Reach Out and Touch an SMB Telco

By Amy Newman (Send Email)
Posted May 31, 2007

NEBS-certified servers may be a requirement for U.S. telcos, but for telecom providers in emerging markets they are often cost-prohibitive and not necessary.

With the NonStop NS3000AC, HP is reaching out to SMB telecom providers that need fault-tolerance but lack access to NEBS-certified equipment.

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Uptime and fault tolerance, however, remain a necessity.

On Wednesday, HP began shipping the Integrity NonStop NS3000AC server, an entry-class Integrity NonStop server aimed at small to midsize (SMB) telecommunications operators in emerging markets (i.e., Eastern Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa).

Bob Kossler, director of product management for Integrity NonStop servers, Business Critical Systems, describes the server as ideal for a provider in one of those regions looking for telecom gear that is less expensive than what the larger telcos purchase.

Although the NS3000AC has many of the same features as its higer-end siblings, its lowered price point is obtained at the expense of NEBS equipment.

Although the NS3000AC will be sold in the United States, Kossler told ServerWatch that HP will not be pushing it there. Kossler also foresees the NS3000AC's sweet spot being in the wireless world, and thus the offering will not be targeted at the land line crowd.

Still, the market is sizable. Mittal Parekh, product manager of Nonstop Enterprise Division, estimates the addressable worldwide market for the NS3000AC to be $300 million at this time. Parekh noted that the market may expand or contract based on a variety of factors.

Although the NS3000AC lacks NEBS-certified equipment, it is fault-tolerant. It is modeled on the HP NonStop Value Architecture and integrates with hardware and software to enable out-of-the-box application availability and fault tolerance. HP believes such integration also boosts scalability and built-in reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) levels.

The NS3000AC also follows a variety of telecom protocols and standards, Kossler said. It is compliant with the MTP, SCCP, TCAP, and ISUP protocol layers, per the ITU-T White Book and the ANSI Issue 3 standards, and also supports China and Japan TTC SS7 standards.

In addition, the NS3000AC offers a variety of cutting-edge telecommunications applications, such as Home Location register (HLR), real-time billing, value-added services and messaging.

For Intelligent Network applications, HP provides, via the HP OpenCall Intelligent Network Server software, several interfaces between the Integrity NonStop NS3000AC Server and Signaling System 7 networks.

The NS3000AC is Itanium 2 powered and available in 2- and 4-processor configurations per node. It can have either four or eight gigabytes of memory, and is capable of connecting up to 9 terabytes of disk storage per system using internal disks.

Kossler emphasizes that the NS3000AC delivers large-system equivalent performance and functionality at an SMB price point. The 2-processor entry version of this entry server includes the operating system, INS stack, plug-and-play dish and memory, for between $300,000 and $350,000.

A low-end NEBS server, in contrast, starts at $500,000.

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