Monday, February 22, 2016

#MWC16: Facebook's Telecom Infra Project Brings OCP Model to Infrastructure

Facebook is launching a "Telecom Infra Project", "an engineering-focused initiative that is bringing operators, infrastructure providers, system integrators, and other technology companies together to collaborate on the development of new technologies and reimagine traditional approaches to building and deploying telecom network infrastructure."

The idea is to take the principles of the Open Compute Project (OCP) model and apply them to software systems and components involved in access, backhaul, and core networks.  The OCP model has been successful in spurring change in the data center.  Now, Facebook believes the same can be done for carrier networks.

Facebook said the initial focus of TIP will be on disaggregating the components of network infrastructure that are traditionally bundled together and vendor-specific.

TIP members will participate by contributing specs for network hardware or software, working together to develop and define new specs, designing new network topologies to solve for specific connectivity challenges, and adopting and deploying the technologies that emerge from these efforts.

At launch, several TIP members have agreed to contribute an initial set of reference designs focusing on access. Planned contributions include a reference design for a network-in-a-box–compatible hardware platform that is configurable as either a 2G or an LTE cellular access point or as a network node that is compatible with local power and networking infrastructures, as well as a network-in-a-box software reference code that includes both traditional access functionality as well as services typically found in the central data center, which will help simplify the network architecture and reduce cost. Facebook also plans to contribute a software solution to address challenges in wireless backhaul for an L3 mesh network, focusing on scalability, fast convergence, ease of configuration, and extensibility.

Major launch partners include Intel, Nokia, Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom.

Nokia Incorporates Open Compute Designs into AirFrame Portfolio

Nokia plans to incorporate Open Compute Project (OCP) designs into its AirFrame Data Center Portfolio, aiming to offer greater efficiency, density, cooling and power usage effectiveness.

OCP-based variants for computing, network and storage will be developed in line with OCP specifications, but taking into account the specific needs of the telco domain such as regulatory requirements, Direct Current (DC) power feeding and electromagnetic shielding.

Nokia said it plans to offer a full end-to-end data center solution for telco, IT and enterprise customers, with cloud wise services supporting design and deployment. The OCP-based variants will complement the already available AirFrame rackmount servers launched in June 2015, offering complete flexibility, scalability and reliability for smaller and more distributed data center deployments.