Universal CPE (uCPE) is a flexible solution that can support all the network connections and functions an enterprise will need, however not all uCPE systems are equal. A key challenge for communications service providers is choosing the right uCPE systems to meet the current needs of an enterprise, and the likely future needs, without over provisioning and incurring the additional costs that would involve. Following the initial enthusiasm for uCPE there is now wide range of mature uCPE systems available from both OEMs and ODMs, and new opportunities to use systems based on the latest processors from leading vendors.
uCPE systems are generic network appliances that can be provisioned with virtual network functions (VNFs) to support the networking functions required in a typical enterprise office. uCPE systems are usually supplied and managed as part of a complete communications and cloud services solution. A uCPE system consists of a uCPE hardware platform and uCPE software, including operating system and network functions virtualisation infrastructure (NFVi) for provisioning and managing the VNFs. In this blog I take a look at the types of uCPE hardware available and the main processor options.