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Nokia Debuts AirFrame for Carrier-grade Mobile NFV

By Tara Seals June 04, 2015

Nokia Networks has launched the AirFrame Data Center Solution for mobile networks, which it’s billing as a “flexible and distributed cloud architecture” that delivers “the latency and data processing requirements of the future.”

When the term “cloud” comes up, it’s usually short-hand for SaaS and hosted applications—essentially, anything delivered from a data center, on-demand over the Internet. But there’s a big difference between the enterprise cloud and carrier-grade virtual infrastructure—service-provider networks are much more complicated and distributed in reach, with various edges and pieces to consider, so traditional IT cloud approaches can be problematic when attempting to move to network function virtualization, or NFV.

Communications networks are essentially public utilities, so reliability and extremely low latency are critical requirements. Centralizing functions in a data center by definition introduces more latency into the network—which can kill any benefits gained from scalability, flexibility and business agility. And, core functions require a massive amount of processing power when you’re supporting millions of subscribers.

AirFrame is built to address this specifically, supporting NFV strategies, and the expansion into new business models, such as renting data center capacity for customers’ IT applications. Its components include pre-integrated racks with ultra-dense servers, high-performance switches and software-defined storage, and it’s complemented by a suite of professional services dedicated to implementing, monitoring and operating telco cloud data centers. It also comes ready to support several Nokia virtual network functions (VNFs), including OSS and customer experience management, and the company’s recently announced Radio Cloud architecture.

Nokia has also opened a dedicated R&D facility for data center technology development, aimed at efficiently merging the IT and telco domains and paving the way towards 5G.

Nokia says that AirFrame offers significant efficiency gains when running data-demanding telco applications like mobile VNFs, is fully compliant with IT and ETSI NFV open standards, and implements telco cloud security practices, which have been tested and approved at the Nokia Security Center in Berlin

“Nokia Networks is changing the game in telco cloud,” said Marc Rouanne, EVP for mobile broadband at Nokia. “We are taking on the IT-telco convergence with a new solution to challenge the traditional IT approach of the data center. From the beginning, Nokia Networks has been a forerunner in telco cloud innovation. This newest solution brings telcos carrier-grade high availability, security-focused reliability as well as low latency, while leveraging the company’s deep networks expertise and strong business with operators to address an increasingly cloud-focused market valued in the tens of billions of euros.”

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

Contributing Writer

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