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Carrier-Grade Wireless LAN Controller



Service providers are increasingly adopting a Heterogeneous Network (HetNet) approach to cope with the growing number of bandwidth eager mobile devices and overcome performance limitations of traditional macro cells in indoor environments. Carrier Wi-Fi is an inexpensive way to improve broadband coverage at large public venues such as shopping malls or transport hubs and can be deployed to complement a small cell infrastructure especially in high density areas or crowded events such as stadiums or exhibition centers.

A carrier-grade Wireless LAN (WLAN) controller can scale to support over 10,000 access points and 100,000 clients and is designed to comply with telecom availability and resiliency standards. Depending on the network architecture, the WLAN controller can support gateway functions or can be deployed together with a WLAN gateway to provide authentication services and connectivity to the EPC and the Internet.


A wireless controller routes data traffic and manages clients’ authentication and access points. High-end WLAN controllers run on high-performance hardware to handle control and data plane traffic of large-scale Wi-Fi deployments with enhanced security. In a service provider environment, the wireless LAN controller also performs further data analytics, traffic filtering and encryption tasks and may support trusted access based on 3GPP standards. These application aware analytics and security operations make use of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) functions and are compute consuming. In addition, carrier Wi-Fi solutions need to offer a reliable service that is compliant with telecom standards of five 9’s of availability.


The Advantech SKY-8200 is a highly configurable carrier-grade server designed to balance the best in x86 server-class processing performance with maximum I/O and offload density in a 20” depth chassis. Architected around two Intel® Xeon® E5-2600 v4 Series processors, the SKY-8200 supports high density PCIe card payloads to integrate high-speed adapters such as the Advantech PCIE-2320 Dual Port 40GbE adapter, acceleration cards such as the Advantech PCIE-3020 dual Intel® QuickAssist Acceleration Card, or smart adapters such as the Netronome FlowNIC. When a broader range of Ethernet options are required, Advantech’s PCIE-series offers an ample choice of 1, 10 and 40GbE adapters with multiple port counts.

The SKY-8200 is designed for NEBS Level3carrier grade environments. The system provides hot-swappable and redundant AC and DC power supply modules, 3 sets of hot-swappable fans and 4 hot-swappable hard disk drives.


Advantech’s high performance and carrier grade servers offer a reliable, standard server architecture solution to host a WLAN controller function in carrier Wi-Fi deployments. Advantech SKY-8200 servers are:

  • Cost effective and optimized: the SKY-8200 is a COTS platform which supports high-density PCIe I/O that is balanced between CPU sockets for optimum throughput.
  • High performing and reliable: the SKY-8200 combines cutting-edge performance with the ruggedness and reliability of a NEBS 3 ready platform.
  • Designed for telecom: the 20” deep SKY-8200 follows the long system lifecycles required by networking equipment providers.
  • Scalable and flexible: interoperability testing is performed with a wide selection of third party PCIe card vendors from 1GbE adapters to smart NICs that can provide up to 20 Gb/s line-rate flow processing, packet inspection and capture.