5G Edge Servers for the Open RAN
vRAN opens the telco edge to innovation, enabling new Internet of Things (IoT), cloud partnerships and private network services that will allow operators to monetize 5G investment. But many uncertainties remain unsolved in the way to develop the RAN of the future. With network disaggregation, white-box hardware has become a key concern not only in terms of performance but also regarding critical aspects such as energy consumption, environmental and mechanical constrains, platform maintainability and serviceability. Advantech 5G Edge Servers expand operators’ white box base station hardware choice by providing them with an enhanced range of high performance servers that have been optimized for vRAN and the telco edge to meet high availability and carrier-grade network needs.
Building the Backbone of the New IoT Economy
The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming businesses across all industries. We are approaching a hyper-connected era where 5G becomes a fundamental pillar to enable the new IoT economy. Corporations look at IoT as the next industrial revolution and are increasingly bringing more intelligence onsite, building smart factories, smart hospitals, smart campuses, smart stadiums, smart cities, smart grids and in general, smart enterprises. These require advanced private network services that guarantee data security, real time operations and broad device connectivity. 5G New Radio (5G NR) is the air interface being developed to support these new use cases in three main categories: Ultra-reliable and Low-latency Communications (uRLLC), Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) and Massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC). These standards will allow MNOs to create new opportunities and generate new revenue streams in fast-growing markets such as Industrial IoT (IIoT), 4K/8K live streaming, smart mobility and iHealth.
5G, vRAN and O-RAN White-box Hardware Challenges
- Performance per watt: white-box servers based on
Intel® Xeon® processors balance x86 economy of scale with
CPU performance to fit vRAN deployments from small to macro cells. Advantech
SKY-8000 servers for vDU provide a wide choice of white-box carrier-grade
platforms that scale from Intel® Xeon® D processor configurations
supporting extended operating temperature range, all the way up to dual 2nd Gen
Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor based designs that can be
deployed as micro data centers at the edge or in virtual Central Offices (vCO).
The short-depth range has been designed for high density PCIe card payload to
integrate vRAN acceleration, I/O and time
synchronization technologies while optimizing vDU performance per watt.
This becomes essential to support compute-intensive 5G NR use cases, increasing
bandwidths, hardware consolidation strategies and advanced antenna systems.
- Telco edge: there is no blueprint when deploying the future RAN. Distributed Unit (DU) and Central Unit (CU) functions can be combined or split and deployed at the radio site or in centralized locations depending on density, services, transport network speeds and distance between sites. While some of these cases will allow certain vRAN functions to be hosted in the data center, the majority of these will need to be deployed closer to subscribers in radio sites or telco central offices. Advantech 5G Edge Servers integrate field-proven carrier-grade features that help minimize costly downtime when deploying high computing power in remote NEBS Level 3 network locations. These include advanced thermal and electrical design, dust filter and DC support, redundant and field-replaceable power supply units and fans, fail-safe BIOS and firmware updates and built-in security. All this in a compact design that allows short depth telecom rack use.
Base Station Hardware Selection Guide
The Carrier-Grade Advantage
Platform Differentiation: DESIGN
More than CPU Performance
Unlike IT servers, SKY servers are designed from the ground up to optimize throughput and offload required by communication workloads. The systems not only combine powerful CPUs with support for high thermal design power (TDP) PCIe cards but also carefully balance I/O between multiple processor sockets (NUMA balanced). These performance and density advantages maximize system throughput in energy efficient, smaller footprint deployments which reduces total cost of ownership (TCO).
SKY servers have been designed to withstand high shock and vibration levels and provide unique thermal properties. They can operate at high temperatures in both clean and dusty environments. With short depth models starting at 11” (280 mm), SKY-8000 servers can easily be deployed in telco racks and outdoor cabinets. Their service friendly design and its front to rear airflow combined with our integration service ease product development reducing technical and schedule risks.
Platform Differentiation: RELIABILITY
In business and mission critical applications, service interruptions result in the loss of valuable data, revenue and customers. To minimize system downtime, our servers do more than just use the reliability features of the processor platform: Advantech's advanced design yields higher margins and lower component stress for improved platform reliability. The servers support single failures of critical components such as power supply modules and fans. In addition, redundant BIOS and firmware images not only provide a safe way to recover from component failures but also offer remote fail-safe update capabilities via Advantech`s IPMI which reduces MTTR and costly on-site services.
Secure & Serviceable
Platform Differentiation: LIFE CYCLE MANAGEMENT
Integration, Customization & Design
Advantech takes a complete platform approach with the SKY server line to help solution providers offload the complex system integration and validation services of PCIe cards from Advantech and third parties. We integrate, test and deliver fully integrated systems. Solution providers can also leverage our Customized COTS framework for semi-custom electronic or mechanical design as well as full product branding including artwork, packaging and BIOS firmware strings or IDs. As we design and manufacture all our sub-assemblies we are able to modify and optimize any element in the system to suit a specific market need.
Full Life Cycle Support
Platform Differentiation: ECOSYSTEM COLLABORATION
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