NFV World Congress: Why Carriers Need to Care About ARM-based Infrastructure

Peter Jarich
Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • NFV is (largely) about hosting telecom applications on commercial IT servers. Today, those servers are powered by Intel-based processors.
  • ARM-based servers represent an alternative; ARM-based processor vendors are beginning to message the value they can provide vs. incumbent offers.
  • Whether or not operators are paying attention is unclear. They need to.

Just about a year ago, I was talking with a telecom infrastructure vendor executive about his NFV strategy when the topic of ‘vendor lock-in’ came up. While software portability promises (among other things) to help operators avoid vendor lock-in, the exec wondered if a reliance on Intel-powered servers meant that the industry was simply trading one form of lock-in for another. We both knew the problems with this sort of argument; after all, diverse vendors leverage Intel processors to build their own kit. No operators will be locked into a single source of servers. Regardless, I played along and asked if this meant that the vendor was developing ARM-based solutions. The answer? “No. Not until my customers begin asking for those types of solutions.” Continue reading “NFV World Congress: Why Carriers Need to Care About ARM-based Infrastructure”