Insight: Put Routers in Their Place

Posted by Mae Kowalke on Wednesday, November 04, 2015 with No comments

Still using routers at cell sites or the customer premises? That’s so 2015!


Say what?

Repeat: on-site routers are obsolete. Not only can they be virtualized on-site or off, but they can be eliminated altogether by allowing core and aggregation routers to do the work—if traffic is properly prioritized, and performance is established and assured by a programmable, small form factor (SFP) virtualized customer premises equipment (vCPE) module at the site location. Creating layer-3 prioritized layer-2 connectivity to the service endpoint is a proven way to improve performance, drive out 30% in CapEx and OpEx, and simplify networks.

vCPE Modules can not only eliminate the need for load-bearing routers, but ‘shadow routers’ as well—additional routers at each site, dedicated to monitoring. Integrated full life cycle performance assurance capabilities, powered by orchestrated VNFs, mean that performance is never compromised; to the contrary, it's optimized.

When they supplant more expensive, less adaptable routers, modules improve control, drive down costs, and optimize performance and customer quality of experience (QoE). This makes modules an important part of any operator’s strategy to sustain end-to-end visibility, gain control over evolving networks, and deliver premium QoE to differentiate themselves.


The problem with routers is that they:

  • Introduce latency 
  • Increase costs 
  • Make management more complicated 
  • Drive up OpEx 

By comparison, vCPE modules are low-power, take up very little physical footprint, and are centrally-controlled—all characteristics that make them well-suited for locations like cell sites with limited room and power, or remote branch offices that are expensive to service with a truck-roll. Sophisticated vCPE modules can maintain QoS, Carrier Ethernet and performance monitoring capabilities that routers are often installed to provide:
  • Establish H-QoS to prioritize service flows at layer 2 or 3—permitting remote routing at the next hop into the network without sacrificing performance for critical applications. 
  • Provide wire-speed test and ยต-second precise OAM, performance monitoring, turn-up testing, and fault isolation. 
  • Terminate services and provide flexible flow mapping and traffic conditioning, as well as multi-port aggregation—all without routing.
Embracing vCPE modules like Accedian’s GbE antMODULE or Nano Smart SFP is a cost-efficient approach for many applications, including data center connectivity/cloud service brokerage, financial WAN, business services over DOCSIS (BSoD), small cell/HetNet greenfield roll-outs, LTE expansion with new macro-site roll-out, and migration from GbE to 10GbE macro site connectivity.

Don’t get us wrong. Routers still have their place in the RAN, but they belong at high-density macro sites, aggregation points in the backhaul, or where multi-tenancy requires routing, not just service termination or monitoring.

Explore the versatility of vCPE modules across various segments of the telecom market: