Ericsson and Intel partner on software-defined infrastructure for 5G

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The two are to develop a “next-generation hardware management platform” for Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV), distributed cloud and 5G.

They claim it will the jointly developed platform will provide the required cloud-like agility, transparency and efficiency.

The rationale is that although many operators have started transitioning to standards-based servers to reduce infrastructure costs, others need extra management to streamline operations and speed the delivery of new services, to realise the full potential of their infrastructure.

The partners say the platform will “extend the agility of the cloud to the hardware infrastructure layer”.

Benefits for service providers should include faster time-to-market, full utilisation of assets and a reduction in the total cost of ownership.

Aligning efforts

As part of the agreement, the companies will align development efforts on Ericsson SDI Manager software and Intel Rack Scale Design, and add management capabilities to them.

The joint developments are intended to help operators leverage multi-vendor hardware options, Ericsson’s end-to-end software solutions and Intel’s latest architectural tools.

Last September, Intel announced it would work with Ericsson and Nokia on 5G.

Lars Mårtensson, Head of Cloud & NFV infrastructure, Business Area Digital Services, Ericsson, said, "We have a long history of successful collaboration with Intel… we see [this new collaboration] to be truly transformative for service providers' ability to successfully deploy open cloud and NFV infrastructure, from centralised data centres to the edge."

Sandra Rivera, Senior Vice President, Network Platform Group, Intel, added it would help “communications service providers remove [5G] deployment barriers, reduce costs and deliver new 5G and edge services with cloud-like speed on a flexible, programmable and intelligent network.”