Colt selects Adva for new universal CPE platform

Colt is working with German vendor Adva to build and globally deploy its new universal customer premises equipment (uCPE) platform.

Colt is using Adva's Ensemble Connector for its network operating system and hosting platform for third-party applications and services, including virtual network functions (VNFs), SD-WAN and firewalls.

Those applications and services will run on Colt's uCPEs, which are off-the-shelf white boxes or x86 servers. In addition to the cost savings of using white-box servers, Colt will also be able to improve efficiencies and achieve faster product development through its partnership with Adva.

AT&T Business, Verizon and Orange Business Services have uCPE service offerings in front of their customers.

Adva's Ensemble Connector is an open virtualization platform that leverages the benefits of network functions virtualization (NFV). With Ensemble Connector, Colt will be able to deploy a range of vendor products and standard cloud components such as Linux, KVM, OpenStack and the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) servers.

"We're committed to expanding the range of choices available to our customers," said Mirko Voltolini, head of network on demand at Colt Technology Services, in a prepared statement. "Built on Adva's high-performance Ensemble Connector, our offerings based on this uCPE solution will give enterprises access to innovative and dynamic value-added services for a crucial competitive edge. We'll now be able to deliver virtualized services from the widest range of suppliers on demand and under end-user control."

Adva will join Colt in lab testing in the next phase of the uCPE platform development. Once the tests and trials are over, Colt plans on rolling it out globally but didn't provide a timeframe.

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Colt's work with Adva marked the latest stage in its CPE evolution. In 2016, Colt announced it was working with Juniper Networks on a cloud CPE offering. Prayson Pate, CTO of Adva's Ensemble division, said the Juniper offering is a "centrally hosted approach, and doesn't meet the needs for services such as SD-WAN and security that need edge functionality."

Along the same lines, Colt deployed a virtual CPE offering, as well as SD-WAN, from Versa Networks a few years ago.

"This deployment used Versa running bare metal on COTS servers," Pate wrote in his email. "In contrast, Ensemble Connector provides a standard, neutral and cloud-centric platform for hosting any VNF, including SD-WAN, security, voice applications and others."