Dell and Intel Work Together to Enable Next-Generation Telecom Applications

As part of the launch of the Intel® Open Network Platform Server Reference Design, we’ve asked key development partners to blog on their work with Intel on this reference architecture and their views on network transformation.  Today’s blog is by Franklin Flint of Dell OEM.

For the past several years, the Dell Inc. OEM division has been working with telecom ISVs and equipment companies to develop new network functions virtualization (NFV) telecom solutions using Intel-based Dell PowerEdge™ servers.

We’ve had great success with ISVs choosing Dell for their new NFV proofs of concept.  But at the same time, we’ve heard from customers that there is a need for a solution for the very high-performance end of the market.

That’s why we’re working with Intel and Red Hat to develop the NFV Reference Architecture 1.0. We demonstrated first instantiation of the reference design at last week’s Intel Developer Forum 2014.

Boosting the Data Plane Processing Performance of COTS Servers

Many of our customers need servers for virtual machines that deliver the same specialized data plane processing performance as that delivered by today’s fastest dedicated appliances. 

The NFV Reference Design is designed to do that. It is a complete software solution that includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack® Platform, Intel® Data Plane Development Kit Open vSwitch and Intel® Quick Assist technology all of which can significantly improve data plane processing and overcome some of the latency challenges inherent in virtual machine architecture.

At IDF, we showed this software running on a Dell PowerEdge™ R720 server giving ISVs the first glimpse of the kind of performance they can tap into for developing their next-generation applications.

The PowerEdge™ R720 is one of Dell’s most popular high performance rack servers and provides a balance of density, power consumption, expandability, and acquisition cost for running virtual machine applications. At 2RU high, the server is based on the Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 or E5-2600 v2 with up to 12 cores and 24 DIMMs for tremendous memory expansion to run virtual machines.

Both large and small telecom developers can benefit from this new platform. Large ISVs can move much more quickly into the NFV market and keep customers who may be considering moving to these applications. For smaller ISVs, the ability to check “develop high-performance server hardware” off the engineering to-do list dramatically reduces development costs and time to market.

In addition, the value of working with Dell extends beyond the hardware to our OEM Solutions team and a unified and consistent Global sales and support team.

Dell has had a long-standing relationship with Intel and we’re looking forward to bringing our global marketing and customer service strengths to helping to enable the NFV telecom solutions of the future.