Announcing the NFV PicoPod!


PicoCluster has collaborated with ARM, Marvell, and Enea to develop a new platform for accelerating the development of ARM-based network functions virtualization (NFV) software.  (see press release) Known as the NFV PicoPod, this platform is the world’s most compact OPNFV development environment and is compliant with the OPNFV Pharos specification.

“NFV PicoPod is really the start of something new,” said Craig Brown, CEO of PicoCluster LLC.  The PicoPod, which takes up about 1 cubic foot of space, is a complete, cost-effective OPNFV Pharos pod.  It contains 6 Marvell MACCHIATObin developer boards that are based on the ARMv8-A architecture.  The MACCHIATObin boards are cost-effective, high-performance platforms.  They are powered by the ARMADA 8040 SoC which is based on a quad-core configuration of the ARM Cortex A72 processor.  The MACCHIATObin supports the latest open developer standards including OpenFastPath (OFP), OpenDataPlane (ODP), and Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK).

The NFV PicoPod is enclosed in a single PicoCluster encasement.  It includes a power supply and a Marvell Prestera DX Ethernet switch, which is a high-density and intelligent 10GbE switch supporting fully packaged Layer2 and Layer3 networking application software.  “Using the Marvell MACCHIATObin board and Open API Prestera DX Ethernet switch provides the community with an ARM 64-bit NFV development platform.  Marvell’s ARMADA multicore ARM-based portfolio combined with Marvell’s Open API Prestera DX switch and Alaska PHY families are designed for scalability, from 1GbE to 25GbE, enabling modular edge computing and networking,” said Michael Zimmerman, VP and GM, Networking Group at Marvell Semiconductor, Inc.

The NFV PicoPod runs the latest OPNFV Danube software release for ARM, which has been integrated by Enea.  “Never before have you been able to have this kind of compute and network power in such a compact and power efficient format.  It is literally a data center on the desktop.  There is nothing else like this anywhere,” said Brown.

The NFV PicoPod will enhance the accessibility of NFV platforms and will further advance the development of ARM-based NFV software.  Enea’s OPNFV Danube integration is perfect for the NFV PicoPod, delivering an NFV-ready infrastructure configuration for VNF development and verification. “It has been a pleasure working with ARM, Marvell, and PicoCluster in making the NFV PicoPod, and it is a great complement to the full Pharos Lab for certain aspects of NFV software development,” said Karl Morner, SVP Product Management, Enea.  “The NFV PicoPod is a highly anticipated aid in Enea’s own focus on network edge and customer premise applications, where ARM-based hardware has a natural fit.  The (Pico)Pod’s demo and test capabilities will prove themselves valuable in Enea’s pursuit of a virtualized network edge.”

“Our latest collaboration milestone utilizes the collective know-how of ARM, Enea, Marvell, and PicoCluster, putting a data center on a desktop into the hands of NFV developers at an unmatched price point,” said Noel Hurley, vice president and general manager, Business Segments Group, ARM. 

“Collaborating with ARM, Enea, and PicoCluster allowed us to create a compact and converged compute and networking modular system.  The transition to edge computing and networking force new modular configurations that can scale from 4-24 cores and beyond,” said Zimmerman.

Pre-orders for the NFV PicoPod are currently available at http://www.picocluster.com/products/nfv-picopod.


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