What is uCPE?

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Universal customer premises equipment or uCPE is a general-purpose platform that virtually integrates a number of functions to operate at practically any site on a network, turning networking hardware appliances into software-defined networking appliances. With the advent of uCPE, due to its virtualized network functions (VNFs) and centralized management, learning and management efforts are greatly reduced, and at the same time, an enterprise can reap on the benefits of using uCPE appliances which are:

  • Reduced capex when buying equipment
  • Reduced opex with a simpler network architecture
  • The ability to fit more applications onto fewer appliances
  • Improved adaptability by easily changing the network
  • Centralized appliance management

CAPEX is reduced when buying new appliances because the hardware is no longer proprietary and avoids vendor lock-in, therefore the number of appliances needed goes down, and network updates or upgrades often don’t require hardware replacement. Network opex goes down as well because fewer people are needed to manage, orchestrate, and update uCPEs from a remote location. These benefits are similar to a software-defined wide area network, or SD-WAN for short, which is a software-defined approach to managing the wide-area network. And because SD-WANs typically use uCPEs to centrally control and automate the network by increasing network virtualization, the network is easily improved through remote software patches and upgrades. It also makes deploying new branches and operating the whole network less expensive and easier to manage.

Fig 1. QCT uCPE architecture

Instead of using several different proprietary appliances to handle different network functions from routing to network security, a uCPE can be used to virtualize each of these functions, including the SD-WAN, firewall, etc. Also, by deploying SD-WAN, enterprises can reduce the usage of MPLS and dedicated lines for network communication between branches and headquarters. In turn, this more efficient system of network management greatly reduces labor, equipment, and communication costs. 

Fig 2. QuantaEdge EGT23D-DT

As a result, the QuantaEdge EGT23D-DT was created as the first solution in QCT’s uCPE product portfolio. Integrated with Intel’s C3000 SoC to provide up to 12 cores of processing power and optimized with a fan-less design, this “white-box” is suitable for virtualized applications in a wide range of use cases from branch offices to small and medium sized businesses, and even factory automation. QCT collaborates with Kneron, as well as Altran, ENEA, and flexiWAN to create a strong alliance of industry leaders to make our uCPE hardware interoperable. QCT has even used Kneron AI chips in its own smart factory which has resulted in faster processing times, safer environments, and greatly reduced costs.

Learn more about QCT’s EGT23D-DT here.

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