HONG KONG: A high-performance server blade introduced by Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson and the global leader in enabling Business-Critical Continuity, extends the processing, memory and I/O capabilities available to designers of AdvancedTCA (ATCA) based telecom servers, supporting the most demanding control plane applications.
The Emerson Network Power ATCA-7370 uses the new Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 family in a blade design which optimizes the flow of data between processors, memory devices, the backplane and rear transition modules (RTMs). The Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 family-based devices, which feature up to eight cores per socket and four channels of high-speed DDR3-1600 memory interfacing directly to an integrated memory controller, offer markedly reduced latency and increased performance compared to previous generation processors.
Rob Pettigrew, marketing director of Emerson Network Power’s Embedded Computing business, said: “The Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 family offers better performance in control plane applications by a distance than any other server processor, which is why Emerson Network Power has made sure it is one of the first to market with an implementation optimized for telecom server systems. The ATCA-7370 benefits from our many years of experience in ATCA server platform design and production, and enables telecom equipment manufacturers to fully realize the capability of this exciting new processor family in deployed systems.”
Steve Price, marketing director, Intel Communications Infrastructure Division, said: “The reduced latency, lower power requirements and improved performance of the new Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 family are ideal for ATCA server platforms and enable telecom equipment manufacturers to deliver the performance and capacity required for next generation infrastructure.”
In the Emerson Network Power ATCA-7370, dual eight-core Intel Xeon processor E5-2648L devices running at 1.8GHz, linked via a dual QuickPath Interconnect (QPI) interface, are matched with eight DIMM sockets offering up to 128GB of main memory. The blade design makes use of the processor’s extensive PCIe terminations in order to speed internal data flows.
Dual 10G Ethernet ATCA fabric interfaces using the Intel 82599 (formerly Niantic) network interface controller provide in-shelf data fabric connectivity, while an additional 36 lanes of PCIe Gen 3 can carry a huge traffic flow of up to 288Gbps on to and off the board via the rear transition area. The blade is backwards compatible with all the current generation of Emerson’s rear transition modules and will also support a new family of extended capacity options including a 6 x 10Gbps Ethernet termination module.
The blade implements the Intel C604 chipset, a peripheral controller hub optimized for the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 family that includes support for enterprise-grade storage capability for telecom server applications. This can be mated with a new RTM carrying dual hot-swappable SAS hard drives of up to 900GB each. A low-profile solid-state disk (SSD) of up to 128GB capacity can also be fitted directly to the front board.
Offering higher processor throughput, lower memory latency and a higher capacity switching fabric than any previous ATCA telecom server board, the Emerson Network Power ATCA-7370 is expected to be widely adopted as a control plane blade by telecom equipment manufacturers developing systems for wireless and wireline networks.
Fully compliant with the ATCA specifications, the blade is designed for NEBS and ETSI compliance, but is also designed to address the growing trend to deploy applications both in telecom central offices and network data centers. It is the first blade to offer an option for a sophisticated, next generation Blade Management Controller adapted from software developed for data center control and management applications, and it supports the use of higher performance processors in temperature-managed environments. It will be certified for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and VMware ESXi.
While the ATCA-7370 provides outstanding capability in control plane applications, it is designed to provide future support for the next generation communications platform from Intel, codename Crystal Forest, coming later this year to enable workflow consolidation across the control and data planes. The blade supports the Intel Data Plane Development Kit (Intel DPDK) software platform providing drivers and APIs for optimized use of the packet and network capabilities available on the blade and includes a mezzanine module site connected to PCIe intended for hardware acceleration.
Hardware offloading solutions provided by dedicated silicon designs can greatly enhance security and packet processing applications and an Intel DPDK-supported mezzanine module for CPU offloading will become available later in the year. The combination of processor performance, Intel DPDK-supported offload engines and a high-capacity rear transition module interface is very well suited to deep packet inspection applications such as network optimization platforms and session border controllers.