Broadband Forum standardizes virtual business gateway for SD-WAN

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The Broadband Forum says it has published its first standard for distributed virtualized Customer Premises Equipment (vCPE) as it continues to accelerate its work on Open Broadband, Cloud Central Office (CO) and SD-WAN.

The new vCPE standard – TR-328, or virtual business gateway (vBG) – accelerates the delivery of standardized, carrier-class, interoperable business services such as enterprise class firewall and WAN optimization.

SD-WAN, spearheaded by the Open Networking User Group (ONUG), is enabled by the vBG, which connects to other Broadband Forum initiatives such as CloudCO and the Network Enhanced Residential Gateway.

The completion of the specification comes at the same time as the BBF begins work on two major software projects for Open Broadband and makes significant progress on its CloudCO project, said forum CEO Robin Mersh.

“As operators look to transform their networks with greater use of software and virtualization, demand for solutions, such as the vBG and CloudCO, with these associated reference implementations and APIs is growing – the market is now ready for standards-based software deliverables for Open Broadband,” he said.

The vBG system enables greater efficiency in service provider networks by virtualizing some of the functionality of a business gateway into a flexible hosting environment, which may be located at the customer premises, in the operator’s network, such as a CloudCO, or using a combination of the two.

This simplifies customer-located equipment and customer self-provision through a portal, rapid introduction of new services, decommissioning of unsuccessful ones and up-selling value-added services. All of this can be done without the need to deploy specialized hardware devices to remote enterprise sites.

The CloudCO User Managed Objects Framework project creates a cloud-based user interface framework, and a user managed oriented objects template that can be used by all providers. This aims to satisfy customer requirements such as SD-WAN, where the customer wants to have WAN resource telemetry in the user browsers, portals, and for use by their applications.

This project will leverage and extend the forum’s work on the vBG and will use standardized APIs such as DMTF Redfish.

The second key project is Broadband Access Abstraction Open Source, which addresses the requirements, architecture, design, and software required to support the virtualization of access device functionality and enabling an open and interoperable unified management interface for access equipment from different vendors. This project will be managed under the forum’s agile Open Broadband software initiative, allowing for member and non-member participation to create a fast feedback loop between the specifications and the source code reference implementation that supports them.

The two new software projects are the first open source initiatives undertaken by the Broadband Forum.

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