Enea teams up with flexiWAN and Intel on open source SD-WAN PoC

Enea is teaming up with open source SD-WAN vendor flexiWAN and Intel on a proof-of-concept demo during this month's SDN NFV World Congress conference.

The three companies will be demonstrating a reference solution for secure SD-WAN based on open source applications. Israel-based startup flexiWAN launched its open source architecture for SD-WAN in April. In August, flexiWaN put SD-WAN software into public beta for downloading.

Partnering with Intel and Enea is a logical next step for flexiWAN as it builds out its ecosystem. Service providers and enterprises are looking for ways to increase the flexibility of their SD-WAN solutions. One way of achieving this is by combining white box universal customer premises equipment (uCPE) appliances with open source applications running as virtual network functions (VNFs).

VNFs have been a sticking point for both vendors and service providers. Service providers have said vendors' VNFs are difficult to integrate because they are unique to each vendor. On the reverse side, vendors have said it's not feasible to create VNFs for each service provider.

By going the open source route, VNF vendors and enterprises can build their own applications because it enables integration with full control of the code base. It's also not dependant on any commercial software vendor's specific roadmap.

RELATED: FlexiWAN's open source SD-WAN available for download in public beta release

The joint solution Enea, Intel and flexiWAN will demonstrate is an SD-WAN deployment with service-chained, open source SD-WAN, security VNFs, white box hardware, and an open virtualization and management platform.

"We are pioneering the second wave of SD-WAN with our open source model, making it possible for enterprises and service providers to manage and control their networks and data. Together with Intel and Enea we show a complete, open source, secure, SD-WAN reference design for uCPE," said flexiWAN CEO Amir Zmora, in a statement.

The PoC has four key elements with the first being flexiWAN's centrally managed SD-WAN open source VNF that includes integration points for third-party logic.

Since security is top of mind for enterprises, the second element is pfSense, which is an open source firewall and network security VNF. The third ingredient is Enea's NFV access uCPE virtualization platform that has been optimized for SD-WAN and virtual CPE use cases.

Overseeing those elements is Enea's uCPE Manager, which provides centralized uCPE management with automation, lifecycle management VIM (virtual infrastructure manager) and VNF management.

"This PoC is a good example of an open and flexible for SD-WAN solution, based on combining uCPE with cost-effective software components," said Enea's Adrian Leufvén, senior vice president, OS business unit at Enea, in a statement. "This is how networking at the customer premise is transforming right now and we are proud that Enea NFV Access plays a central role in this important evolution."

The POC also includes Intel's Atom processers, which helps lowers the cost for service providers entering the market while paving the way for uCPE-based SD-WAN offerings.

The SDN NFV World Congress will take place October 14-17 in The Hague.