Nokia takes AirFrame to the network edge with OPNFV and OpenStack server

© Nokia

© Nokia

  • Compact AirFrame open edge server leverages open architectures
  • Provides support for ultra-low latency data processing demands of Cloud RAN
  • Also supports applications such as industry automation and augmented reality
  • Runs on Intel Xeon Scalable processor with Nokia’s ReefShark chipset

Nokia has launched what it says is the industry's first Edge Cloud data centre solution to meet the stringent and diverse low-latency data processing demands of Cloud RAN and advanced applications for consumers and industries. The Nokia AirFrame open edge cloud infrastructure expands the company’s AirFrame portfolio to deliver a layered network architecture that optimizes performance and operator costs as they evolve their networks towards 5G.

This move to 5G will result in an architectural shift, as data centres move out towards the edge and radio functionality moves back the other way. In other words (and Nokia gave a great presentation on this at ONS last month), the current radio is distributed whilst the core is centralised, but the goal with 5G is to make radio more centralised for faster scalability and the core more distributed for low latency. Where they meet is at the network edge, hence the increasing importance of the edge cloud.

“The requirement for edge computing in telecom networks is rapidly changing, as use case, application and 5G requirements continuously increase,” said Dimitris Mavrakis, Research Director at ABI Research.

The Nokia AirFrame Open Edge server, which will begin shipping during the third quarter of 2018, has been designed in an ultra-compact size for deployment even at base station sites. The hardware solution is complemented with a real-time, OPNFV-compatible, OpenStack distribution built to run in small data centres, while providing the performance and low latency required by the edge environment. In addition, Nokia cloud-wise services and Cloud Collaboration Hubs will help telcos plan and execute their edge cloud deployments.

“The edge cloud will play an essential role in delivering the compute power required for 5G,” said Marc Rouanne, president of Mobile Networks at Nokia. “By expanding our AirFrame and 5G Future X portfolio we can provide a network architecture that meets the needs of any operator and their customers. Used with the Nokia ReefShark chipset and our real-time cloud infrastructure software, the open edge server will deliver the right decentralization of 4G and 5G networks.”

The new cloud data centre solution is based on an x86 architecture, tailored to fully support edge cloud deployments, supporting up to five servers, each with a single next generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor.

“The edge cloud is an integral part of 5G network architecture, bringing more processing capabilities closer to where data is generated and consumed,” said Dan Rodriguez, VP Data Center Group and GM Communications Infrastructure Division at Intel. “With AirFrame, Nokia and Intel are bringing the performance and capabilities of Intel architecture-based cloud data centres to the edge to deliver the optimal end user experience for 5G deployments including virtual reality, augmented reality and industrial automation.”

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