In Parts 1 of this article, we provided an overview of virtualization and elastic provisioning in a private cloud environment and defined the cloud in this instance as a pool of resources set aside by a telecom provider designed and developed for a specific set of purposes. In Part 2, we looked at hardware advances and software efficiencies that were now possible by virtualizing instances of an application, including running applications on different cores of the same SBC by creating a virtual CPU and running virtual machines. We also briefly discussed new and emerging encryption systems that are able to keep pace with the speed of data transfer in telecom applications. In Part 3, we will look at the design flexibility provided by running virtual machines in private clouds.
By setting aside a pool of resources within the hardware infrastructure of a data center – a private cloud – those resources can be allocated as needed to run any number of virtual machines. This common hardware pool can include networking, data plane, and control plane architecture. When it becomes necessary to upgrade a deployment, it can be done by simply adding more hardware resources to the pool. Virtual machines can also be moved seamlessly between compute nodes to distribute the load across the resource pool.
One of the main drawbacks of many existing telecom systems is that many applications are run on different operating systems, and as such require dedicated or unique hardware solutions. When virtual machines are deployed in a private cloud, multiple operating systems can co-exist on the same hardware, eliminating the need for dedicated solutions. Furthermore, instances of virtual machines can be assigned a dedicated service level, and other virtual machine instances can be added or removed as workload requires. The ability to address instantaneous demand means that it is no longer necessary to allocate resources for peak demand loading freeing up hardware. Unused resources are added back to the pool to be used by other instances of applications as needed.
Since virtual machines running on a private cloud allow any number of applications to be run on common hardware, the amount of work done per amount of power consumed increases when compared to traditional platforms. This improves the Telecommunications Equipment Energy Efficiency Ratings (TEEER), and helps satisfy the demands of telecom providers who are demanding higher energy efficiency from the equipment they buy. When AdvancedTCA SBCs are used in the architecture, fewer hardware nodes are required, but the level of redundancy can be increased by running multiple instances of the same virtual machine. As such, the same level of system uptime is achieved while running less hardware while improving energy efficiency.
In summary, when running virtual machines in private cloud environment, hardware can be pooled to maximize utilization. In addition, virtual machines can be added or deleted to account for peak processing demands, multiple operating systems can be run on the same hardware, and the overall energy consumption of the system can be reduced. All because hardware is not sitting idle waiting for demand, and less is needed through the use of ATCA SBCs.
In Part 4, we will explore the advantages of ATCA hardware, and discuss how to choose the correct hypervisor to manage the system.
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