Sandro Tavares, head of cloud marketing at Nokia, said the Edge Cloud product builds a package of hardware and software that cuts latency for workloads running across the infrastructure.
The hardware side begins with a box based on Open Compute Project (OCP) design principals. It measures 13 centimeters tall, 44 centimeters wide, and 43 centimeters deep. (Or around five inches tall by 17 inches deep and wide).
Inside that box is a commoditized x86 architecture running an Intel processor. The chassis can support up to five servers, with those servers upgradeable to a Nokia chipset for more capacity.
The box can be deployed at a base station site or in a small data center. It taps into the power and connectivity options already in place and is interoperable with equipment from other vendors.
“At the end of the day these are x86 servers that are just built in a smart, compact form factor that can be installed at any site,” Tavares said.
The software is based on OPNFV and OpenStack. It’s designed to run in small data centers to support edge cloud deployments where edge radios or computing devices use cloud resources managed and aggregated by a nearby core running in a data center.
An open architecture is becoming an important software component of these deployments. Tavares noted that Nokia remains focused on providing open platforms in order to help operators tie together their increasingly complex architectures.
“We continue to fully support the open needs of the community and this is part of those ongoing efforts,” Tavares said.
The software stack also supports network equipment-building system (NEBS) seismic tolerance regulatory requirements. This supports international deployments that typically have more complicated regulatory models.
As an upgrade, customers can request Nokia’s recently unveiled ReefShark chipset. Nokia earlier this year released its ReefShark chipset architectures. They included two outlines, including one focused on compute capacity and another for radio frequency (RF) applications.
“ReefShark is optional and can be used if an operator is looking down the road to support 5G or to better optimize cloud RAN,” Tavares said. “It’s not mandatory, but a very important building block to support those options.”
Deployment models will be based on service provider needs. Tavares explained those will be decided on jointly with an operator based on “the workloads and what’s the best architecture to fulfill that operator’s needs.”
Collaboration will also include Nokia’s cloud-wise services and Cloud Collaboration Hubs to help plan and execute edge cloud deployments.
Initial use cases for the box are for service providers that need to deploy capacity at the edge in support of cloud RAN and the Internet of Things (IoT). It can also be deployed in support of enterprise applications or across a private LTE network.
The Open Edge server will begin shipping during the third quarter.