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February 12, 2019

Ericsson and Intel to Co-Develop “Next-Gen” Hardware Management Platform

Move comes amid push to develop composable disaggregated infrastructure

By CBR Staff Writer

Ericsson and Intel have announced a new multi-year partnership that will see the two co-develop a “next-generation” hardware management platform designed to underpin Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV), distributed cloud, and 5G and boost network/data centre flexibility as workloads grow more volatile.

(NFV allows users to run network functions on general-purpose hardware, scale network functions up and down easily and automate service delivery).

The two described the platform as being designed to “extend the agility of the cloud to the hardware infrastructure layer” and “help speed time-to-market, maximize utilization, and reduce total cost of ownership” for service providers.

Lars Mårtensson, Head of Cloud & NFV infrastructure, Business Area Digital Services, Ericsson, says: “We have long history of successful collaboration with Intel.”

“This new collaboration will focus on software in addition to hardware and we see it to be truly transformative for service providers’ ability to successfully deploy open cloud and NFV infrastructure, from centralized datacenters to the edge.”

See also: “Fiendishly Complicated” 5G Networks: Exciting, Expensive, Ever Coming?

Sandra Rivera, Senior Vice President, Network Platform Group, Intel, says: “5G will be transformative, accelerating today’s applications and triggering a wave of new usages and edge-based innovation. Our infrastructure manageability collaboration with Ericsson will help communications service providers remove deployment barriers, reduce costs, and deliver new 5G and edge services with cloudlike speed on a flexible, programmable and intelligent network.”

Ericsson Intel Deal Comes Amid CDI Push

The two will focus their efforts on aligning ongoing development efforts in software-defined infrastructure (SDI) and Intel Rack Scale Design (RSD) – a new hyperscale data center architecture, based on a concept of “composable disaggregated infrastructure“, or (CDI).

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(This involves breaking servers down into their constituent components – i.e compute modules, non-volatile memory, storage, etc. – and managing them as “pools” of available resources through scalable management APIs. This allows them to be much more flexibly configured for specific workloads and applications.)

These unified development efforts will allow operators to leverage multi-vendor hardware options, Ericsson’s end-to-end software solutions, and Intel’s latest architectural innovations, the two said in a joint release.

“As part of the collaboration, Ericsson and Intel will converge Ericsson SDI Manager software and Intel RSD reference software while maintaining full backward compatibility for current customers. Jointly-developed software and hardware innovations resulting from the collaboration will be offered in subsequent Ericsson hardware platforms and may also be offered with Intel’s server products which are sold through other partners and in other industry segments.”

Ericsson SDI system is based on Intel RSD and provides a common managed hardware pool for all workloads that dynamically scales and enables fast service rollout, performance optimization and efficient hardware utilization. Intel RSD is an industry-wide architecture for disaggregated, composable infrastructure that fundamentally changes the way a data center is built, managed, and expanded over time.

The two said they will demo Ericsson SDI Manager at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, February 25-28.

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