Huawei Servers Accelerate Carrier Cloud Transformation

Huawei has been innovating servers to redefine computing for over a decade. Starting from Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (ATCA) servers dedicated to carriers, Huawei has gradually moved on to universal servers, such as rack servers, blade servers, multi-node servers, and converged infrastructures. Huawei provides a comprehensive series of products for a range of application scenarios. With ATCA optimization based on carrier requirements on scenarios, equipment room conditions, reliability, etc., Huawei is the first in the industry to prove the feasibility of replacing conventional UNIX servers with x86 servers 

Typical telecom systems such as business support system (BSS) and operating support system (OSS) demand high reliability and performance. Such systems are usually deployed on UNIX servers such as IBM and HP UNIX servers, with UNIX servers standing out for their high reliability. However, they are expensive to maintain and difficult to expand due to closed UNIX architectures. Huawei continues to innovate servers in different fields, including chips, engineering, architecture, and application solutions. At the Barcelona Mobile World Congress 2016, for instance, Huawei showcased its 32-socket mission critical server KunLun 9032 for mission-critical applications, in-memory computing, and other scenarios. 

With Huawei's innovative Node Controller interconnection chips and RAS 2.0 features, KunLun 9032 delivers the high reliability and performance that is required by mission critical applications and is compatible with open and standard x86 ecosystems. KunLun 9032 is the industry's first 32-socket x86 mission critical server that supports up to 1152 threads and 768 DDR4 DIMM slots, meeting requirements of mission critical applications on a huge scale. With the hard partitioning and logical partitioning functions, KunLun 9032 provides computing, storage, I/O, and other resources by using core as the minimum unit, maximizing resource utilization. In addition, its unique RAS 2.0 features enable predictive failure analysis (PFA) and hot swap of CPUs (also the first in the industry). Through underlying firmware, operating system, and application RAS hardening, RAS 2.0 enables the system to automatically isolate risky components, execute failover, or inform maintenance personnel of risky components for early replacement before critical errors occur. In this way, maintenance can be implemented without shutting down the server, ensuring the continuity of mission critical services. KunLun 9032 is compatible with x86 operating systems and databases as well as other mainstream x86 applications. It can replace high-end UNIX servers such as Power780 to reduce computing costs and quicken service innovation. 

In recent years, as cloud computing and big data have emerged, carriers' IT infrastructures have been transformed from the scale-up silo architecture to the scale-out cluster architecture. Carriers are adopting the Network Function Virtualization (NFV) architecture to reconstruct their conventional telecom service platforms such as evolved packet core (EPC) and IP multimedia subsystem (IMS). NFV enables carriers to deploy conventional telecom services to cloud platforms in order to decouple software and hardware for dynamic resource allocation. Huawei can provide universal server, storage, and network infrastructures, as well as leading open cloud computing operating systems. With over two decades of technology accumulation, Huawei has a thorough understanding of telecom services and is able to develop optimized and comprehensive NFV solutions for carriers. 

Usually, carriers prefer to migrate core network services such as virtual IP multimedia subsystem (vIMS) and virtualized evolved packet core (vEPC) to the NFV architecture and x86 blade servers. This is because most conventional core networks adopt highly integrated and reliable blade-based architectures. Huawei E9000 is an x86 blade server, developed based on a converged architecture, provides a highly integrated, easy-to-deploy, and easy-to-apply system. With a newly designed chassis, as well as sought after compute nodes, management nodes, network nodes, storage nodes, and management tools, Huawei E9000 provides a highly integrated hardware platform that supports up to 64 processors in a 12 U rack space. 

In addition to common management features of conventional carrier-class platforms, such as optimized black box, keyboard, video and mouse (KVM), and board management, the E9000 also delivers wide-ranging features including stateless computing and easyLink through the eSight management software and redundant Hyper Management Module (HMM) for compute node profile configuration, property settings migration, and rapid switch module configuration. These features enable engineers to configure a chassis within just 5 minutes. 

Telecom services require hardware platforms with high performance, high bandwidth, low latency, and various acceleration features at the virtualization layer. With a variety of network ports such as 40GE, InfiniBand, and 16G FC, E9000 delivers a midplane bandwidth of up to 15.6 Tbps and will support 100GE ports in the future. In addition, E9000 supports service acceleration through virtualization technologies such as single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) and Intel Data Plane Develop Kit (DPDK). For the high forward rate and rear-time performance of the media layer, Huawei plans to develop acceleration cards based on standard interfaces for software and hardware consolidation to accelerate the media and control layers. 

Huawei server solutions include FusionServer servers (rack, blade, and high-density servers), FusionCube hyper-converged infrastructure, KunLun mission critical servers, and NVMe SSD storage. As of today, Huawei servers have ranked No. 4 for nine consecutive quarters in global shipments and No. 1 in blade server shipments in China. The shipments of Huawei mission critical servers have increased by over 100%. Huawei servers are in use at more than 5000 customer locations across the world in different industries including telecom, energy, finance, transport, healthcare, education, media and entertainment, and manufacturing. Huawei x86 mission critical servers and converged blade servers help carriers build open and universal hardware platforms to accelerate their service migration towards distributed cloud computing architectures.