With the recent technical advancements of the mobile Internet, data centers and big data processing, cloud computing has become the mainstream service delivery model of the future, transforming the traditional Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) market. The construction of traditional ICT equipment was generally based on old design methodology, which packaged the computing, storage and IO resources into a single physical entity according to the initial maximum demands. The specifications and maximum capacity of computing, storage and IO were determined early in the design process. This often necessitated a redesign of existing equipment to adapt to the requirements of a new application appliance, even with a minor hardware change. A fundamental requirement of cloud computing is "resources on demand," meaning that computing, storage and IO resources can be combined flexibly to meet an application's requirements. Offering resources on demand requires that computing, storage and IO be decoupled into different functional modules in the early design phase. Based on the requirements of a specific application, these independent functional modules are then chosen in the necessary proportions, and combined in a specific hardware entity. The Modular Industrial Cloud Architecture (MICA) from ADLINK Technology was created to realize this concept.
This paper uses video servers and network security appliances as examples to illustrate the challenges facing ICT service providers in constructing the next generation of business applications. Then ADLINK’s MICA architecture and its advantages are introduced, followed by a review of new MICA-based products from ADLINK Technology. MICA products meet the requirements of both data center and telecom computing. A series of innovative designs enable service providers to achieve the key requirement of cloud computing - resource allocation on demand - as well as deal with the business challenges arising in the cloud era.