Dubbed the Nokia AirFrame open edge cloud infrastructure, it expands the Nokia AirFrame portfolio to deliver a layered network architecture that optimises performance and operator costs as they evolve their networks and prepare for 5G.
The AirFrame open edge cloud infrastructure has been developed for 5G, as the next generation wireless technology will create opportunities for operators to support advanced applications for consumers and industries, such as virtual and augmented reality video and real-time industry automation. Cloud RAN is seen as the key to deliver on the 5G promise of ultra-low latency and massive data throughput and will need to be supported by a highly efficient cloud infrastructure solution.
To balance costs and functionality, 5G will encourage operators to implement a layered cloud architecture. This will include centralised and regional data centres as well as high-processing capabilities deployed at the network edge - closer to where traffic is generated and where space is traditionally limited.
The Nokia AirFrame Open Edge server, which will begin shipping during the third quarter of 2018, extends the Nokia AirFrame data centre solution portfolio to make these edge deployments a reality. Designed in an ultra-compact size for deployment even at base station sites, the Nokia AirFrame open edge server will meet the most stringent end-customer data demands. Nokia's comprehensive portfolio of AirFrame data centre solutions enables operators to optimise network resources and intelligently distribute workload across the network, based on the type of data traffic as well as latency and throughput needs.
The hardware is complemented with a real-time, Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV)-compatible, OpenStack-distribution built to run in small data centres while providing the performance and low latency required by the edge environment. Also, Nokia cloud-wise services and Cloud Collaboration Hubs will help operators successfully plan and execute their edge cloud deployments.
Dimitris Mavrakis, Research Director at ABI Research, said: "The requirement for edge computing in telecom networks is rapidly changing, as the use case, application and 5G requirements continuously increase. Nokia's AirFrame open edge cloud infrastructure distributes established AirFrame capabilities to the edge and offers a graceful introduction of edge computing. Its orchestration and feature compatibility with existing Nokia products will provide for a lower friction transition to a distributed environment."
Dan Rodriguez, Vice President, Data Center Group; General Manager, Communications Infrastructure Division at Intel, said: "The edge cloud is an integral part of 5G network architecture, bringing more processing capabilities closer to where data is generated and consumed. Nokia's new AirFrame open edge solution is built on Intel Xeon Scalable processors, which offer the needed balance of computing, I/O and memory capacity for the edge cloud to work seamlessly across the wide range of workloads deployed on the edge. 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."
Marc Rouanne, president of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said: "The edge cloud will play an essential role in delivering the computing power required for 5G. 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 Nokia AirFrame open edge server will deliver the true decentralisation of 4G and 5G networks. We can work with operators to ensure that data centre capabilities are deployed exactly where they are needed to manage demands as they expand their service offering."