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Supermicro launches 5G-ready “data centre on a pole”

Written by Tue 3 Mar 2020

Pole-mounted server designed to extend AI capabilities at the edge of the network

California-based IT giant Supermicro has launched a cell-tower mounted server for harsh outdoor environments.

The company is touting the enclosure-based server as a “data centre on a pole” for edge deployments designed to enable speedy rollout of adaptable 5G networks.

The IP65-rated solution supports 5G RAN, data storage, media streaming and AI inferencing applications and is based on Intel Xeon D and 2nd Gen Intel Xeon processors.

Real-time edge AI inferencing support comes from GPU cards supporting 5G RAN software plus open-standard site-to-site communication with FPGA accelerator cards.

The ruggedized servers also support SD, M.2, and EDSFF storage.

Supermicro CEO Charles Liang described the system as a “SuperServer”, adding that the highly configurable servers “give data center and telco operators unprecedented new deployment options rivalling industry competitors”.

The company was also keen to underscore how the new system supports the industry’s wider movement towards open-source software and disaggregated hardware. Supermicro developed the servers in consultation with O-RAN Alliance, an organisation promoting open 5G RAN architecture for the evolution of 4G to 5G networks.

“Supermicro embraces the industry movement to non-propriety hardware platforms and the growing adoption of standardized system interfaces,” the company said.

“This compact pole-mounted solution allows for rapid rollout of adaptable 5G networks with virtually zero real estate,” it added.

Edge computing refers to the processing and analysing of data in servers closer to the applications they serve. According to Credence Research, the overall edge computing market will be worth $10.6 billion by 2026.

Earlier this year, Schneider Electric and Cisco unveiled a wall-mounted micro data centre for edge environments which the companies claimed is 60 percent less intrusive than traditional wall-mounted enclosures.

Written by Tue 3 Mar 2020

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5g edge
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