A recent post published on AT&T‘s corporate blog by Chris Rice, Senior VP at AT&T Labs, and one of the most influential people in the telecom industry, together with John Medamana, VP Network Platforms, illustrated well the revolution the telecom industry is going through following the introduction of the white box concept.
The post, entitled, Scaling White Box, explains that being able to mix and match standardized hardware configurations with different software protocols enables to get a more open, flexible and cost-effective alternative to traditional proprietary, integrated networking equipment.
The post authors stated that in the emerging white box ecosystem, service providers take a much more active role in the end solution. They use the external ecosystem for key capabilities.
Eventually, service providers will benefit an end solution, which is modular and has open interfaces.
According to AT&T experts the white box other benefits include:
- Lower CAPEX and OPEX for the new solution
- Better visibility and input into the merchant silicon roadmap
- Using original design manufacturers (ODMs) for hardware configurations
- A growing, open hardware ecosystem in communities like the Open Compute Project (OCP)
- Service providers can now customize the solution for their needs using premium components
While these benefits are evident, not enough has been said about how telecom equipment manufacturers can benefit from adopting the white box approach and how service providers can get as a result cheaper equipment at much shorter supply times.
The white box ecosystem fits well into the vision of telecommunications solution providers such as Telco Systems.
In the past we at Telco Systems needed to develop and produce by ourselves each router, switch, port or any hardware component. These days, we can approach large ODMs such as Advantech, Lanner or AAEON and specify exactly what we need and get it much faster.
The white box ecosystem enables us to focus on what we do best without wasting resources on hardware production and engineering. By doing so, we can use whatever hardware we wish, with whatever product we want and with each VNFs (SilverPeak, Fortinet, Check Point or others), we wish.
This gives us the opportunity to offer our clients much more dynamic products for lower cost and much faster.