPLS networks as well as existing customer premises equipment, so that virtualized functions can be offered to enterprise customers using existing MPLS infrastructure and CPE.
The key takeaway from the EANTC report is that Juniper has developed a broad range of practical applications that meet the needs of many service providers taking their first steps into the NFV world, and which, very importantly, are easy to use. In addition, Cloud CPE is targeted at a sweet spot -- enterprise services that are quick to set up and provide customers with significant control. That makes for a compelling business case.
The EANTC report can be downloaded as a nine-page PDF document by clicking on the following link:
To find out more about the EANTC evaluation and the development of the NFV market, check out this video interview:
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading and Carsten Rossenhövel, managing director, European Advanced Networking Test Center AG (EANTC) (http://www.eantc.de/), an independent test lab in Berlin. EANTC offers vendor-neutral network test facilities for manufacturers, service providers, and enterprises.