Explore how Intel® Rack Scale Design (RSD) facilitates hardware disaggregation and helps solve the challenge of backwards compatibility, as well as the two ways that Ericsson's deployment of the technology stand out - our optical backplane and management software.

Ericsson's Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS) 8000 uses Intel® Rack Scale Design (RSD) for a disaggregated hardware approach to dramatically improve efficiency, utilization, and total cost of ownership. 

But what exactly is the relationship between Intel, Ericsson, and the other companies that use Intel RSD?

CPUs and the challenge of backwards compatibility

Intel RSD is an architecture that's available to any enterprise that works with that manufacturer's API. In the disaggregated hardware environment that Intel RSD facilitates, an outdated sled can be switched out for a newer one, without having to replace any other components. Then, those resources can be used as part of an independent server, or configured into the common pool of resources used by vPODs.

As product manager David Partain describes the roadmap to the future in our Intel RSD journey : "There are two important aspects to [Ericsson's deployment of Intel RSD]. One is the immediacy of it all. That you can take your [resource] pool and make use of it on the fly. The other is that each of these resources can be managed separately. So when this generation of CPUs is old and worn out, I can change those out, without affecting the memory modules: the DIMMs. I can continue to use my old DIMMs, while I replace the CPUs."

Watch Partain, from Ericsson's product line Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI), explain the relationship between Ericsson and Intel RSD: 


Intel® RSD and the Ericsson difference

Ericsson isn't the only partner working with Intel RSD. So what's special about our deployment of the technology? Two things.

  • First, the optical backplane: a fiber optic connection between components that connects to the backs of the circuit boards in the HDS 8000, effectively doing an end run around the circuitry that would slow down the signal communication.
  • Second, our management software. The HDS 8000 comes with the Ericsson Command Center, which can analyze your datacenter and suggest optimizations and additions. Ericsson's management software is designed, not only to work with Ericsson hardware, but also with hardware from our competitors, especially Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

Ericsson also works side by side with our competitors on Intel®RSD standardization efforts. That being said, we were the first to announce Intel RSD-compliant hardware, and the first to deliver a complete hyperscale system based on Intel RSD. And going forward, we plan to be the first to launch products in compliance with Intel RSD APIs.

If you're interested in further exploring our thoughts on the optical backplane in particular, please download our technical paper: "Combining packet and optical switching for optimum performance".

Download the paper


Cloud Infrastructure Partnerships

Michael Bennett Cohn

Michael Bennett Cohn was head of digital product and revenue operations at Condé Nast, where he created the company's first dynamic system for digital audience cross-pollination. At a traditional boutique ad agency, he founded and ran the digital media buying team, during which time he planned and executed the digital ad campaign that launched the first Amazon Kindle. At Federated Media, where he was the first head of east coast operations, he developed and managed conversational marketing campaigns for top clients including Dell, American Express, and Kraft. He also has a master's degree in cinema-television from the University of Southern California. He lives in Brooklyn.

Michael Bennett Cohn