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Automated Agile Deployment of Cloud-Native Network Functions and Virtualized Network Functions at the Edge with Lenovo and ADVA

Solution Brief

8 Nov 2021
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5 pages, 151 KB


Lenovo has partnered with ADVA to enable a secure, high-performance network function virtualization infrastructure (NFVI) platform. ADVA Ensemble Connector an open software framework running on standard servers and providing a scalable, high-performance network operating system.

The combination of Lenovo’s compact and powerful ThinkSystem SE350 Edge server and a pre-configured NFVi solution with officially verified high-end performance makes this network solution ready and easy to deploy.

Implement virtualized services and reap the benefits of NFV

Lenovo has partnered with ADVA to enable a secure, high-performance NFVi platform built around the Intel® Select Solution for uCPE reference design

ADVA Ensemble Connector delivers the industry’s first and most advanced pure-play virtualization platform designed to simplify the deployment and management of universal customer premises equipment (uCPE) and edge computing solutions.

Ensemble Connector is an open software framework running on standard servers and providing a scalable, high-performance network operating system. It can host any third party virtualized network functions (VNFs) and cloud-native network functions (CNFs), which enable the service provider to offer a wide array of new revenue generating services. Ensemble Connector includes standard network function virtualization (NFV) infrastructure (NFVI) components such as Linux, KVM, Docker, and OpenStack.


Lenovo's compact and powerful ThinkSystem SE350 Edge server is verified as an Intel Select Solution for uCPE on ADVA Ensemble Connector. This pre-configured NFVi solution takes the guesswork out of the evaluation and procurement process by meeting pre-defined hardware and software configuration requirements and rigorous system-wide performance benchmarks to speed deployment for Communications Service Providers (CoSPs).

Now service providers can take advantage of the benefits of uCPE: agile, automated delivery of multi-vendor software services.

High level block diagram of Ensemble Connector on ThinkSystem SE350
Figure 1. High level block diagram of Ensemble Connector on ThinkSystem SE350

The ThinkSystem SE350 supports a wide range of use cases at the network edge, bringing together high compute power in a compact and ruggedized form factor. Combining this powerful purpose-built edge hardware with ADVA Ensemble saves time and money while lowering risk. This unified all-in-one combination enables organizations to rapidly deploy ADVA Ensemble to new Edge locations.

NFV at the Edge with ThinkSystem SE350


  • Pre-configured NFVi solution with verified high end-performance
  • Agile, automated delivery of multi-vendor services
  • Rapidly scale and expand to new Edge locations

Customers looking for computing solutions at the edge of their networks often have to compromise - to use either standard datacenter servers that are expensive, large and power hungry, or PC based equipment which can't run their enterprise level applications. The ThinkSystem SE350 fits the space between those two extremes.

The Lenovo ThinkSystem SE350 is a compact, powerful, edge server designed for rural edge, smart city, enterprise edge, or IoT edge applications. It has a small footprint measuring 1.75 inches high, 8.1 inches wide, and 14.9 inches deep that can be mounted on a wall, stacked on a shelf, or installed in a rack. The server is hardened in a shock-resistant and dust-resistant case and can handle temperatures from 0  to 55 degrees Celsius. It uses the Intel Xeon D-2100 processors, which feature a data center processor architecture that is optimized for network, storage, and cloud-edge systems. Intel Xeon D-2100 processors have up to 16 cores with a performance per-watt of power that is optimized for edge applications.

Lenovo ThinkSystem SE350
Figure 2. Lenovo ThinkSystem SE350

The ThinkSystem SE350 also features up to 256 GB of RAM and 16 TB of internal solid-state storage with optional support for additional accelerators. Multiple connectivity options are offered, including wired Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and 4G/LTE. Because it can be deployed in the remotest of locations, security is a key consideration. The server includes encrypted storage and physical security features, such as a locking bezel, along with intrusion and tamper-detection mechanisms.

Intel Select Solution for uCPE on ADVA Ensemble Connector verified configuration

The following table lists the key components of the ADVA Ensemble Connector verified configuration

Table 1. ADVA Ensemble Connector verified configuration
Component ThinkSystem SE350 WiFi/LTE model
Processor  Intel Xeon D-2166NT, 12C, 85W, 2.0 GHz
Memory 128GB (4x 32GB TruDDR4 2666 MHz RDIMM)
Network controllers Application: 2 x 10GbE SFP+
Management: 2x 1GbE SFP, 2x 1GbE RJ45
Storage  M.2 128GB (mirrored), 2x 480GB SED SSD, 1TB NVMe
Software ADVA Ensemble Connector version 19.1.3.x

ThinkSystem SE350 verification with ADVA Ensemble Connector included software installation with automatic hardware configuration discovery (e.g. CPU cores, memory, NICs, disks) for ease of provisioning and performance validation through several scenarios including Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) and Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV). The SE350 packet processing performance was validated using the L3 Forward VNF sample application with RFC2544 zero packet loss test case.

Why Lenovo for CoSP

Lenovo infrastructure is built on a global manufacturing, services and support footprint, and is ranked #1 globally in both server reliability and customer support. Our CoSP and partner validated solutions are built on open standards and interfaces to preclude vendor lock-in. Lenovo XClarity Administrator simplifies Physical Infrastructure Management (PIM). Lenovo cloud automation platform offers automation and management of cloud networks across infrastructures.

Lenovo for CoSP solutions are based on Intel Xeon D-2100 based processors and Intel QuickAssist Technology (Intel QAT), which is optimized for packet processing, encryption and compression based NFV workloads.

About ADVA

ADVA Optical Networking SE is a European telecommunications vendor that provides network equipment for data, storage, voice and video services. Their open connectivity solutions enable customers to deliver the cloud and mobile services that are vital to today’s society and for imagining new tomorrows.

For more information

To learn more about Lenovo for CoSP solutions and validated partner configurations, contact your Lenovo Business Partner or visit

Intel Select Solutions for Network Transformation are supported by the Intel Network Builders Program:


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