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Benu has the edge with cloud-native integrated SASE and 5G AGF

New broadband network gateway said to offer industry’s only carrier-first secure access service edge architecture as market scales to billions of devices, users and services

Even though many organisations have elements of the framework in their IT stack, and despite it being one of the most talked-about and anticipated new technologies, few companies to date still have a comprehensive secure access service edge (SASE) architecture.

But Benu Networks has announced that it is adding SASE, as well as 5G wireless wireline convergence (WWC) capabilities, to its virtual broadband network gateway (vBNG) product. It said the release would enable carriers to optimise network performance and scale, rapidly deploy SASE services to subscribers, and deliver a unified experience across fixed and mobile networks.

“Carriers need to be able to secure their networks and deploy solutions across converged networks as remote learning, work-from-home and the rapid growth of 5G continue to expand network demands and introduce new security challenges,” said Ron Westfall, senior analyst and research director at Futurum Research, explaining the challenge to be addressed.

“[The release] allows the BNG to become the software-defined (SD) edge, integrating SASE security and 5G capabilities as championed by the topmost influential industry-standard forums. By architecting its products in adherence to the standards set by BBF, 3GPP, MEF and others, it ensures the solutions are engineered to optimise wireless and wireline convergence in simplifying disaggregated, SD edge environments.”

At present, most SASE offerings take an “outside-in” approach, where the traffic travels out of the carrier network, through the internet, to the SASE solution in a datacentre to be secured. In stark contrast to this method, Benu said its software-defined SASE services run inside the carrier network, providing the industry’s only carrier-first SASE approach.

Benu claimed carriers could have an “unprecedented” level of control and lean into the untapped opportunity to run enterprise-class security for remote workers and business sites/branch offices with a more efficient, streamlined security that does not open the network to the risks associated with internet-based approaches.

Additionally, with a cloud-based infrastructure, Benu said operators could deliver higher bandwidth to more devices quickly and effectively. It added that cloud-native BNGs offer lower operational expenditures, ease of management and elastic scaling, providing operators with much-needed flexibility and agility.

The cloud-native vBNG is built on the Benu Networks SD-Edge Platform, a networking software solution that disaggregates hardware from software, and control plane from user plane, enabling operators to reduce cost, optimise their networks for the best user experience, and scale efficiently.

Benu claimed that with support for 5G access gateway function (AGF), service providers could embrace WWC to bring the benefits of 5G-like network slicing and low-latency services to fixed networks and Wi-Fi. The Benu 5G AGF is a natural evolution of the BNG, where 5G service providers can manage their fixed-line subscribers with their 5G core. Not only does this enable consolidated fixed and mobile billing, said Benu, but offers the full promise of fixed-mobile convergence for a consistent and seamless subscriber experience across home, business and 5G networks.

The SD-Edge Platform connects more than 25 million WLAN access points and CPE gateways to handle over 7PB (petabytes) of data daily. In its latest release, the vBNG offers cloud-native SASE services like IoT management, firewall zero-trust security services and bandwidth allocation.

“Our customers are thrilled we are bringing a cloud-native solution that is not only disruptive in performance and economics, but also enables high-value security services and the option to manage their fixed network using their 5G core,” remarked Benu Networks CEO Mads Lillelund.

“With our solution, operators will have the flexibility and agility to protect customers from within their broadband networks and deliver a unified experience across fixed and mobile networks. This delivers on our commitment to help operators delight customers, drive new revenue and reduce costs.”

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