Hewlett-Packard Co. and Intel Corp. are pushing industry-standard computing into the telecommunications space.
At the in Atlanta on Tuesday, Intel unveiled its carrier-grade TIGPR2U server, powered by dual 2.4GHz Xeon processors with a 533MHz front-side bus. The system is being sold by HP, of Palo Alto, Calif., under the brand name cc3310. It includes two Xeons, hot-swappable hard disk drives, and up to five years of support. The system will begin shipping in August, said Christine Martino, director of HPs carrier-grade service business.
The 2U (3-inch-high) rack-mounted server also is compliant with NEBS 3 (Network Equipment Building System)—which is important for servers housed in more hostile environments than those found in enterprise data centers—and its European counterpart standard, ETSI (European Telecommunications Standard Industry).
“What were seeing in this space is a move toward common platform environments,” Martino said, adding that the telecom arena is “embracing [industry-standard architectures based on Intel and Linux technology] wholeheartedly because it has to.”
HP already offers the one-way cc2300 and two-way cc3300 systems for the telecom industry.
The 2U server is 20 inches deep and offers up to six PCI slots, 12GB of memory, up to 192GB of disk storage and carrier-grade Red Hat Inc. Linux Advanced Server 2.1. It also has dual AC or DC power supplies.
Intel officials said the server is targeted at such applications as voice portals, unified messaging and voice mail on the services side of the industry, and element building, billing mediation and softswitching on the infrastructure side.
Martino said she expects the industry to continue on the Intel/Linux road and to embrace Intels 64-bit technology, Itanium, which HP helped develop.
HP also is among the first members of the Intel Communications Alliance, which was created to build a common platform upon which telecom equipment and software can be built, said officials with Intel, of Santa Clara, Calif. In addition, HP will be a system integrator for Intel-based systems using the AdvancedTCA specification for converged I/O and compute platforms.
Also at the show, IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., demonstrated its BladeCenter T systems, NEBS- and ETSI-compliant blade servers for the telecom industry. The systems will include Xeon chips and a carrier-grade Linux operating system, and also will be cross-platform-compatible with IBMs enterprise BladeCenter servers, such as using the same management tools, said Tony Evans, vice president of telecommunications at IBMs Systems Group.
The systems, which will be available in the first half of 2004, will hold eight blades per chassis and 40 blades per rack.
IBM is not the first to offer the telecom industry a blade solution. This winter, Sun Microsystems Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., rolled out blade systems for telecoms, the Netra CP2300 and CompactPCI CT 410 and 810 servers.
And Doug Erwin, chairman and CEO of blade pioneer RLX Technologies Inc., in The Woodlands, Texas, listed the telecom industry as one of several areas that company is considering moving into.