Learn about OpenBNG solutions from Intel by reading this white paper.
Network traffic is steadily increasing, driven by more at-home workers and students, high-resolution multimedia streaming, high-resolution video calls, AR/VR, online gaming, metaverses, digitization of industries such as healthcare, the Internet of Things (IOT) and the intelligent edge.
The broadband network gateway (BNG) is the key network component in broadband access. It provisions the necessary quality of service for each service (such as voice, video, data and high-priority data). The BNG normally resides in an edge location where space and power budgets are not as extendable as in a more centralized location. The BNG must be an efficient, scalable, flexible and high-throughput device. With today’s growing network usage, it is increasingly important that the underpinning architecture take these requirements into account.
One of the goals of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) is to transform the BNG from monolithic, black-box fixed-broadband equipment that lacks open and programmable hardware into an open, interoperable, modular, easy-to-manage and flexible platform with a continually evolving ecosystem. Intel has collaborated with ecosystem players to develop an end-to-end portfolio of Intel technology-based OpenBNG solutions that support different architectures, types, locations and resiliency models.
Intel offers two reference user plane solutions for OpenBNG:
- Server software-based solution. Creates a virtualized BNG (vBNG) that can run BNG workloads on a general-purpose server equipped with an Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor. Operators can take advantage of the Intel® Select Solution for Forwarding Plane, which enables OpenBNG and takes advantage of containerized user plane technologies enabled in Docker and Kubernetes. Business benefits of this solution includes lower OpEx, accelerated time to market, scalability and flexibility, and reduced TCO.
- Server switch‑based solution with Intel® Tofino™ Expandable Architecture. Lets network owners and operators take advantage of the P4 programmability of Intel® Tofino™ Intelligent Fabric Processors (Intel® Tofino™ IFPs) for packet processing, while employing the power of Intel® Xeon® processors and the acceleration capabilities of Intel® FPGAs and/or Intel® Infrastructure Processing Units (Intel® IPUs) to extend and augment Intel® Tofino™ IFP functionality, such as handling hierarchical quality of service (HQoS). The server switch architecture combines Intel CPUs, FPGAs/IPUs and IFPs into a single rack-mount system with a small footprint. Business benefits of the server switch-based solution Include intelligent packet processing and P4 programmability, up to 25.6 Tbps switching throughput, and enhanced visibility and control.
Both solutions are based on a Control and User Plane Separation (CUPS) architecture with support for a common control plane. Operators can choose which user plane solution best fits their BNG location and use case. The server software-based solution is suitable for all locations, both centralized and at the edge, while the server switch-based solution is ideal for high-density, low-power and space-constrained locations.
The need for a flexible architecture that offers more bandwidth and lower latency is continuing to grow. To achieve this, networks need to get faster and smarter. Intel’s vision, technology and deep ecosystem experience and relationships can help build the next generation of programmable networks that help operators rapidly innovate, adapt and differentiate.