Overview
DartPoints* is a data center innovator, having pioneered micro data centers aimed at small and medium businesses that need a highly convenient data center that offers tier-1 services. After a successful company launch, DartPoints turned to Intel® Network Builders partner ADVA Optical Networking* for a turnkey network functions virtualization (NFV) solution to help scale its business nationwide and expand the service offerings.

Challenge
To offer its customers the best performance at the most competitive prices, DartPoints has created the industry’s first “NFV-enabled micro data center,” an innovative concept that places data center and colocation (colo) facilities in the same building where its customers are located. Colocating private cloud services improves scale and management of individual cloud instances, while enabling low latency, high-bandwidth, and secure connectivity without crossconnects— all of which are key differentiators of DartPoints’ micro data centers. But the micro data center offers the same computing, data recovery, and other services as millionsquare- foot, tier-1 competitors with equivalent service levels and reliability, including complete compliance and security and carrier-neutral access to Internet or WAN services.

Adopting NFV for Scalability, Lower Cost
In initial build out of its data centers, DartPoints used appliance-based routers, switches, firewalls and other service-provisioning equipment. As it scales its business nationwide, the company is looking to replace these stacks of equipment with multi-tenant and multi-supplier virtual network functions (VNFs) on Intel® architecture-based servers. DartPoints will also leverage NFV orchestration to provide dynamic, self-provisioned, and on-demand services to customers with no changes required to the hardware. This true “network-as-a-service” reduces the company’s reliance on single-function hardware appliances that are expensive, take months to be delivered and deployed, and don’t allow for flexible services delivery. With NFV, multiple services can be deployed on a single server, allowing DartPoints to quickly turn up new services from its network operations center by remotely downloading software and configuring the service. The results are dramatic. Once the NFV server is in place, DartPoints engineers can provision Internet service and firewalls in about 15 minutes from a console in their operations center. Compare that to using the old approach of deploying a variety of hardware appliances, which could take weeks or months to acquire the hardware and then even more time to schedule the customer visit to get the services up and running.

Figure 1. Example of a micro data center

Figure 1. Example of a micro data center


DartPoints conducted an extensive pre-deployment proof-of-concept trial to ensure that virtualized services are capable
of delivering the performance customers demand. After a successful completion of those trials, DartPoints chose the FSP
150vSE server from Intel Network Builders partner ADVA Optical Networking to host multiple VNFs for its NFV services.

Solution – NFV Hosting + Orchestration
The ADVA FSP 150vSE integrates an Intel® Atom™ processor-based server platform with open Carrier Ethernet networking for
service-edge applications. The system is designed for managed services delivered on business customer premises. It has the
processing power to host multiple combinations of software-based VNFs needed for multiple services or for complex service
delivery.
Key system highlights include:

  • 1RU ETSI/ANSI compatible and NEBS-compliant form factor
  • Multi-core Intel Atom processor
  • 4GB – 32GB memory
  • Upgradable SSD for Linux OS and virtual network functions
  • Up to six built-in Gigabit Ethernet interfaces
  • Expandable Carrier Ethernet options (bonded G.SHDSL, T1/DS3, SONET/SDH)
  • Wireless broadband and Wi-Fi connectivity options
  • Up to six gigabytes of bulk storage via internal SATA or eSATA
  • MEF CE 2.0 compliant VNF-based Ethernet access device
  • Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) support for data plane acceleration
Figure 2. Network example using FSP 105vSE

Figure 2. Network example using FSP 105vSE

The FSP 150vSE features modular interfaces and a 100 percent programmable architecture, so DartPoints can deliver a complete managed service portfolio using a single system instead of multiple single-purpose appliances. The other advantage for DartPoints of the open and programmable nature of the FSP 150vSE is a dramatic reduction in its time to market for new services. This starts with the ADVA’s Harmony Partners ecosystem, which features VNFs from leading software companies that have been integrated into the ADVA Ensemble* solution offering. With this ecosystem and system programmability, the DartPoints engineering team can create and test service templates for a wide range of services that the operations team can then implement quickly for each customer. This capability also lets DartPoints install or upgrade new services remotely in minutes with no shipping charges or on-site technician.

NFV Orchestration
DartPoints selected ADVA’s Ensemble Orchestrator to augment the FSP 150vSE with a complete suite of standards based SDN and NFV software that lets service providers like DartPoints create and manage VNFs at the service edge. Ensemble Orchestrator is a powerful European Telecommunications Standards Institute* (ETSI) NFV management and orchestration (MANO)–compliant solution for end-to-end VNF and network service lifecycle management, including VNF onboarding, virtualized service design, service deployment, and service operations and management.
The FSP 150vSE and Ensemble Orchestrator provide a complete service provisioning system for DartPoints that is powerful enough to provide dedicated VNFs for up to six customers on a single server. The flexibility of the system has allowed DartPoints to expand its revenue base by selling service provisioning services to the ISPs or other carriers that use its colocation facilities.

Conclusion
In a market where big data centers are considered the best way to serve customers, DartPoints is showing that the micro data center can be successful. NFV-enabled services based on ADVA’s Intel-powered FSP 150vSE and Ensemble Orchestrator software are a key driver for this success.

About DartPoints
Founded in 2012, DartPoints is a leading provider of innovative and customized data center solutions with site specific colocation capabilities for businesses. DartPoints is transforming the way companies leverage data center services that integrate current and next-generation technologies. DartPoints’ network of customizable, highly available, fully supported micro data centers combines the privacy and control of a private data center with the flexibility and cost efficiency of colocation.

About ADVA Optical Networks
At ADVA Optical Networking is creating new opportunities for tomorrow’s networks, a new vision for a connected world. Our intelligent telecommunications hardware, software and services have been deployed by several hundred service providers and thousands of enterprises. Over the past twenty years, its innovative connectivity solutions have helped to drive its customers’ networks forward, helped to drive their businesses to new levels of success. ADVA Optical Networks forges close working relationships with all its customers. As a trusted partner, it ensure that it is always ready to exceed its customers’ networking expectations.

About Intel
Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices. As a leader in corporate responsibility and sustainability, Intel also manufactures the world’s first commercially available “conflict-free” microprocessors. Additional information about Intel is available at newsroom.intel.com and blogs.intel.com and about Intel’s conflict-free efforts at conflictfree.intel.com.