Broadband Forum’s vBG network spec targeted at SD-WANs; led by ONUG

The Broadband Forum has published TR-328, the Virtual Business Gateway, a network specification meant to facilitate the adoption of Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) technology. The Forum says that  Virtual Business Gateway (vBG) (TR-328) “enables SD-WAN spearheaded by The Open Networking User Group (ONUG).”

–>We’ll try to unpack that quote later in this post, by examining SD-WAN projects in the ONUG.

“As operators look to transform their networks with greater use of software and virtualization, demand for solutions, such as the vBG and CloudCO, with these associated reference implementations and API’s is growing – the market is now ready for standards-based software deliverables for Open Broadband,” Robin Mersh, CEO of Broadband Forum, said in a press release.

The Forum said that “vBG accelerates the delivery of new-generation
standardized, carrier-class, interoperable business services such as enterprise class firewall and Wide Area Network optimization. SD-WAN, spearheaded by the Open Networking User Group (ONUG), is enabled by the vBG, which connects to other Broadband Forum initiatives such as CloudCO and the Network Enhanced Residential Gateway. The completion of the landmark specification
comes at the same time as the Forum begins work on two major software projects for Open Broadband and makes significant progress on its CloudCO project.”

The Broadband Forum said that the vBG system enables greater efficiency in service provider networks by virtualizing some of the functionality of a Business Gateway into a flexible hosting environment, which may be located at the customer premises, in the operator’s network, such as a CloudCO, or using a combination of the two approaches.

By using the vBG, a service provider could simplify customer-located and customer self-provisioning through a web portal, enabling it to enhance new service delivery times, shutting down unsuccessful services and up-selling value-added services. All of this can be done without the need to deploy specialized hardware devices to remote enterprise sites.  Here are several illustrations of vBG in action:

Illustrations above courtesy of Broadband Forum

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

TR-328 Summary:

  • TR-328 specifies the virtual Business Gateway (vBG) system architecture. The vBG system virtualizes some of the functionality of a Business Gateway into a flexible hosting environment which may be located at the customer premises, in the operator’s network, such as a CloudCO or using a combination of the two
  • With the vBG system architecture, the functions provided traditionally by the BG are now distributed between a simplified on-site physical device called the pBG (physical Business Gateway) and a virtualized component – the virtual Business Gateway. The vBG hosting environment can benefit both from network equipment and recent network virtualization technology
  • TR-328 describes the motivations to deploy the vBG System architecture, based on the use cases that it enables. In particular, it facilitates simplification of the customer located equipment, customer self-provision through a portal, rapid introduction of new services, decommissioning of unsuccessful ones, and upselling value-added services. All without the need to deploy specialized hardware devices to remote enterprise sites. Examples of value-added services include: enterprise class firewall and Wide Area Network optimization.

The vBG was published and the Open Broadband projects were launched during the Broadband Forum’s Q3 meeting, which took place in Helsinki Finland. The Open Broadband projects will be managed under the Broadband Forum’s “agile Open Broadband software” initiative, allowing for member and non-member participation to create a fast feedback loop between the specifications and the source code reference implementation that supports them. These new software projects are the first open source initiatives undertaken by the Broadband Forum.

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

Related BB Forum specs Title
TR-359 A Framework for Virtualization
TR-345 Broadband Network Gateway and Network Function Virtualization
TR-328 Virtual Business Gateway
TR-317 Network Enhanced Residential Gateway

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Editor’s Note:

Up till now there have been no specifications for an internal SD-WAN or anything resembling an NNI to interconnect SD-WANs from different service providers.  The new spec is not a standard as neither the Broadband Forum or Open Network User Group (ONUG) is an official standards organization – like ITU or IEEE.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

ONUG SD-WAN Activity:

As far as we can tell, the closest to a realizable SD-WAN specification is the ONUG’s Open SD-WAN Exchange (OSE) project. It’s said to be an open framework to enable inter-operability between SD-WANs and cloud providers. 

ONUG says their OSE use cases address marketplace M&A, business partner connectivity, cloud/service provider network connectivity, technology transition, and vendor lock-in mitigation.

For more info on ONUG SD-WAN specification efforts, please see this presentation  from ONUG’s Spring 2017 meeting. Related content:

……………………………………………………………………….

SD-WAN Market Update:

Last week, China Telecom Global announced global SD-WAN service with integrated security provided by Versa Networks (one of many SD-WAN software start-ups). Separately, Windstream said at a Goldman Sachs conference that the advent of SD-WAN and Office Suite will enable it to breathe much-needed life into its SMB ILEC and SMB CLEC units, which have seen revenue struggles in recent years.

IDC estimates that worldwide SD-WAN infrastructure and services revenues will see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 69.6% and reach $8.05 billion in 2021. That forecast seems incredibly optimistic without agreed upon specs/standards for multi-vendor inter-operability and SD WAN inter network connectivity.

………………………………………………………………………………………

References:

https://www.broadband-forum.org/standards-and-software/major-projects/virtual-business-gateway

https://www.broadband-forum.org/news/download/pressreleeases/2017/PR11_BBF_Q3Helsinki_FINAL.pdf

http://www.fiercetelecom.com/telecom/broadband-forum-targets-sd-wan-trend-vbg-network-specification

https://www.onug.net/open-sd-wan-exchange-ose/

http://www.fiercetelecom.com/telecom/windstream-says-sd-wan-office-suite-combo-will-enhance-smb-ilec-smb-clec-business-revenues

http://www.zdnet.com/article/china-telecom-announces-global-sd-wan-service/

 

 

Recent Posts