Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has announced the HPE Open RAN Solution Stack to enable the commercial deployment of Open RAN at scale in global 5G networks
The HPE Open RAN Solution Stack includes HPE’s orchestration and automation software, RAN specific infrastructure blueprints and telco optimized infrastructure. HPE service management and orchestration software supports telco networks from the core to the edge, reducing risk and allowing operators to seize the benefits of 5G. The HPE Open RAN Solution Stack also features the new HPE ProLiant DL110 Gen10 Plus server – the industry’s first Open RAN (radio access network) workload optimized server.
The HPE Open RAN Solution Stack has been developed by HPE’s newly formed Communications Technology Group (CTG), which offers one of the broadest telco portfolios in the market, and has been created to help telcos and enterprises take advantage of the huge 5G market opportunity with a family of open, interoperable solution stacks. The HPE Open RAN Solution Stack follows in the footsteps of the HPE 5G Core Stack that was unveiled in March last year. The solutions are linked with a common orchestration platform which supports telcos deploying resources and applications from the telco core to the edge. Both solutions are underpinned by an ecosystem of partners, with industry leaders already working to test and optimize their Open RAN software with the HPE Open RAN Solution Stack.
Global communications networks are undergoing a major transformation. 5G has been developed with open standards, allowing network operators to move away from proprietary single vendor systems on which previous generation networks were built. 5G standards give network operators the ability to mix and match best-of-breed hardware and software from multiple vendors into both the RAN and the core. These open technologies are being pursued vigorously by global telcos, industry bodies, and governments as they promise to create greater competition, lower costs, and boost innovation.
Open, cloud-native 5G networks are built on industry standard IT hardware running virtualized networks and technology advancements are now enabling the benefits of this disaggregation to also be applied to 5G RAN. HPE is contributing to the O-RAN Alliance and the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) who are driving this major industry shift. With the introduction of the HPE Open RAN Solution Stack, telcos can prepare for the commercial adoption of Open RAN at scale. HPE has more than 30 years of experience designing, building and tuning telco-grade infrastructure and software, and is bringing its unique telco expertise to bear with this pre-integrated, hardened RAN infrastructure platform.
“By driving innovation from edge to cloud through secure, open solution stacks, HPE aims to become the transformation catalyst for the 5G economy,” said Phil Mottram, SVP and GM, Communications Technology Group, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “We have collaborated with customers and partners to build the HPE Open RAN Solution Stack from the ground up to meet the unique demands of Open RAN deployments. The HPE ProLiant DL110 Gen10 Plus server is the industry’s first Open RAN workload optimized server, allowing telcos to deliver efficiencies, reduce operational complexity, simplify the infrastructure, and futureproof the radio access network.”
Accelerating the commercial deployment of Open RAN
The HPE Open RAN Solution Stack allows telcos to allocate resources where needed, delivering increased network agility, efficiency and flexibility. Designed from the ground up to support RAN workloads, the HPE Open RAN Solution Stack enables customers to futureproof their RAN and protect their investment by gaining the ability to support new multivendor technologies in a low risk environment.
The key to deploying Open RAN at scale is the ability to manage and orchestrate workloads across thousands of edge sites. HPE’s tried and tested management and orchestration software is ready for deployment in live Open RAN instances. It brings key innovations, including intent-based orchestration and AI/ML based automation solutions. This allows telcos to manage thousands of virtual machines (VMs), and hundreds of different virtual network functions (VNFs) and containerized network functions (CNFs) across the entire network.
Another crucial element is access to low risk, pre-validated telco-optimized technology blueprints. The small number of open RAN deployments currently live are built on bespoke configurations that are not designed to be replicated across thousands of sites. Telco Infrastructure Blueprints from HPE solve this challenge, reducing the risk, complexity and speed of deployment, whilst allowing for software from a variety of vendors. HPE is collaborating with Intel to develop a verified reference configuration built to help customers simplify the path to virtualized RAN (vRAN), establishing a foundation of hardened hardware, firmware and software that reduces time to market and operational complexities for both telcos and technology partners.
HPE CTG is committed to creating a vibrant ecosystem of partners to reduce the risk of deploying open, multivendor 5G networks. The HPE 5G Core Stack has already gained support from many industry leaders and with the launch of the HPE Open RAN Solution Stack, HPE is encouraging telcos, systems integrators, network equipment providers, and software vendors to come together to test, validate and pre-integrate their Open RAN technologies in order to deliver open, best of breed solutions.
The HPE Open RAN Solution Stack is launched with the brand new HPE ProLiant DL110 Gen10 Plus server that is highly optimized for the vRAN workloads that telcos demand:
• Open, standards-based architecture — Supporting multi-vendor software-based RAN solutions
• Powerful compute capabilities — Backed by upcoming 3rd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors delivering the performance and low power consumption required for RAN sites
• Carrier-grade ruggedized NEBS Level 3 and GR 3108-compliant platform — Designed for the far edge
• Reduced overall power consumption and footprint — Supporting the functionality of baseband unit, fronthaul gateway and cell site router in a highly optimized single short-depth 1U/1P server
• Accelerator options — Driving the performance-sensitive, packet-processing vRAN workload
• Consistency from core to edge — Delivering the trusted HPE ProLiant security and manageability experience, including silicon root of trust
The HPE ProLiant DL110 Gen10 Plus server is the latest addition to HPE’s comprehensive hardware portfolio for communications service providers, which also includes HPE Edgeline Converged Edge Systems. The Edgeline EL8000 family of rugged multi-blade servers offer a large-accelerator capability and can also accommodate a variety of 5G vRAN scenarios, as well as non-RAN workload such as multi-access edge compute (MEC). The HPE ProLiant DL360 is also a good option for centralized RAN deployment.
5G Core trials by Orange and HPE
Now generally available worldwide, the HPE 5G Core Stack is an open, cloud-native, containerized 5G core network software stack that unlocks the full potential of 5G. It offers slicing and end-to-end automation, enabling telcos to deliver differentiated quality services across their existing and future networks.
Orange, one of the world’s largest mobile network operators, is on a journey to transform to an open, multivendor cloud approach for 5G. The company is conducting multiple trials to ensure it is ready for this significant transformation. A demo with HPE and Casa Systems at their Lab in France was successfully realized last year.
“In 2020 together with HPE, we achieved the first call on a multivendor 5G standalone network chain. Now we are going further and are testing the concept of a 100% software-based, data and AI-driven, fully automated 5G Core,” said Emmanuel Bidet, VP, Convergent Networks Control, Orange Group. “HPE is an important partner with a long history in core networks and OSS systems, a good understanding of our multivendor needs, and experience of horizontal and vertical integration from application to infrastructure. HPE brings a set of cloud native, standards-compliant network functions, and the automation of slice management that can be replicated for end to end integration in each country. The first results are really encouraging and Orange appreciate the strong involvement from HPE teams.”
With the HPE 5G Core Stack, telcos can bring in network functions as needed, enabling them to respond to market developments, avoid vendor lock-in and futureproof the network for forthcoming milestones in 5G standards. It can be deployed, tested and commissioned in less than an hour – more than 10x faster than a traditional core solution. It is simple to operate and offers unlimited scalability thanks to its true cloud-native design.
In line with the founding principle of HPE CTG, the HPE 5G Core Stack combines the best of HPE’s software and hardware expertise with this solution available today as a pre-integrated software and hardware platform via HPE GreenLake. By deploying the HPE 5G Core Stack on a pay-as-you-use basis with HPE Greenlake, telcos can deploy a 5G core network with reduced risk and little upfront investment by aligning costs to the number of subscribers.