The OPNFV Summit in Beijing earlier this month brought together developers, end users, and other communities all working to advance open source Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). ARM took the opportunity to showcase how we’re making NFV more efficient, through ARM technology and our ecosystem’s value-add innovation.
A highlight of the event was the announcement of an exciting new platform for accelerating the development of ARM®-based NFV software, the “NFV PicoPod”. Developed in collaboration with ARM, Enea®, Marvell®, and PicoCluster, it’s a complete, cost-effective environment that’s fully compliant with the OPNFV Pharos specification. And it all resides in a single, cubic foot package, compared to 20 cubic feet required by a typical pod.
This new form factor dramatically improves the accessibility of a standard NFV test and development platform, so developers, for the first time, can try out OPNFV right on their own desktops.
What’s under the hood? It consists of six Marvell MACCHIATObin developer boards powered by Systems-on-Chip (SoCs) based on the ARMv8-A architecture. The environment also includes a power supply, a Marvell Prestera® DX Ethernet switch, and runs the latest OPNFV Danube software release for ARM, which has been integrated by Enea. This compact platform underscores ARM’s continuing commitment to empowering its developer ecosystem, and was an absolute smash hit at the event. There’s no doubt that all the “cool kids” will soon have a PicoPod on their desk.
“Our latest collaboration milestone utilizes the collective know-how of ARM, Enea, Marvell and PicoCluster, putting a data center on a desktop into the hands of NFV developers at an unmatched price point,” said Noel Hurley, vice president and general manager, Business Segments Group, ARM.
We also saw NXP speaking about and demonstrating workload efficiency for Edge applications with their ARM-based Layerscape product line, featuring offload of networking workloads. MontaVista® demonstrated Service Function Chaining on the Cavium® ThunderX® platforms, and the ARM engineering team showcased the efficiency of containerized VNFs in the OPNFV framework.
Networking requirements are continuing to soar, with a 100 times increase in bandwidth anticipated and up to 50 times reduction in latency demanded, by 2020. In many cases, network operators will need to deliver this from existing facilities that have a fixed footprint and power envelope, so optimizing for efficiency with be crucial.
To meet these future market needs, the ARM ecosystem is uniquely positioned to deliver on what we call the Intelligent Flexible Cloud (IFC), bringing the right combination of compute, storage, and acceleration precisely where it’s required in the network. Our ecosystem will be delivering up to three times the CPU compute density, and up to ten times the workload acceleration with innovative offload capabilities that are more deterministic and power efficient to boot.
Network operators and equipment manufacturers are beginning to see the tremendous advantages and efficiencies in space, power, compute, and cost from the ARM ecosystem, contributing directly to their bottom line in this network transformation.
Earlier this week, we also held a joint webinar with Enea Software focusing on efficiency, featuring an overview of Enea’s NFV Access product solutions for the network edge. If you missed the event, be sure to check out our VOD.
The ARM Infrastructure Developer Community (AIDC) is another great resource designed to help our developers and partners unlock the value and innovation of the ARM ecosystem. This new one-stop shop helps you connect with peers, get informed, and jump-start project development. Visit AIDC to get started.