Sergey Nivens - Fotolia
Looking for something else?
For service providers, virtual customer premises equipment, or virtual CPE, and software-defined WAN are distinct technology options that help achieve the same goal: to deliver managed services to business customers. As a result, providers face a tradeoff: rapid deployment with SD-WAN using a vendor-specific option versus the flexibility of a virtual CPE platform that allows open source contribution, customization and internal development -- with a longer timeline. Soon, however, there won't be a distinction between the two. The lines between these two technologies are beginning to blur as their functionalities merge.
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
Many leading service providers are currently deploying both SD-WAN and virtual CPE services to their business customers. Over time, these functionalities will converge, with either SD-WAN functionality being incorporated onto the virtual CPE platform or SD-WAN expanding to become the platform for virtual CPE services. Many service providers, including AT&T and Verizon, are deploying both SD-WAN and virtual CPE as managed services offerings. Others, like Telefónica, are deploying virtual CPE-centric platforms. Many other service providers -- including CenturyLink, Sprint, Vonage, Hughes Network Systems LLC, Masergy Communications Inc. and Windstream -- are leveraging SD-WAN products for their business services offerings.
A breakdown of SD-WAN and virtual CPE
SD-WAN simplifies WAN service delivery using software and cloud-based technologies. Software-based virtualization enables network abstraction that results in simplified network operations. With SD-WAN, service providers can quickly deploy managed hybrid WAN services -- using internet and MPLS connections, for example.
Leading service providers are currently deploying a wide variety of SD-WAN services to deliver managed hybrid WAN connectivity to their business customers. SD-WAN vendors, including VeloCloud, Versa Networks, Riverbed Technology and Cradlepoint, are increasingly expanding their platforms' capabilities to include a broad range of security, WAN optimization and routing features that compete with virtual CPE functionality.
For service providers, virtual CPE is a leading use case for deploying network functions virtualization -- in which network intelligence is abstracted into modular software for deployment on standard hardware platforms. Service providers are deploying virtual CPE as a more flexible way of delivering services to business customers. These services virtualize CPE functions -- e.g., routing, network address translation, VPN or firewall -- and the functionality resides in the service edge or the data center. Leading service providers are now starting to deliver virtual CPE services to their business customers.
SD-WAN questions and answers
Real-world benefits of SD-WAN
Prepare for SD-WAN deployment
Dig Deeper on SDN applications
Related Q&A from Lee Doyle
Choosing between SDN open source and vendor-provided options is easier when you know some of the available choices. Industry analyst Lee Doyle lists ...continue reading
How can your organization take advantage of SD-WAN? Networking expert Lee Doyle explains how SD-WAN adoption can transform your WAN, and why you ...continue reading
It might come as little surprise, but the two primary options for NFV orchestration platforms are open source or vendor-supplied options. See who's ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.