The best benefit will transform service providers and app makers

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Edge computing – the delivery of computing power close to where organizations generate and use data – is a major advancement in the national computing infrastructure. It will transform the range of opportunities open to UK service providers and app makers.

Often presented as an evolution rather than a revolution, edge computing means that companies located outside the immediate backlands of major cloud providers will have access to a vast array of new SaaS applications through low-cost connectivity. latency, regardless of their location.

About the Author

Simon Michie is CTO at Pulsant.

Forward-thinking investments in edge data centers and the gradual expansion of 5G connectivity are making this possible. It reshapes access to advanced cloud capabilities and enables businesses providing online services or applications to access new markets, deliver higher levels of performance, and create new use cases and business models. .

Edge will create a host of new value streams. Statista estimates that the global peripheral market will reach $250.6 billion by 2024, driving the implementation of the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and meeting the growing demand for remote working and business models . Business intelligence provider IHS Markit estimates that by 2030 the number of internet-connected devices could reach 125 billion

Low latency is the fuel

This remarkable growth in IoT, artificial intelligence (AI)-based automation and analytics, depends on low latency. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and most Industry 4.0 IoT implementations require latency as low as 1ms to 10ms. This high-speed connectivity is what enables real-time multi-person gaming, life-changing remote healthcare technologies, and automated capital markets trading.

The fundamental requirement for low latency once meant that many regions outside the South East of England were at a severe disadvantage when it came to processing large volumes of data in AI applications and machine learning. Today, however, the establishment of national advanced computing platforms allows almost all fields to access these advances. Businesses deploying AI applications can process large amounts of data in an edge data center close to their location, transferring only what they need to the public cloud, reducing link costs to major hubs hyperscalers.

This is how, for example, oil and gas extraction companies or pharmaceutical manufacturers can implement industrial IoT applications such as digital twin technologies that transform efficiency and enable new products. and services.

An efficient ecosystem and national edge platform

However, the success of this major shift in IT capability depends on certain key elements. These include a functioning ecosystem that encompasses telecommunications carriers and communication service providers, as well as public cloud companies and specialists in microservices, containerization, virtualization, and related fields. Above all, this requires a scalable nationwide network of edge data centers to ensure that every end user, regardless of location, has low latency, high throughput connections to their edge workloads and data across the public or private cloud.

Edge data centers sit between the public cloud on-ramp and network-to-network telecommunications interfaces, positioning them perfectly for cloud service providers to expand coverage. Recognizing that customers want flexibility and control, more advanced edge networks have equipped themselves to facilitate hybrid and multi-cloud models, giving enterprise customers access to the cost, performance and cybersecurity advantages of different providers and environments.

Because they are now so well positioned, UK edge data centers provide a platform for app makers and cloud service providers to enter new markets and deliver new services almost anywhere on the planet. .

How the edge evolves

We can see how the edge is growing to everyone’s benefit, with telecoms and hyperscalers beginning to partner with edge computing platforms. Last year, for example, Telefonica Germany partnered with AWS and Ericsson to virtualize its 5G core network. The goal is to enable rapid integration of new applications, reducing costs and eliminating the need for time-consuming hardware configurations. Customers only need a 5G radio network with antennas.

For public cloud providers, it has become vital to partner with established edge platforms that have ubiquitous low-latency coverage and high-speed fiber connections between centers. The most advanced edge platforms achieve sub-5ms latency regardless of location. They spread the load across multiple regional data centers, not only processing data closer to each end user, but also reducing performance-robbing backhaul congestion.

New opportunities, new income

For service providers and solution builders, edge computing is the real promise of new revenue streams from new products, services and markets and new ways of doing business. ISVs around the world will have millions of additional customers and the ability to create more engaging and personalized subscription and delivery models. They can orchestrate the network functions and compute infrastructure needed for secure delivery to their end consumers. Content providers will be able to offload their central servers, transforming access and efficiency. Implementing SD-WAN to optimize bandwidth and prioritize critical applications through intelligent software will only increase the options open to customers and end users if service providers and solution designers choose the right one. edge platform.

Companies using 5G-enabled edge computing are already creating and delivering new use cases. Healthcare remote diagnostics and 3D medical imaging are ready to deploy, while the availability of low-cost, easy-to-deploy sensors will expand IoT beyond traditional industry parameters heavy. In manufacturing, advanced computing will enable a new level of automation and precision. In port and logistics management, edge computing is expected to deliver much higher levels of efficiency over large geographies, in complex environments, and across entire networks.

Yet for cloud service providers and application makers, edge computing will only work if they form the right partnerships with the right edge providers. They need to ensure that these partnerships offer true low latency, have resilient networks, and secure, fast on-ramps to the public cloud. Edge data centers should be strategically located and connected with seamless, high-bandwidth, high-speed connectivity. They must have true nationwide coverage and offer a diversity of routes to negate the effects of any outages. With all of these basic requirements in place, the edge will transform the fortunes of service providers and solution builders.

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