Cloud RAN | Cloud RAN

  • What is it?
    A Cloud RAN (otherwise known as C-RAN) is a new type of Radio Access Network (RAN) architecture that is centralized and cloud computing-based. It will be a key technology used in the deployment of 5G networks.

    Traditionally, specialized proprietary hardware with embedded software is used to implement the different network functions to deploy a RAN. A Cloud RAN virtualizes these functions using NFV (Network Functions Virtualization), and also provides a platform for other cloud-based application services such as for a MEC (Multi-access Edge Computing) server to be deployed on the same physical infrastructure.

    Another key design feature of a Cloud RAN is that Baseband Units (BBU, devices that convert digital signals to radio transmissions and vice-versa) are relocated from individual base stations to a centralized control and processing station, often referred to as a “BBU hotel”, which are then connected to remotely located Radio Frequency Units (RFU, the broadcasting antenna of a base station) via high speed optical fiber.

  • Why do you need it?
    Using Cloud RAN architecture can help make deployment and scaling of new wireless networks (such as for 5G and IoT) cheaper and easier for network operators. The centralization of BBU equipment in a “BBU hotel” helps lower the total cost of hardware cooling and power requirements, and allows for easier maintenance access and management since they will all be located in the same central physical place.

    In addition, since network functions are now virtualized and software-based, the wireless network can be made more scalable and flexible, with an ability to pool resources and dynamically allocate them where needed, as well as to re-use infrastructure for different applications. A Cloud RAN architecture allows for more efficient network enhancement or expansion, since the technology will be software-based running on commodity hardware which can be upgraded quickly and easily.

  • How is GIGABYTE helpful?
    GIGABYTE can provide a range of compact but powerful EdgeRack and High Density systems that are ideal to be deployed as a BBU server in a centralized “BBU Hotel” as part of a Cloud RAN network architecture. They feature support for the latest Intel, AMD or Arm server processors that can provide high core and thread counts for a large number of virtualized applications, as well as excellent expansion capabilities for Networking Interface Cards (NIC) for high speed network connectivity.

    What is Edge Computing? Definition and Cases Explained
    With the proliferation of 5G communications technology, edge computing—the practice of performing computing tasks as physically or logically close as possible to where data is created and commands are executed—has begun to permeate the modern world of smart technology. In this article, we explore the concept of edge computing in detail, and explain how it offers many excellent advantages, especially in terms of latency reduction for applications that rely on real-time decision-making.