By Eric Carmes – 6WIND Founder and CEO
Mobile World Congress 2011 is now over. According to the organization the number of visitors and exhibitors broke records this year. As usual, it was captivating to see the incredible amount of technology and innovation throughout the value chain for deploying future mobile services – from antenna technology to mobile applications – provided both by large tier-1 companies and early stage startups.
If we come back to the main focus of this Forum, an increasing amount of new LTE infrastructure equipment was presented in the booths of all key market players, including eNodeBs, EPCs and MMEs based on multicore technology. Most of this equipment is now in use for the first LTE trials all around the world.
There is also a growing demand for eNodeB aggregators and wireless security gateways to better manage the deployment of femtocells. The extensive use of encryption to secure all the backhaul traffic and the integration of the LTE complex network protocols make multicore technology very attractive for these market segments.
We also clearly see that network infrastructure performance issues are now moving to application infrastructure. I had some very interesting discussions with executives of companies in very different market segments such as voice and video over IP, telecoms billing systems, DPI and quality of service measurement. All of them clearly see that performance improvement is going to be one of the main challenges to address in the near future.
How will existing equipment that today processes around 10 Gbps of traffic scale to handle several hundreds of Gbps in the future? How will it be possible to quickly scale existing solutions while minimizing the additional investment?
Today, multicore-based solutions using high speed packet processing software such as 6WINDGate process 10x the traffic that can be achieved by a blade based on a standard networking stack. These solutions that were initially designed for wired and wireless telecommunication infrastructure can now be used to significantly increase the performance and reduce the deployment costs of distributed applications. To better address applications, packet processing software has to terminate sessions (HTTP, RTP, TCP…) and provide user friendly APIs, both to hide the complexity of multicore architectures and to accelerate the migration of these applications to multicore.