Cloud network evolution opens up opportunities for "application-ready" platform providers.
The major NEP presentations at MWC so far, Nokia Siemens Networks and Ericsson, have both made it clear that operators are moving to cloud-based service platforms to enable more flexible and cost-efficient service delivery and the opportunity to grow new revenues.
That shift is opening up opportunities for platform providers to provide products that can deliver carrier-grade reliability and availability, with the increased power efficiencies and low cost platforms required by data centre operators. That could even mean there is an opportunity for these platform providers to expand their customer base beyond the typical telecoms equipment manufacturers to address a broader scope of network equipment providers.
One major platform provide, Kontron, has announced the launch of its SYMKLOUD MS2900 Media platform for cloud-based media content delivery and transcoding applications. The platform is an Intel i7 based, version of Kontron's SymKloud platform, launched in January.
That platform was designed to meet three main cloud server challenges: energy efficiency, expandability, and costly OPEX. It adapts power consumption to the actual workload as well as dynamically powering up or down processors independently. The platform integrates switching, load balancing and processing in a 3-in-1, 2U rackmount platform design. Kontron said that configuration enables cloud service providers to configure clusters of highly dense 42U cabinets that require four to eight times fewer fibre and copper cables.
Cloud-based processing and transcoding reduces the power and processing requirement on the device - making this launch particularly suited to mobile cloud services Mobile services also require certain things such as optimised streaming per network conditions, which in turn requires transcoding of content flows according to device and network conditions.
Transcoding requires a lot of compute cycles and is a fundamental necessity in the network, as numerous devices require a multitude of different bitrates, resolutions and codecs. The SYMKLOUD Media platform can run multiple applications - including transcoding - across multiple independent low-power, high-performance processors, with the Kontron platform featuring up to 18 Intel Core i7-3615QE Quad-Core Processors.
"With mobile video predicted to double every year and two thirds of mobile data traffic thought to be video by 2015, the need to build out cloud infrastructure to accommodate consumer demand has never been so great," said Steve Price, Intel General Manager Communications Infrastructure Division. "Solutions such as Kontron's SYMKLOUD enable service providers to prepare for video growth predictions as well as drive the growth for OTT and TV Everywhere, HD formats and devices, mobile video and video surveillance."
Sven Freudenfeld, VP Business Development, Kontron, told The Mobile Network, "There is pressure on operators to move applications into hosted services sites where cost reduction is key, but high availability features are still needed. In some cases, infrastructure on bladed architecture on top of ATCA can be very costly in terms of certification for NEPS. By introducing this platform we are not just adding processing power, but adding value by having built-in load balanacing, switching and system management - so that it becomes part of a platform that allows us to scale much better than using a pure computing environment."
Kontron will be refreshing its whole platform portfolio to be application-ready, Freudenfeld said, delivering hardware, OS and middleware in a platform that is as ready as possible for client applications, including the cloud space.