Lessons from MWC 2018: Hardware Acceleration Trend is Here to Stay

By David Levi

At the Mobile World Congress 2018, which took place last month in Barcelona, Spain, it was apparent that communication service providers (CSPs) are showing a growing interest in hardware acceleration as an ideal solution for the network’s edge.

During the show, Ethernity Networks presented a demo of its Carrier Ethernet aggregation switch router on COTS servers with multiple FPGA SmartNICs, which generated numerous inquiries into the direction of the market.

The buzz among OEMs and potential technology partners was that the market is clearly shifting directly toward Ethernity’s core business model of FPGA-based hardware acceleration to ensure optimal performance at the edge of the telco cloud. Ethernity was eager to solidify that reputation in meetings with influential representatives of the industry’s leading CSPs and found that the industry was eager for its solutions.

Traditionally, whenever Network Function Virtualization (NFV) was discussed, the telco industry was unified in seeking software-based multiple server systems, and hardware acceleration never entered the discussion. But the dialogue has changed, primarily because the cloud that sufficed for the data center is insufficient to handle the network’s edge. Ethernity’s partners and potential customers have come to understand that at the edge, a telco cloud must include hardware acceleration to offer performance and cost efficiency.

For example, Ethernity was visited by a leading figure of one very large, influential OEM, who explained that it was simply too costly to reposition the servers he had deployed in the data center to the edge of his network. He was seeking a solution for improving the performance of his access network that is also cost effective.

The answer is hardware acceleration. With cost being the underlying driver for market changes, the most flexible, scalable, and cost-saving method of hardware acceleration is through FPGAs, and Ethernity has unmatched insight into FPGA-based networking solutions for the telco cloud.

With MWC in the rear-view mirror, Ethernity is continuing to build joint solutions and go-to-market ventures with its OEM and technology partners and is ready to lead the telco industry forward with FPGA-based hardware acceleration deployments.

Watch the video interview with David Levi at MWC2018 by Light Reading!