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Apr 02 2019

Towards a top-grade data center performance

The telecommunications world is in a process of significant change. With the first commercial 5G networks being rolled out and massive Internet of Things (IoT) becoming a reality as we speak, telco networks need to meet ever higher requirements in terms of performance, scalability and agility. According to a recent estimate[1], mobile communications usage will grow to more than 900 Gigabyte per user per month by 2025 – an increase that users most likely will expect to get at the same price. This means that in only six years from now, 30 times more data will need to be handled at the same cost as today. Obviously, this huge challenge cannot be met with a simple “more of the same” approach but will require some radical changes, i.e. operators will need to make best use of cloud technology and scalability options while at the same time reducing their total cost of ownership (TCO). 

When it comes to the handling of massive amounts of data, the worlds of IT and telco data centers are faced with similar requirements. Applications based on ultra-high definition video, virtual reality and augmented reality (think mobile gaming!) are boosting the operator business, so better performance and lower latency are essential making the evolution to a fully virtualized cloud-native infrastructure a must. 

Nokia has a complete portfolio of data center products and solutions which covers the full range from centralized data centers to edge data centers with the latter being especially suited for the growing demand at the edge. Our Nokia AirFrame data center solution is designed to efficiently deliver extreme performance for the heaviest workloads. But with time to market being of the essence, we cannot do this on our own. We are therefore developing our data center solution in an active collaboration with industry partners and the open-source community. Nokia is a founding member of “open” platforms like OPNFV (Open Platform for NFV), ONAP (Open Network Automation Platform), OpenFastPath, Telecom Infra Project and the O-RAN Alliance. In the scope of O-RAN, we recently signed e.g. a contract with AT&T to co-develop a RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) to accelerate the deployment of open-source software for the 5G RAN.

Partners

One of our most important and trusted partners in this open environment is Intel, and the newly launched 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor family will bring even higher performance and enhanced capabilities to our Nokia AirFrame servers. The results of our recent benchmarking show substantial improvements over the previous generation of Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors with performance gains up to 20% on key CPU benchmarks.

We are also benefiting from the Intel® Select Solutions program which helps us create dedicated solutions for specific workloads and requirements. In addition, we are closely working with Intel on the further development of our edge and multi-access edge type of solutions, so we can design and benchmark for better performance, higher throughput and lower latency. Nokia was one of the first partners to deliver a verified Intel® Select Solution for NFVI and is committed to continuing the collaboration with Intel to build upon the 2nd Generation of Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors.

While Nokia is bringing its advanced telco know-how to this partnership, Intel is bringing its experience from the enterprise and the IT industry. The result is a perfect mix and an all-round and highly efficient data center solution. 

For more information, watch the YouTube video and visit our Nokia AirFrame data center infrastructure page.

Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokiaCloud, @nokianetworks or @nokia using #5G #cloud #edge #datacenter #opensource 

[1] Nokia Bell Labs study.

About Michael Clever

Michaelis Senior Vice President and Head of Cloud RAN, Mobile Networks, Nokia. No matter what the topic – and he’s worked on a lot of them during his 30+ years in the network business – Michael always thinks "customer first." When he’s not driving Nokia’s Cloud RAN business, you’ll find him outdoors enjoying sports with his family and friends.

Tweet me at @michael_clever 

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