The use of carrier-grade commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) platforms for telecom systems continues to grow. These platforms include the Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (ATCA), MicroTCA, blade servers and rack-mount servers. ATCA was developed by the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group, which has also developed the complementary Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC) modules and the smaller MicroTCA platform. Blade servers are available from HP, IBM and other suppliers. Rack-mount servers are available from a range of companies.
ATCA provides telecom equipment providers with a carrier-grade platform on which they can quickly develop carrier-grade systems, significantly lowering development costs and dramatically reducing time to market for new systems. ATCA is becoming a mature platform with a well-developed ecosystem. Fourth-generation platforms with 40Gbit/s switching are quickly replacing 10Gbit/s platforms for many applications.
This survey goes beyond gauging the depth and breadth of technological developments by providing insights into how quickly these systems are being deployed and how many participants in the market will choose to employ third-party system integrators and software developers. The report also includes a breakdown of telecom applications for ATCA and MicroTCA, as well as the use of modules within these platforms and elsewhere. Respondents were also asked to rate system integrators and which suppliers they used for ATCA system integration, ATCA chassis, ATCA blades and AMC modules. The report includes several charts that compare results across up to five surveys spanning nine years from 2005 to 2014 providing valuable trend data.
The results of the survey covered in this report reflect key trends in the market for COTS platforms in telecom systems. ATCA continues to be the leading carrier-grade COTS platform, with more than a half saying their company was using ATCA and more than one quarter saying their company was using ATCA for all or most new systems. The trends reflect the growing maturity of ATCA and the growing competition from cost effective carrier-grade rack-mount servers. Many of these systems integrate technologies developed for ATCA and are being used by significantly more companies for smaller systems than two-slot ATCA platforms. Blade servers from HP, IBM and other suppliers continue to be used by a significant number of companies. MicroTCA is being used by just 15 percent, in line with previous surveys.
COTS & ATCA: 2014 User Survey analyzes the use of COTS platforms by telecom equipment manufacturers, with a focus on ATCA, based on the results of an exclusive worldwide survey of engineers, designers, product managers and sales/marketing personnel that work for telecom and networking system equipment manufacturers and suppliers. The responses to our survey make it clear that these platforms are now widely used in many types of networking equipment, from the access edge to the core of the network.