The pinnacle of commercial recreation on the high seas comes in the form of large cruise ships that accommodate thousands of passengers and crew, essentially a small city in the middle of the ocean. In the world of cruise ships, delivering a quality user experience and safety for cruise passengers and crew is of utmost importance. There is a multitude of ways in which software-defined networking (SDN) and SD-WAN can enhance the networking capability of those operating out to sea.

WAN optimization and disaggregated virtual network functions allow seamless traffic steering, load-balancing, reduce latency, and highly scalable acceleration. Maritime enterprises and operations rely on networking to access applications, communicate between ships and head office data centers, and provide always-on connectivity to passengers. SD-WAN provides reliable hybrid connectivity, bandwidth flexibility, and secured channels to optimize application performance, ship operations, and access management.


A close collaboration was formed between edge software partner, connectivity provider, and Lanner. The US-based cruise line adopted Lanner’s network appliance as a maritime communication gateway, and the hardware platform needed to meet the following requirements for the solution:

  • Powerful Computing Performance

16 to 32-core Intel Atom/Xeon server grade CPU – A multi-core computing platform with a high-core CPU provides optimal performance for multiple virtualized network functions and applications.

  • Multiple WAN Connections

The SD-WAN appliance needs to be capable of managing multiple connections (DSL, Broadband, Fiber, Wi-Fi, Satellite, Mobile communications networks, etc.) and bonds them together to deliver unparalleled speed capabilities. It allows easily convergence of existing infrastructures such as MPLS service, cable modem, Wi-Fi, and 5G/LTE through software-defined WAN, while ensuring constant uptimes, unified load-balancing and Zero-Touch Provisioning.

  • Scalable Expansion

Hardware expansion is a necessary design to meet the bandwidth due to the growing number of simultaneous users, concurrent sessions, and asymmetric connections. Thus, the joint solution is designed with NIC expansion slots for additional installation of wireless connectivity modules.

  • State-of-the-art Secure Technology

The appliance must support native hardware-based QAT, to off-load the secure link encryption. In addition to an on-board TPM for secure crypto-processing and tamper resistance at the hardware level.

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In this partnership, Lanner Electronics Inc. introduced its SD-WAN solutions NCA-6520 and NCA-2510 to enable virtualized WAN architecture so that customers can leverage third-party VNF software to run their operations. The maritime communication network delivers an automated, cloud-ready, and secure system for optimized service orchestration.

The NCA-6520, powered by the 3rd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processor (Codenamed Ice Lake SP) and the Intel® C627A chipset, supports up to 1536GB of system memory and 8 NIC module slots for almost any networking interface and I/O configuration. Additional notable features include 1300W/2000W or optional 1600W 1+1 ATX redundant power supply, 2x PCI-E *16, three M.2, and four individual hot-swappable smart fans.

The NCA-2510 is an open architecture, virtualization-optimized 1U rackmount white-box server for SD-WAN. NCA-2510 is powered by Intel® Atom™ C3958, C3758 or C3558 CPU (4 ~16 Cores) and 4x 288-pin DIMM DDR4 at 2,400MHz to efficiently execute load-balancing and network security. NCA-2510 comes with multiple RJ-45 and SFP networking ports to enable connectivity between branches and headquarters. For security acceleration, NCA-2510 is built in with Intel® QuickAssist Technology at 20Gbps, Intel® AES-NI Support and Intel® SR-IOV to accelerate cryptographic encryption/decryption performance and boost virtualization.

The NCS2-M201 is an NCS2 form factor carrier module, providing M.2 expansion NIC with support for Wi-Fi/5G Cards or Lanner swappable PGN-300/PGN-600/PGN-750 LTE/5G Modules.

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