MWC 2017: Ericsson NFV infrastructure offering joins with Netronome Agilio SmartNIC Platform for high operational efficiency

Netronome, a vendor of high-performance networking solutions extended this week support to Ericsson for the Agilio CX SmartNIC platform in the Ericsson NFV infrastructure (NFVi) solution. The Agilio CX platform offloads and accelerates datapath processing in the Ericsson NFVi solution, freeing up CPU cores for vital revenue generating applications while keeping virtual machines (VMs) and virtual network functions (VNFs) hardware independent for fast onboarding and optimum placement in the server infrastructure.

With relentless increase in mobile data traffic rates and the advent of 5G speeds, this solution gives the telco operators a tool to improve performance across the range of NFV and IT workloads, while improving the utilization of the server infrastructure.

Ericsson’s NFVi solution integrated with the Agilio CX platform from Netronome ushers new levels of integration of hardware-accelerated NFVi with open source and standards based ecosystems. Netronome and Ericsson have worked together to upstream support for NFVi acceleration into the Linux, OpenStack, Open vSwitch, Open Daylight, and OPNFV communities.

The resulting solution will allow for a seamless end-user experience, providing drop-in acceleration capabilities that can be easily added when and where needed, allowing for more flexible deployment and reducing operational complexity.

Ericsson’s NFVi Solution is a cloud infrastructure and management solution verified by Ericsson to meet target requirements for deploying Telco and IT services. The Ericsson NFVi solution includes the following products: Ericsson Cloud Manager, Cloud Execution Environment, Ericsson Cloud SDN, Hyperscale Datacenter System 8000 and BSP 8000. Ericsson NFVi Solution has flexible deployment models to support different customer requirements on infrastructure.

The Agilio CX 10GbE, 25GbE and 40GbE SmartNIC platforms fully and transparently offload virtual switch and router datapath processing for networking functions such as overlays, security, load balancing and telemetry, enabling compute servers used for server-based networking and cloud computing to save critical CPU cores for application processing while delivering significantly higher performance.

The Agilio CX platform features standard low-profile PCIe SmartNICs and software, designed for general-purpose x86 commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) rack servers, fitting needed operating system, power and form factor requirements.

Netronome Agilio CX SmartNICs with Agilio Software have been benchmarked with modern data center applications such as Open vSwitch (OVS)-based virtual networking and forwarding, virtual evolved packet core and data center zero-trust stateful security.

For example, with OVS applications, Agilio CX SmartNICs reclaim over 80 percent of the server CPU resources previously dedicated to OVS, while at the same time delivering 5X or more of the packet data throughput to more applications.

Integration of the Agilio Platform into the Ericsson NFVi solution provides significant reduction of TCO for Ericsson Cloud SDN and NFV applications by utilizing hardware-based acceleration of virtual switch processing. Innovative Express Virtio (XVIO) technology available in the Agilio SmartNIC platform enables seamless onboarding of VMs and VNFs using Ericsson SDN Controllers while enabling rich networking and security services in a highly efficient homogenous server infrastructure.

“With the NFV market entering production phase, efficient operations require a clean demarcation between VNF services and SDN/NFV infrastructure networking layers while being able to meet the performance levels needed for the next phase of NFV realization,” said Francois Lemarchand head of NFVi product strategy at Ericsson. “Agilio SmartNIC technology from Netronome enables Ericsson to satisfy mission-critical enterprise workloads and meet cost-per-bit challenge of 5G and fiber access evolution.”

“The promise of NFV, namely lower cost and higher flexibility, is at stake as operators increasingly realize the inefficiencies resulting from use of traditional server networking solutions using software and general purpose NICs,” said Nick Tausanovitch, vice president of solution architecture at Netronome. “Through our rigorous work with an industry leader like Ericsson, spanning multiple years optimizing Agilio SmartNIC hardware acceleration with Ericsson’s multi-layer NFVi products to the very last bit, we are pleased to bring a very complete and timely solution into the NFV market.”

Juniper Networks also announced this week availability of a carrier-grade cloud solution that allows the rapid implementation of mobile subscriber service virtual networks functions (VNFs) with the performance, reliability and scale that customers expect.

The solution combines Affirmed Networks Mobile Content Cloud virtualized evolved packet core solution (vEPC) with Juniper Networks Contrail Networking and Netronome Agilio SmartNICs to improve performance and efficiency compared to software-only virtual routing solutions.

The growth in mobile data, 5G and IoT has caused mobile operators to be under pressure to enable the benefits of cloud services in their infrastructure, with Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) at the forefront of this architectural shift to the cloud.

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