Two markets are growing for Intel®: hyperscale cloud providers and telecom. The enterprise datacenter is in decline from a chip-buying perspective. As a result, the most interesting leading-edge development and testing are going to happen in a cloud, not on a laptop, because that's where the latest chip will be.

The disaggregation of systems is the largest architectural change since the move from mainframe to client-server. Ericsson is well placed to take advantage of this architectural change.

The shrinking enterprise datacenter

Let's look at some things going on in the market.

We mentioned earlier, when we were talking about why virtualization extensions showed up in 2006 on Intel chips, that the change was due to what people were doing on their PCs.

Servers based on Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor (aka, "Skylake) were released in the middle of this year (2017). That chip has been on the PC for a year and a half. Going forward, the datacenter is going to get new chips before PCs get the new chips. That's a more interesting change than some of us realize.

For example, developers on a laptop won't have a chip as current as the chip in the datacenter. One common thing that happens is that people will work on their laptop on some great new chip. It's not in the datacenter yet. What's going to happen is that the most interesting leading-edge development and testing is going to happen on a cloud, not on a laptop, because that's where the latest chip is.

The other one is the decline in the enterprise datacenter. Intel says there are two markets that are growing for them: hyperscale cloud providers and telecom. That's it. The enterprise datacenter is in decline from a chip-buying perspective, because they're buying fewer servers, because they're trying to use SaaS [software as a service] as much as possible, and they're using public clouds.

So when we look at this from an Ericsson perspective, we're in a very good spot. Can we come up with products that are interesting enough to hyperscale cloud providers? Do we have complete account coverage on telecom? Yes we do. And telecom is a space in which it's going to make a lot of sense to continue doing their own infrastructure. It's a per-country infrastructure.

Infrastructure is like the soil a farmer uses. Apps grow in infrastructure. The capabilities of your soil dictate what you can grow.

One of the reasons we say we can lead with a very progressive infrastructure story is because the change to NFV within our customer base just happened to occur about the same time that Intel® Rack Scale Design (Intel® RSD) became possible and we also happened to be playing around with optical. Intel® RSD—the disaggregation of these systems—is the largest architectural change since the move from mainframe to client-server.

We tested our cloud-optimized vEPG on the Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor and the result is impressive: a throughput of 40Gbps per processor. Download this article to get the full picture on how we supercharge Ericsson Evolved Packet Gateway.

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For more info about how Ericsson solutions use the new Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor, click here.

Header image: Bernard Spragg


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Jason Hoffman

Jason Hoffman is the CTO, Business Area Digital Services at Ericsson. Previously he was the Head of Cloud Technologies where he's responsible for product, architecture and engineering and prior to that Head of Product Line, Ericsson Cloud System and Platforms in the former Business Unit Cloud and IP. Prior to that he was a founder and the CTO at Joyent, a pioneering high performance cloud IaaS and software provider, where he ran product, engineering, operations and commercial management for nearly a decade. He is considered to be one the pioneers of large scale cloud computing, in particular the use of container technologies, asynchronous, high concurrency runtimes and converged server, storage and networking systems. Jason is also an angel investor, strategy and execution advisor, venture and private equity advisor and on the boards of the Wordpress Foundation and New Context, a Digital Garage company. Jason has a BS and MS from UCLA and a PhD from UCSD. He is a San Francisco native that now lives in Stockholm with his wife and daughters.