Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today launched an edge system for telecommunications networks and announced a new 5G partnership with Samsung. The two companies will provide a joint edge-to-core virtual radio access network (vRAN) product based on Samsung’s radio network technologies and system integration services, and HPE’s new Edgeline EL8000 Converged Edge System.
The new Edgeline EL8000 Converged Edge System targets communication service providers, and follows four earlier edge products that HPE rolled out in November. That roll out was part of CEO Antonio Neri’s pledge to invest $4 billion in edge technologies and services over the next four years.
“We’re launching a new platform to remove a bottle neck for data-intensive, low-latency workloads for the telco edge in particular,” said Gerald Kleyn, senior director of product management, systems R&D and operations, for HPE’s Converged Servers, Edge, and IoT Systems business.
The open standards-based system is designed to replace current proprietary edge systems. It targets use cases including media streaming, IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), and video analytics.
The edge platform has a single-socket design and uses Intel Xeon Scalable Processors. System components can be combined, scaled, and hot-swapped to meet demands. They support, among others, Nvidia Tesla graphics processing units (GPUs); field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) from Intel and Xilinx; network interface cards (NICs) from Intel or Mellanox; and up to 1.5 terabytes (TB) of memory and 16 TB of storage.
HPE built security into the systems: “our silicon root of trust, the ability to rollback a firmware version if you detect a breach in your network — some pretty important security factors that become even more important when you are out at the far-flung edge,” Kleyn said.
The system comes in a compact and ruggedized form factor. “We shrunk it down to 17-inches deep, which means it can go into smaller footprint locations,” Kleyn said.
And the systems include HPE iLO 5 technology and the newly developed Chassis Manager software. That software enables remote provisioning, ongoing system health monitoring, updates, and management across thousands of cell sites without needing IT expertise on site.
HPE’s partnership with Samsung supports 5G rollouts. The joint vRAN product will combine Samsung’s radio network technologies and HPE’s new Edgeline system.
This builds on HPE’s existing original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partnership with Samsung, said Phil Cutrone, vice president and general manager of HPE’s Worldwide OEM, Hybrid Cloud, Data Center Infrastructure Group. “They will work with us closely to tightly couple their RAN software as well as a virtual RAN and cloud RAN solution,” he said.
These systems will also use Tech Mahindra’s multi-access edge computing (MEC) software, which will allow service providers to use existing 4G LTE infrastructure to deploy some applications requiring the low-latency, high-bandwidth of 5G networks.
Kleyn explained that “not all 5G networks are going to roll out immediately. But by focusing on MEC they can run some of these same applications that 5G promises on 4G networks.”