Having a uniform hardware infrastructure is a must for efficient cloud operations. Fixed configurations support the transition to an optimized whole from current sub-optimizations.

Bad habits from the past

Service providers in the telecom sector have a vast number of applications, both for their network functions, support systems and administrative systems. Especially on the network side, the industry has a history of letting the application dictate exactly which hardware configuration it should run on to perform the best. This way of working has resulted in a situation where service providers have a great mix of hardware. In this context, a configuration is certain combination of CPU, memory, drives and interface cards. Each one of them is optimized for its own, individual function. But the whole is far from optimized. For example, it is very hard to re-use resources among applications in such an environment. Operations, including ordering, configuration, deployment, and upgrades of software become a nightmare when you have all those variations in the network or in the datacenter to keep track of. It is expected that the transition to virtualization reduce these problems.

Defining cloud infrastructure

Whether you see cloud as a business model or a delivery model, or something else for that matter, you will always need infrastructure. But what makes a cloud infrastructure? There are three ways of identifying it:

  • Infrastructure as its own practice means that some people in the organization run infrastructure from a planning, life-cycle, and management perspective to provide a cost efficient platform for the applications.
  • Accessible means that the infrastructure is easy to consume. It is what clouds are. They are easy to just start using and you get what you want.
  • Industrialized means the introduction of supply-chain thinking where there are continuous improvements in technologies, outputs, and unit economics. All these things occur within a known operational model.

The introduction of fixed configurations to reduce the number of variants and have a uniform hardware infrastructure is all about supporting cloud operations in these three dimensions.

Implementing fixed configurations

What does this mean for the applications? Well, they may not any longer always run on the “optimal” hardware configuration from their perspective, but they will always run on a good enough configuration. We are going from a world of optimized stovepipes to a world of an optimized whole. If you want to gain something, you must sacrifice something. And in this case the sacrifice is the optimized stovepipe. The result is improved utilization and faster time to market for new services.

What is Ericsson doing to speed up the transition to cloud operations within the telecom service provider segment? We have implemented the fixed configuration concept in the Hyperscale Datacenter System 8000 in its recently introduced Compute Sled Unit 02 – CSU 02. In addition, we are supporting the Intel® Select Solutions launch that took place at the same time as the launch of Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor. By the way, the new processor is also introduced in CSU 02.

 Download the data sheet for CSU 02.

Download The Data Sheet

Image: Following their victory of 5-2 against Sweden, in World Cup final of 1958, member of the Brazilian football team were presented with Ericsson's influential 'Cobra Telephone' otherwise known as the Ericofon. Featured in the photos left to right: Garincha, Pelé, Gylmar and Didi. 

 

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Henrik Bäckström

Henrik Bäckström

Henrik works as a Product Marketing Manager at Business Area Digital Services, focusing on cloud infrastructure products and network applications. He has worked for Ericsson since 1999, starting with product management and commercial management for fixed access before going into marketing for several core network and cloud offerings. Henrik has a MSc BA from Stockholm University.

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