Increasing processor performance and virtualized network architectures are opening up new opportunities for rackmount appliance platforms. Service providers are finding they can replace fixed function network appliances with virtualized network functions (VNFs) running on rackmount appliance platforms and carrier grade servers. In some cases an $80,000 network appliance can be replaced by a 2U rackmount appliance platform and third-party software at a significantly lower cost. Rackmount appliance platforms can also be used to replace large and relatively expensive chassis-based systems that used previous generations of processors. This report details and analyzes rackmount appliance platforms, carrier grade servers and software solutions from 15 leading vendors in this important market. The report profiles the vendors and reviews specific platform architectures, identifying the key features and highlighting the advantages they hold for system developers and service providers.
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