Mike Coward, CTO, Continuous ComputingOct 31, 2007 (2:06 PM) -- commsdesign.com
Telecom infrastructure development is moving into a third phase of infrastructure development: the shift to pre-integrated systems that include high availability middleware, protocol stacks, unified management, and hardware platforms. These systems offer a quick path to market since the equipment manufacturer develops only the application that runs on the system.
The first phase of infrastructure development had telecom equipment manufacturers (TEMs) using a vertically-integrated approach: designing their own silicon, building custom chassis and boards, and writing all of the software in the system, including operating systems, databases, protocol stacks, and applications.
The second phase of infrastructure development was marked by a shift to the commercial off the shelf (COTS) model where the individual blades and software modules are procured from different vendors and integrated together by the TEM. The COTS model offers an improvement in time-to-market and lower development costs but is not without problems. In particular, the time it takes to integrate the components has become a significant part of the overall schedule, and it has proven difficult to reduce time-to-market below 24 months because of this integration time.
This desire for even quicker time-to-market has given rise to a third model, the pre-integrated system. Pre-integrated systems feature a comprehensive software stack built on a standards-based hardware platform, designed and tuned for particular network elements. In the best examples of this third phase of infrastructure development, the system includes reference applications, protocol stacks, unified management, high availability middleware, platform essential services, and a competitive hardware platform. An example of an integrated system, the Continuous Computing FlexTCA system for IPTV, Security Gateways, and Wireless Core Infrastructure is shown in Figure 1.
Click here to read more ...