Brocade steps up mobile strategy with virtual EPC software

LTE rollouts were too expensive, let's get it right for 5G

A year on from kicking off its mobile strategy, Brocade has followed up with a pre-Mobile-World-Congress announcement of its first virtualised Evolved Packet Core (EPC) offering.

Its Virtual Core for Mobile (VCM) is part of the company's strategy to target cellular networks with commodity Intel-based kit.

Speaking to Vulture South ahead of the launch, Brocade A/NZ's Gary Denman said a key requirement to address this market is that systems like VCM have to be able to live alongside the existing mobile core.

“We're moving things to the mobile edge,” Denman told The Register, “putting more information and capability out near the tower. That's more efficient for the network operator.”

The company is also hoping this approach positions them for the future rollout of 5G networks. 4G rollouts were “vastly expensive”, he said, so the next round of network standards needs a different model – especially since one of the drivers for 5G will be machine-to-machine and Internet-of-Things applications.

The virtualised EPC (vEPC) offerings are designed to offer scalable control and user planes, independent localisation, and network slicing (a mechanism that lets the same back-end infrastructure support different radio access networks).

The one software suite is designed to support mobility management entities, home subscriber servers, serving gateways, and packet data network capabilities, all the way from 3G through to future 5G network standards.

The company also sees the rollout as validation of its decision early this decade to adopt Intel's Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) as the basis for its software-defined networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualisation (NFC) efforts.

Brocade systems engineering manager Phil Coates explained that many companies now moving from proprietary appliances to the commodity servers start by running their software in virtual machines with as little modification as possible.

Since the software is still optimised for its original hardware, it takes a performance hit in the virtualised world.

Using the DPDK is “about providing efficiencies [when] accessing the CPU,” he said – most particularly, the packet processing capabilities Intel's been baking into its CPUs – with the aim of “getting ASIC speeds using commodity hardware”. ®

Broader topics

Other stories you might like

  • Robotics and 5G to spur growth of SoC industry – report
    Big OEMs hogging production and COVID causing supply issues

    The system-on-chip (SoC) side of the semiconductor industry is poised for growth between now and 2026, when it's predicted to be worth $6.85 billion, according to an analyst's report. 

    Chances are good that there's an SoC-powered device within arm's reach of you: the tiny integrated circuits contain everything needed for a basic computer, leading to their proliferation in mobile, IoT and smart devices. 

    The report predicting the growth comes from advisory biz Technavio, which looked at a long list of companies in the SoC market. Vendors it analyzed include Apple, Broadcom, Intel, Nvidia, TSMC, Toshiba, and more. The company predicts that much of the growth between now and 2026 will stem primarily from robotics and 5G. 

    Continue reading
  • Deepfake attacks can easily trick live facial recognition systems online
    Plus: Next PyTorch release will support Apple GPUs so devs can train neural networks on their own laptops

    In brief Miscreants can easily steal someone else's identity by tricking live facial recognition software using deepfakes, according to a new report.

    Sensity AI, a startup focused on tackling identity fraud, carried out a series of pretend attacks. Engineers scanned the image of someone from an ID card, and mapped their likeness onto another person's face. Sensity then tested whether they could breach live facial recognition systems by tricking them into believing the pretend attacker is a real user.

    So-called "liveness tests" try to authenticate identities in real-time, relying on images or video streams from cameras like face recognition used to unlock mobile phones, for example. Nine out of ten vendors failed Sensity's live deepfake attacks.

    Continue reading
  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022