Intel x86 and ARM jostle for relevance and dominance

2018 will continue to see more network functions virtualization infrastructure (NFVI) deployments. More innovation is expected on this front in a number of areas as VMs and containers battle it out, as Intel x86 and ARM jostle for relevance and dominance, as the Edge reveals new requirements for new application workloads, and as innovative HCI platforms come to the market, a recently published SDxCentral report stated.

NFV and Edge compute solutions raise the discussion of the difference between Edge compute, servers to “data-center” servers. It has become obvious that especially in the Edge uCPE environment, where performance/cost become critical for the services’ success, there is a need to design and implement both software and hardware to meet the unique requirements.

There are 3 major alternatives that need to be considered:

  • Intel-X86
  • Arm
  • AMD architecture

The SDXCentral report notes that Intel is finally being squeezed on both the low and high ends of the market as vendors are developing server-class ARM system-on-chips (SoCs), with systems now beginning to emerge. So, for example, there is a rising wave in NFVI ARM architecture, which has shown increasing momentum, particularly for Edge applications.

The report authors have highlighted ARM’s potential to disrupt the NFVI market since its combination of power efficiency, high core count and multiple embedded I/O subsystems make it suitable for virtualized workloads, network applications and Edge deployments.

The report names Telco Systems as one of the key players in the field, explaining that NFVTime, Telco Systems’ open and neutral full NFV service environment, allows telecom service providers and network integrators a smooth launch path to NFV services.

The authors note that with NFVTime service providers can easily provide their customers with multiple managed, on-demand, business services that scale and grow with their needs.

According to the report, Telco Systems’ NFVTime has the following advantages:

  • Supports both Intel and Arm seamlessly, utilizing the best performance and hardware infrastructure available
  • Distributed environments: supports distributed deployment models and operational environments
  • Any VNF: provides complete agility to select and run any application and use any type of whitebox without limitations or being locked to a single vendor
  • Rapid deployment and short time-to-market: includes all required components essential for deployment

Additional resources

Read the SDxCentral report


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