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Telecom operators worldwide are facing an exponential increase in traffic due to the rapid growth of over-the-top (OTT) video providers and social media applications. These competitive threats are forcing such operators to expand their network infrastructures in a business environment that’s already burdened by slow subscriber growth, and in some cases, declining revenue per subscriber.

More and more telecom operators are responding to these challenges by moving to an embedded appliance deployment model leveraging virtualization that has been proven in enterprises to offer significant benefits in terms of cost, agility, innovation, and vendor independence. Through the deployment of standardized network appliances built using off-the-shelf components supporting virtualized network functions (VNFs), operators can increase their network’s flexibility and capacity while delivering new services more cost-effectively, resulting in a significant reduction in both Capex and Opex.

Convergence of Telecom and Data Center Infrastructure

Telecom providers are exploring new approaches to an increasing number of business challenges; the use of embedded network appliances offers an efficient and cost-effective solution to many of these challenges. To successfully transition to a virtualized environment based on embedded network appliances, telecom operators must address two major issues:

  • Evaluating and selecting the right embedded network appliance
  • Planning and completing a telecom network/IT data center infrastructure convergence

While transitioning long-established services and operations to an IT-style environment marks a fundamental change for telecom operators, the transition’s long-term advantages will more than compensate for the initial cost and effort. Telecom operators that adopt virtualized embedded appliance infrastructures achieve financial and competitive benefits as well as greater efficiency, more capacity, tighter security, enhanced customer service, and potential for future innovation.

When telecom providers embrace virtualized network functions and embedded appliances, they are also converging their telecom network and IT data center infrastructures. By adopting the same type of flexible, volume embedded appliance and networking technologies already used in large enterprise IT organizations, operators can reduce costs and quickly bring their users a wide range of new services.

To successfully converge telecom network and data center infrastructures, telecom providers need highly scalable and reliable embedded appliance models with solid IT system management capabilities that comply with both IT and telecom-industry standards.

Embedded Appliance Selection Criteria for Telecom

A VNF embedded appliance server product line needs to provide robust support for the Linux operating system including hypervisors, cloud computing platforms that includes OpenStack®, and the whole range of Linux-based telecom software applications.

To efficiently host data plane applications such as firewalls, load balancers, and content delivery networks (CDNs), an embedded appliance must be deployable in the central office (CO), network data center, or IT data center, be certified for safety and reliability, and must support application availability of 99.999 percent or greater.

To optimize data plane VNF application deployments, an embedded appliance must be configured and tuned to handle high volume packet-processing applications. The server should also support the industry’s leading packet-processing software, such as Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK). These technologies enable a wide range of new network application capabilities. For example, in security where it is essential to remain agile, current, and in complete control, these applications can now be deployed on embedded appliances built using off-the-shelf components.

Interface Masters Technologies: Enabling Telecom Performance and Innovation

Interface Masters Technologies is an innovator with an extensive portfolio of embedded appliances for telecom as well as enterprise data center deployments.  Interface Masters embedded networking appliance offerings can reduce power consumption, complexity and cost. These solutions enable telecom networks to be architected with simple, low-cost, low-power desktop or rack-mounted configurations which provide a building block for supporting the broad range networking features at 1/10/40/100GbE port speeds. Interface Masters appliances provide the flexibility, power, efficiency, and cost savings that are essential for success in today’s challenging telecom market, making them ideal for a range of NFV applications.

Interface Masters Technologies has for over 20 years been providing off-the-shelf innovative network security solutions with customization services to OEMs, Fortune 100 and startup companies. Our headquarters are located in San Jose, California in the heart of Silicon Valley where we are proud to design and manufacture all of our products.  Based on MIPS, ARM, PowerPC and x86 processors, Interface Masters appliance models enable OEMs to significantly reduce time-to-market with reliable, pre-tested and pre-integrated networking solutions that can meet the most challenging security requirements.