Can Small Service Providers Take Advantage of NFV?
Aug 12, 2018
We’ve certainly seen a slew of Network Function Virtualization (NFV) projects recently that the big telcos tout – virtualization and automation create a more agile infrastructure conducive to service delivery in an economically feasible way.
But what about the small(er) operators? Can they also take on NFV projects for the same benefit?
Our partner, Iquall Networks, recently signed an agreement with Metrotel Argentina to provide them with virtual Customer Premises Equipment (CPEs) for that reason. Iquall Networks has been a Juniper partner in LATAM since 2002. Over time, it has grown its software-development expertise on Juniper technologies. Between 2012 and 2013, Iquall became a Juniper re-seller partner and expanded outside of Argentina to Florida, Colombia and Chile.
We were curious to learn how Iquall enabled Metrotel to take advantage of virtual service delivery. We recently had the chance to chat with Iquall Networks’ CEO, Matias Lambert and Sales Director, Marcos Sitz to better understand how Metrotel will benefit from virtualization and how this can help other service providers.
From left to right: Matias Lambert, Rami Rahim, Marcos Sitz at MWC 2018
David Noguer Bau: Tell me a little bit about your customer, Metrotel Argentina?
Matias Lambert:Metrotel is an Argentine telecommunications company that provides data, telephony and Internet services for large and small- to medium-sized companies through their next-generation network that contains more than 3,000 kilometers of optical fiber in the city of Buenos Aires, greater Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Rosario, Neuquén and Mendoza.
DNB: How is Metrotel leveraging virtualization for managed services?
ML: As is the case with most communication service providers, Metrotel was looking to enhance its connectivity offerings with additional value-added services, starting with managed security and eventually evolving with customer needs. With the traditional model based on physical CPE, almost any changes in the service requires a truck-roll upgrade. Therefore, launching new security services would require an upfront investment that many existing customers simply wouldn’t consider. With a virtual platform for managed services, since the services are instantiated centrally, each customer can simply activate new services with a few clicks and pay-per-use.
DNB: How does it enhance Metrotel’s portfolio?
ML: Most enterprise customers currently buy basic connectivity services from Metrotel. The virtualized platform for managed services provides a great tool to extend the existing services and grow the scope by creating solutions for multiple segments. Companies like Metrotel will be able to address their customer needs by creating three differentiated solutions targeting Soho, mid-size and large enterprises. The features available in the managed security solution can be adapted and they are bundled with multiple connectivity options.
DNB: Can you tell us more about the virtual platform for managed services they use?
ML: Metrotel will use the HC-vCPE developed by our company, Iquall. It is a hyper-converged virtual CPE platform especially designed to help tier-2 and tier-3 operators provide managed services. The solution is based on Juniper Networks’ vSRX and it allows our customers to rapidly add new types of Virtual Network Function (VNF).
The platform can be installed in just a few months, is fully integrated and includes all of the required elements. The hyper-converged infrastructure provides compute, storage and network, starting with just a few servers connected via Juniper EX switches and MX routers that are integrated with the service provider network. The full-stack approach provides all that is needed for a small operator to start: the orchestrator, service management, billing, support tickets, performance manager, log analytics and self-management portals for clients and the operator back end. It can scale from a few hundred vCPEs to approximately 3,000.
DNB: Why did you choose Juniper components to build your platform?
ML: Juniper’s performance, open approach and ability to automate have been key for the success of this project. vSRX licensing provides the flexibility that allows our customers to launch multiple services to adapt to each target customer group.
Iquall’s virtual managed services platform, HC-vCPE, addresses the needs of small and mid-size service providers to ramp-up NFV-based services. Over time, some customers will need a much more scalable solution, which is why we are providing a seamless migration to Juniper Cloud CPE when required, preserving the same user interfaces and customer configurations but offering the carrier-grade scale and resiliency required for larger deployments.
Since 2002, Iquall Networks has evolved its infrastructure to meet growing customer needs. The expertise of our partners combined with the latest technologies from Juniper have resulted in industry solutions that other service providers can benefit from. Our joint efforts further demonstrate that small service providers can take advantage of NFV, specifically in the Virtual Managed Service use-case we have outlined today.