Mobilizing the Intel® Network Builders Ecosystem for the Data-Centric Era

Nelson Mandela once said that “action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.” Many of us are drawn to technology precisely because, every so often, our work gives us an opportunity to literally change the world.

We are engaged in the fundamental transformation of traditional networking infrastructure with cloud technologies and economics in order to support the roll out of new services based on 5G, IoT and edge computing. This work will change the world of communications and, by extension, the way individuals and companies leverage data, analytics, and insights to communicate, interact and deliver value across every industry imaginable.

Today Intel announced a major leap forward in our data-centric vision as we celebrate the arrival of a new portfolio of innovations optimized for digital transformation. The new, 2nd generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors and complementary platform components are the key technologies that communication service providers (CommSPs) can leverage to move, store, and process any workload across the data center, cloud, core, intelligent edge and back.

I encourage to you read more about these exciting advances in a new blog by Dan Rodriguez, vice president of the Intel Data Center Group and general manager of the Network Compute Division. While these new capabilities represent significant action for Intel towards achieving our vision, we share this vision, plans and actions with an entire industry ecosystem. We cannot achieve network transformation alone and require close partnership and collaboration with our ecosystem partners and customers on innovation that moves the market forward.

Intel Network Builders

The Intel Network Builders program is the primary structure Intel uses to enable a world-class networking ecosystem of over 300 members and more than 40 CommSPs. Intel has engaged this ecosystem to help them optimize and commercialize their solutions using the Intel technology portfolio to deliver commercial solutions focused on overcoming barriers to the cloudification of the communications network. Intel® Select Solutions are reference designs we deliver to help accelerate infrastructure deployment on Intel Xeon processors for today’s critical workloads in advanced analytics, hybrid cloud, visual cloud, storage and networking.

Intel ® Select Solution for NFVI

Intel® Select Solution for NFVI helps CommSPs simplify the evaluation, purchase and implementation of rigorously benchmark tested and verified solutions that are optimized for real-world performance. The next generation of the Intel Select Solution for NFVI reference design is defined in collaboration with CommSPs, independent software vendors (ISV), operating system vendors (OSVs), and original equipment / original design manufacturers (OxM). This broad collaboration exposes the value of an I/O balanced architecture based on the new, 2nd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors and complementary platform components including Intel® Ethernet Converged Network Adapters, Intel® QuickAssist Technology (Intel® QAT), Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory and Intel® Solid State Drives. Partners can establish a consistent processing architecture foundation to accelerate data’s transformative impact across the network, deliver artificial-intelligence (AI) performance readiness and provide hardware-enhanced platform protection and threat monitoring.

We are excited to share the news that Adlink*, Advantech*, Caswell*, Celestica*, Lenovo*, Nexcom*, Nokia*, Quanta*, QNAP*, Red Hat*, Unbuntu* and WWT* have already committed to deliver updated Intel Select Solutions for NFVI with the new, 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors in the coming months.

Intel® Select Solution for Visual Cloud Delivery Network

Video traffic initially drove CommSPs towards network virtualization as a way to control operational and capital expenses, but now video content offers a significant growth opportunity.

The percentage of total internet traffic carried by content delivery networks (CDNs) is projected to grow from 56 percent in 2017 to 72 percent in 2022, according to Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Trends, 2017–2022 White Paper Traditional CDN providers face competitive pressures from media service providers that are shifting to deploy their own CDN networks. CommSPs have a unique, first-mover position to offer visual cloud delivery network services because they own the networks and have established customer relationships. While they can support their own content services, CommSPs can open this network to OTT streaming providers for new, revenue streams.

The Intel Select Solution for Visual Cloud Delivery Network consists of optimized hardware resources and an open-source software stack residing within a virtualized infrastructure. The solution stack leverages the most common and popular open source CDN caching frameworks, such as NGINX* and Apache Traffic Server (ATS)*. It also leverages open source media libraries, such as FFmpeg, Media Service Studio and Scalable Video Technology for media transcoding. Acceleration is built into the system for key CDN workload functions, such as cryptography, data compression and transcoding. CommSPs that utilize Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory get larger cache capacity vs. DRAM allowing them to cache more content on the edge. This new capability reduces video jitter for uninterrupted content streaming and consumption, improves scalability and delivers cost savings. This also means that consumers get their rich and interactive content anytime, anywhere and on any device without any buffering. When CommSPs combine Intel Optane DC persistent memory with Intel® Optane™ SSD and Intel® Visual Compute Accelerators 2 (VCA 2), they can deliver a minimum of 48 simultaneous streams for AVC video transcoding.1

Caswell*, Celestica*, Lanner*, Nexcom*, QNAP* and Quanta* are committed to delivering an Intel® Select Solution for Visual Cloud Delivery Network in the coming months.

2019 Intel Network Builders Winners’ Circle

We also believe it’s important to recognize and celebrate the partners that are most closely aligned with our mission. We created the Winners’ Circle to deliver technical leadership, advance open source standards, and collaborate with end users to drive innovation. Ecosystem partners are recognized for commercial delivery of virtualized or cloud-ready applications based on Intel Select Solution for NFVI and Intel Select Solution for uCPE with published benchmarks. We are also noting commercial edge applications based on the OpenNESS, SVT, Open Visual Cloud, or 5G integrated solution with commercial products. The finalists and winners will be announced during the Intel Network Builders Summit at the SDN NFV World Congress, Oct 14-17 in The Hague, Netherlands.

Right Out of the Gates

We have enjoyed a more expansive view of early 5G, IoT and edge computing applications at major conferences in early 2019. As we enter this new, data-centric era the industry will require a world-class foundation of compute, storage and networking to fully realize the potential at the intersection of these mega-trends. The industry also demands a broad ecosystem laser-focused of delivering solutions that remove the largest obstacles in the race towards digital transformation and unlock the greatest business value for all involved. This is our vision and plan of action, and we are excited to expand the breadth and depth of our commitment to reach the goals we share with the industry.


1 Base Configuration: Testing was conducted by Intel on Feb-20-2019, with the following hardware and software configurations: 1 Node, 2x Intel® Xeon® Gold 6230N Processor, 1x Intel® Server Board S2600WFT, Intel® C628 Series Chipset, Memory: 384 GB (12x 32 GB) DDR4 RDIMM; HyperThreading: Enable; Storage: 2x 1.2 TB Intel® SSD DC P3520 Series NVMe; Network devices: 2x 25GbE Dual port Intel® Ethernet Controller XXV710 SFP28+; ucode: 0x04000010; OS/Software: CentOS 7.6 (kernel 3.10.0-957.el7.x86_64); CDN components: Nginx 1.14.2, SVT 1.2.0, FFmpeg 4.0.3; Resolution Size: 1080p with 30fps.
Plus configuration: Testing was conducted by Intel on Feb-20-2019, with the following hardware and software configurations: 1 Node, 2x Intel® Xeon® Gold 6252 Processor, 1x Intel® Server Board S2600WFT, Intel® C628 Series Chipset; Memory 192 GB (12x 16 GB) DDR4 RDIMM + Intel® OptaneTM DC persistent memory 2-1-1 (4x 128 GB); HyperThreading: Enable; Storage: 2x 1.2 TB Intel® SSD DC P3520 Series NVMe; Network devices: 2x 25GbE Dual port Intel® Ethernet Controller XXV710 SFP28+; ucode: 0x04000010; OS/Software: CentOS 7.6 (kernel 3.10.0-957.el7.x86_64); CDN components: NGINX 1.14.2, SVT 1.2.0, FFmpeg 4.0.3. Resolution Size: 1080p with 30fps.