Enea Edge has been recognized as a pioneering product in SD-WAN and awarded top prize for technology innovation at the SD-WAN Summit in Beijing on 17 December 2021.
In this interview, Emmanuel Roger, Enea's VP of Sales for Asia Pacific, explains why.
Enea: Emmanuel, first of all, can you tell us a little bit about the SD-WAN Awards?
Emmanuel Roger: As the name suggests, the SD-WAN Awards recognize products and companies that have made outstanding achievements in SD-WAN. They are organized in association with the China SD-WAN Summit and they are announced during the event. What I think is most interesting about these awards is that winners are chosen by cumulating votes from both the public and an expert jury. For the product awards, judging is based on a detailed description of technical specifications, of course, but also on a product's innovative qualities and the value it brings to SD-WAN.
Enea: So, what do you think made the difference and put Enea Edge ahead of the competition?
ER: Enea Edge received strong endorsements from both the jury and the public. What impressed them most about Enea Edge was its pioneering approach to second-generation SD-WAN. They appreciated the technical qualities of the product, of course, but also the way in which it can simplify operational procedures, gives vendors and users more flexibility in the services that are delivered and helps to reduce up-front and operational costs.
Enea: Can you describe Enea Edge and tell us how it is used in SD-WAN?
ER: Enea Edge is a complete management and virtualization platform for uCPE, which stands for universal customer premise equipment. It allows service providers and enterprises to implement second-generation SD-WAN by virtualizing services and running them on standard white boxes. Enea Edge allows full flexibility in the choice and combination of applications deployed on the uCPE. The solution provides extensive automation and management capabilities and because it is based on NetConf, not OpenStack, it is able to deliver full throughput and performance with minimal footprint. This approach optimizes CAPEX and OPEX for both enterprises and service providers.
Enea: You say that Enea Edge enables second-generation SD-WAN. Can you explain the difference between first-generation and second-generation?
ER: First-generation SD-WAN installations are inflexible and limited. They are characterized by monolithic, single-vendor solutions that are fixed-function and require a full rip-and-replace operation for updates. They also impose significant limitations on the system integrators (SIs) and managed service providers (MSPs) that deliver them, preventing customization of services or optimization for specific vertical markets.
Enea has been pioneering a virtualized approach to deliver second-generation SD-WAN that has no limitations. By using uCPE, it guarantees that users can leverage the best available SD-WAN solutions from the whole vendor ecosystem, with the freedom to change them at any time.
Enea: How can enterprises and managed service providers benefit from Enea Edge for second generation SD-WAN?
The Enea-based architecture comprises standards-compliant virtualized applications running on white-box servers under the control of the Enea Edge secure virtualization platform. Management is fully remote including application installation, configuration, operation and updates, allowing centralization of operations for multi-branch or multi-vendor solutions. This centralization means that enterprises with multiple locations of different sizes can cost-effectively scale and secure their deployments (from devices to homes to branch offices). SIs and MSPs can maximize the flexibility and range of services they provide to their customer base, increasing the Average Revenue per User (ARPU).
Users of second-generation SD-WAN based on Enea Edge can also use the platform to house additional edge services, creating new business opportunities and enabling significant CAPEX and OPEX savings. Areas of potential include industrial IoT (IIoT), private LTE/5G, highly-immersive augmented reality (AR), video surveillance and smart retail where certain functions could leverage edge compute to achieve critical low-latency decision-making and/or to minimize the bandwidth required for backhaul to the cloud.
Enea: So, when you deploy Enea Edge, what does it consist of exactly?
ER: Enea Edge consists of three elements:
- Enea Edge Runtime: a uCPE operating system for white-boxes providing virtual machines and containers
- Enea Edge Management: a centralized platform that provides application and virtual network function (VNF) lifecycle management
- Enea Edge Automation: a framework for automating deployment and operation of large-scale networks
- Enea: Enea Edge customers include inq, Videns, Tforce, CMC networks... In your opinion, why do customers choose Enea Edge?
ER: For me, there are 9 main reasons to choose Enea Edge. It sounds like a lot! But they make a significant difference to the delivery of enterprise services and in particular SD-WAN.
- First and foremost, of course, Enea Edge is optimized for white-box uCPE: This enables a low footprint deployment with high networking performance based on NETCONF (no OpenStack)
- No lock-in: Enea Edge on uCPE means the freedom to choose any application and any vendor, meaning freedom in service innovation
- Colocation of SD-WAN/edge applications: This simplifies on-premises compute with secure network connectivity, making it easier to deploy, manage, and innovate edge/IoT applications, which in turn speeds digital transformation
- Automated deployment and management: This enables Zero Touch Provisioning, Ansible automation, and orchestration integration
- High scalability: Enea Edge deployments can scale from ultra-slim 2 Core / 2GB RAM hardware configurations to high-end Xeon servers making them very cost-efficient
- Secure: Enea Edge uses NETCONF for all management communications, secure boot and role-based access control
- Centralized uCPE management: The Enea Edge Management platform centralizes application onboarding, networking management and application lifecycle management
- Simplified innovation: The deployment of software functions in a layered solution (rather than a fixed-function, vertically integrated solution) gives much more flexibility for innovation and is especially interesting for start-ups
- Future-Ready: Applications on existing uCPE deployments can be replaced or services can be extended with the addition of new applications on-demand
Enea: Why is Enea Edge considered to be pioneering?
ER: Enea Edge makes second-generation SD-WAN possible through the virtualization of service delivery. It not only provides a unique combination of performance and ease-of-use, but also gives access to a strong ecosystem of SD-WAN vendors, security application vendors, and white-box vendors. It accelerates digital transformation by enabling new services at the customer premises edge and helps service providers and enterprises to break free from vendor lock-in that otherwise holds back innovation as well as technical and business progression.
Enea: It's no surprise that Enea Edge was named winner of the SD-WAN Summit Product Technology Innovation Awards 2021!
For more information on Enea Edge, click here.
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