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Emergence of Edge Cloud Services
Although enterprises and industry verticals continue their shift to the public cloud, they realize that not all of their applications and processes can be hosted there. For example:
- Some data may be highly sensitive and must be kept local for company or governmental regulatory reasons.
- Applications such as video surveillance or face recognition need to capture and process vast amounts of data, making it too costly to send all this data to the public cloud.
- Also, real-time applications such as AR/VR collaboration, automated industrial visual inspection, and self-driving vehicles cannot tolerate more than tens of milliseconds of latency.
These exceptions are creating an increasing demand to extend cloud services and technologies to the edge—where cloud compute and processing are decentralized and located much closer to the client (including on the client’s premises). The benefits are clear as these low-latency services, high throughput apps, and high density IoT connections can be enabled at much lower costs than keeping everything on-premises.
The problem for enterprises is how they make all this happen.
The Complexities of Edge Cloud Adoption
Deploying edge cloud services requires significant effort and expertise to work with many partners and technologies, including edge cloud platforms, edge cloud applications, connectivity from the LAN and between all cloud sites, on-premises solutions and public cloud, as well as the ongoing management, security, and troubleshooting across multiple silo clouds. This coordination is a significant undertaking for enterprises, especially at a time when IT funding is being reduced.
CSPs Can Step In with a New Managed Service Offering
Enterprises can be relieved of this burden by offloading responsibility for multi-vendor contracts and system integration to their CSP. Demonstrating a CSP-managed edge cloud capability is the goal of MEF 3.0 PoC (131).
With a single service subscription and SLA, enterprises can purchase on-demand edge cloud managed services from a CSP marketplace, including high-value MEC applications and all the required end-to-end connectivity components, from a single pane of glass.
The key here is ‘on-demand.’ The only way to make this into a viable market offering is to automate E2E service activation and ongoing assurance across multiple edge clouds and technology domains.
Introducing the MEF 3.0 PoC (131) Use Case
The PoC use case focuses on an enterprise improving the quality and efficiency of its automated factory production line by selecting a combination of a new video surveillance MEC-based application (using Microsoft Azure IoT Edge) and associated connectivity and infrastructure from a CSP marketplace (from Netcracker).
Two factory examples are used─one with an open source private 5G network and the other with a commercial LAN/WiFi 6 offering (enabled by Juniper). Open edge cloud platforms, which can host a variety of VNFs and MEC applications, are provided on-premises (from ADVA) and at the network edge (from NTT Com and Microsoft). Microsoft Azure is used to host public cloud applications that do not require edge performance.
Connectivity between the customer’s premises, edge cloud and public cloud is based on SD-WAN from Juniper together with NTT Com’s Flexible InterConnect to uniformly apply traffic and security policies across the entire enterprise network and ensure the applications perform within contracted SLAs.
The intelligent placement of edge resources, automated deployment, and ongoing lifecycle management is provided through edge and service orchestration systems (from Netcracker).
How Does it all Work? Learn More
Tune into our next blog, Part 2: Building a Vertical Business Around Edge Cloud Services: Highlights from MEF 3.0 PoC Showcase 2021, where we will discuss the challenges of implementing this solution, the MEF APIs we use, how we perform the intelligent placement of edge services, how we enable end-to-end connectivity from the LAN device to the cloud with security policies and many more aspects of the use case. Please visit the upcoming MEF 3.0 PoC (131) Orchestrating Multi-Edge Cloud Services showcase on 23 February 2021. Read more about MEF 3.0 PoC (131) >
About MEF’s Proof of Concept Program & Showcase
The MEF 3.0 Proof of Concept Pprogram effectively fosters innovation, seeds new MEF standards and projects, and accelerates our existing work within the ICT industry by providing our members—including service providers, technology suppliers, and other stakeholders within the ICT industry—the opportunity to collaborate on MEF 3.0-based use cases throughout the year.
Initiated by MEF members and facilitated by MEF staff, each MEF 3.0 PoC receives a unique, identifying number that remains unchanged as its title and messaging evolves over the life of the project.
PoC work is highlighted in public showcases and award presentations that explore individual Proofs of Concept. To learn more about the MEF 3.0 PoC Program and the enabling technologies, visit MEF.net.
Sue leads strategy and portfolio marketing at Netcracker; within that role, she is responsible for defining the marketing strategy and executing marketing initiatives across Netcracker’s BSS/OSS and Orchestration portfolio. Sue brings over 20 years of experience in the telecoms industry, spanning a variety of leadership roles, including product management, strategic planning, product marketing and technical sales. Her expertise encompasses a wide range of technologies, including cloud, 5G, SDN/NFV and BSS/OSS, with a strong focus on generating business growth. Sue has a Bachelor of Engineering honours degree in Electronic Engineering with Communications from the University of Sheffield in the U.K.