Dell and Radisys are beginning to penetrate the telecom server marketplace with open standards x86 platforms. A mature industry once dominated by powerhouses like Sun and other proprietary platforms. While it’s not unusual for companies to branch out into new markets and take on the stalwarts, there must be a strategic purpose for doing so; the company must see a future benefit to making such a bold move. So what do Dell and Radisys see on the horizon that has them chomping at the bit to get a piece of the telecom server market? We have a few insights on this trend.
We can start by looking at the changing landscape in the telecom industry. Consumers armed with 4G smartphones, tablets, and notebooks are sending texts and transmitting high-resolution pictures in record numbers, and streaming more and more HD-quality videos. Worse yet for the industry, they’re unwilling to pay for it. The enormous expansion of transmitted data—both in terms of total bandwidth and sheer volume—is overwhelming the existing infrastructure. This creates major challenges for the providers that are trying to keep pace with demand.
There are three main challenges facing the industry today: system rigidity, long lead and implementation times, and high equipment prices. OEMs that want to keep pace and be responsive must make flexibility and scalability key components of future solutions. They must also roll out their solutions faster, over the course of months instead of years, to maximize the potential return on investment. Finally, prices for development and deployment must come down, so that telecom providers can capitalize on opportunities economically.
At UNICOM Engineering, we believe that this will require a change in the way X86-based platforms are designed to open standards, but still meet the regulatory environment that providers still require such as NEBS.
One new platform that has our attention at UNICOM Engineering is the Radisys RMS-220 Network Appliance. This NEBS-compliant platform has a variety of flexible design options built-in, like front-facing, field-upgradable IO. Another great new product is the line of rackmount and blade servers available from Dell. This is their twelfth generation of such servers, and customers can choose the standard Dell server (R-620) or the NEBS-compliant version (R-620T). This gives telecom OEMs a great amount of flexibility and price control when building new solutions. In addition, the stoutness and proliferation of these servers mean OEMs can roll out solutions faster.
UNICOM Engineering believes that Dell’s entry into the telecom market will help drive down the costs and increase the implementation rate of future telecom platform solutions. We are still concerned with the overall length of the standard IT server—over 20 inches—and its tendency to have a shorter lifecycle than other platforms and these drawbacks must be overcome if equipment providers are to meet the challenges of the industry.
UNICOM Engineering is a leading provider of application platforms, deployment solutions, and lifecycle support services for software technology developers and OEMs worldwide. For more information about how UNICOM Engineering can assist your company with telecom platform deployments, visit our Platforms Page or contact our team at (800) 977-1010. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.