To stay in pace with the ever-increasing user expectation for instant access to information, service providers and businesses need the agility to scale on demand and launch new products and services as quickly as they are requested. Open architecture like Open RAN can provide more flexibility and cost-effective deployment options for operators and enterprises.
The deployment of Open RAN at the network edge is beneficial for 5G networks including more market competition, lower equipment costs, and improved network performance. ORAN challenges include system integration issues, tech support difficulties, and security risks, which can be mitigated with comprehensive validation and performance testing strategy. Building an Open RAN architecture may have its challenges, but the performance and flexibility benefits may outweigh the obstacles.
A leading global provider of 5G test and assurance solution come to Lanner to find a hardware test solution. The hardware network appliance for a 5G Open RAN Testing solution would need to meet the following requirements:
A superior ORAN architecture needs to be robust, interoperable, scalable, and provided technical parity with traditional RAN, in addition to be efficient to deploy, operate, and manage. The test solution need server-grade performance and power, such as Intel® 3rd Gen Scalable Ice-Lake Xeon® processors.
- High Availability
To ensure 24/7 non-stop network operation, RPS (redundant power supply) plays a critical role to ensure high-availability. The platform must support high availability design, including hot-swappable cooling fans and redundant power supplies.
- Flexible Modular Design
The hardware platform needs to offer multiple NIC Slots capable of delivering almost any network interface and I/O interface to ensure interoperability.
The network appliance needs to feature LCM displays on the front panel, which can aid in system diagnosis by displaying the system status and basic configuration parameters, and easy troubleshooting.
- Hardware-assist Security
One of the challenging aspects of migrating from proprietary RAN architecture to Open RAN is the security risk, therefore the platform needs to support native 100G Intel® QAT, Intel® SGX, Intel® Boot Guard and TPM 2.0, for protection starting from the hardware level.
- Rear PCIe slots
PCIe expansion slots are important additions for future upgrades. These hardware-based acceleration cards, including GPU, crypto and RAID, offload the repetitive but high volume workloads from CPU and improve total application performance.
Comprehensive testing is essential to deploying Open RAN solutions and realizing their full potential. The NCA-6520 is a rackmount network security appliance featuring dual 3rd Gen Intel® ® Xeon® ® Scalable processor, higher throughputs, built-in crypto acceleration and exceptional NIC module expansion. With max. 80 cores, PCIe-Gen4 support and 1.2x memory capacity, NCA-6520 will delivery enhanced performance for network security workloads through increased connections and achieve significantly faster speeds to support cloud, edge AI computing use cases.
The powerful network security appliance supports up to 1536GB of system memory and 8x NIC module slots for almost any networking interface and I/O configuration, in addition to 850W 1+1 ATX redundant power supply, 2x PCIe x16, three M.2 expansion slots, and four individual hot-s