Alcatel-Lucent Virtualizes Service Router Platform

In the modern world, hardware is not longer the be all, end all for networking vendors. Alcatel-Lucent embraces NFV with VSR.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Nov 14, 2014
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Alcatel-Lucent is embracing software-based routing, with its new Virtualized Service Router (VSR) platform.

The VSR platform includes multiple components as part of Alcatel-Lucent's overall embrace of the emerging Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) trend. The VSR-SIM is an MPLS software router simulator, the VSR-PE (Provider Edge) is an edge router and the VSR-AA (Application Assurance) provides reporting features.

Additionally, Alcatel-Lucent will have the VSR-SEGW Security Gateway as part of the portfolio, delivering virtualized security services. On the access side, the VSR-WLGW Wireless LAN Gateway will bring virtual WLAN features, and the VSR-BNG Broadband Network Gateway will round out the portfolio.

While performance has long been a question mark when looking at virtual networking deployments, Alcatel-Lucent is aiming to provide a high level of performance. The VSR-PE has been demonstrated to provide up to 320G of bandwidth running on a commodity x86 silicon-powered server.

From a management perspective, the VSR platform leverages the same Alcatel-Lucent Service Router Operator System (SROS) that powers the company's hardware routers. By using the same SROS, management and deployment of physical and virtual routers can be done more seamlessly, using familiar tools.

"There is lots of industry interest in NFV, and for valid reasons. With this announcement we can offer customers the best of both worlds: industry-leading performance on accelerated hardware platforms, as well as quick turn-up solutions running on standard hardware," Basil Alwan, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s IP Routing & Transport business line, said in a statement. "This flexibility is key, as the choices for which functions to virtualize and at what time will vary."

Alcatel-Lucent's VSR announcement follows a similar announcement from rival Juniper Networks last week. Juniper announced its vMX router, which is a virtual edition of its popular MX routing platform. As is the case with Alcatel-Lucent's VSR, Juniper is using the same operating system for both physical and hardware routers.

In addition to the VSR, Alcatel-Lucent's Nuage Networks venture announced its Virtualized Network Services (VNS) platform. With VNS, the goal is to extend network policy across any type of networking infrastructure.

"Nuage Networks VNS can dramatically simplify the delivery and consumption of network services by and for the world’s leading enterprises," Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Nuage Networks, said in a statement.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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