Partner Perspectives (Sponsored Content)

Edge Computing, the Next Great IT Revolution

Commercial 5G services are no longer a pipe dream. We at Intel have worked with communication service providers (CommSPs) around the world to lay the foundation for a new era of data-centric services, but we have only scratched the surface of what’s possible.

The promise of 5G and the rise of computationally intensive AI applications have accelerated network transformation from the data center and cloud to the network core and edge to deliver significantly higher bandwidth, lower latency, end-to-end quality of service (QoS) and proliferation of private wireless networks.

Cloud transformation dominated IT headlines as it evolved from infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service to software-as-a-service and function-as-a-service models. Edge computing will have similar prominence over the next decade because placement of resources to move, store and process data closer to the data’s source or the point of service delivery will be central to a new class of applications that require faster decision making, leveraging its optimized location. Edge computing evolves and extends cloud computing to transform the underlying architecture and create an environment ripe for application, service and business model innovation.

The edge demands decentralized and heterogeneous discovery, deployment, and orchestration to support key performance indicators (KPIs) around higher quality of experience, total cost of ownership improvements, security and compliance with data sovereignty requirements, and delivery of timely and actionable insights. We believe the opportunity of edge computing represents the future of computing and service delivery.

Network Functions Virtualization + Cloud: Fundamental for Intelligent Edge
Intel’s leadership in network infrastructure and application virtualization opens up interesting possibilities. With network functions virtualization (NFV) as the foundation across the entire network cloud architecture, the radio access network (RAN), next-generation central office (NGCO) and universal customer premises equipment (uCPE) at the enterprise site are ideal locations to support new edge services and more fully monetize infrastructure investments.

The above picture shows how each location and use case has different performance, form factor, power and thermal requirements. We have disaggregated these platform differences to give CommSPs the flexibility to move services around to support the KPIs that drive the edge value proposition:

  • Latency and determinism – Latency and Determinism are fundamental value drivers for advanced applications such as content delivery, factory automation with robotics, industrial control systems, video surveillance and security, immersive media applications, autonomous vehicles and more. These applications demand less than 20ms in end-to-end latency and deterministic response.

  • Bandwidth - By 2022, 82% of IP traffic will be video content. This traffic is expensive to transport to the cloud and process at a hyperscale cloud data center. CommSPs are therefore motivated to process video data at the edge to reduce jitter, improve video quality and create new revenue with value-added services such as content delivery networks (CDNs), cloud gaming, or video analytics for enhanced retail experiences.

  • Data Locality & Regulatory Compliance – Data privacy and security are driving the need for pervasive edge deployments as governments implement policies to protect customer data and maintain data within their geographies, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

These KPIs, among others, are the driving force behind investments in Intel architecture, open source innovation and a maturing ecosystem. Intel’s overarching commitment to QoS is focused on providing fine-grained control of platform components to deliver the right balance between these KPIs for various workloads.

Supporting edge KPIs with optimized hardware and software for infrastructure, applications and ecosystem
Intel supports Edge KPIs through a combination of tailored silicon offerings, a robust ecosystem, and strong industry standards and open source engagement.

2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable Processors with high performance Xeon cores are deployed as the network optimized NFV servers for 5G infrastructure and high-performance edge applications to support performance, QoS and security. Network or “N” SKUs in the Intel Xeon Scalable family are designed with the network in mind. They are fine-tuned to deliver up to 50% performance increase for the most commonly deployed network functions. Additionally, Intel Xeon-D 1600 and Intel Xeon-D 2100, with high performance Xeon cores and integrated Ethernet and Security IP, provide a great option for dense form factor requirements such as NGCO and on-premise industrial and factory automation. Intel® Atom® C3000 System on a Chip (SoC) delivers a compelling option for small form factor deployments with space, power and cost constraints, such as IOT gateways, virtual CPE (vCPE) and uCPE.

In order to make edge a new playground for innovation we also need to focus on delivering tools, frameworks and libraries to the developer ecosystem and a new generation of cloud developers. With this in mind, Intel has recently announced initiatives focused on service creation and deployment – OpenNESS, Open Visual Cloud and OpenVINO™ toolkit. I encourage you to download and work with the tools and contribute with your feedback.

What’s next for edge revolution
Over the next decade, the edge will be the epicenter of innovation, creating new ecosystems and applications and disrupting industries in ways we could not imagine previously. I believe that there is a wonderful opportunity for the edge to evolve to support multi-tenancy, reduce total cost of ownership, and support KPIs for new-age services. We can shape the edge to be discoverable (with the attributes they support), decentralized (from a decision-making perspective), and collaborative (to support mobility considerations). To make edge computing pervasive across millions of deployments and locations, we will need open collaboration across a robust developer ecosystem, easy-to-use software infrastructure, and significant hardware investments. We are collaborating with our industry partners to drive innovations encompassing communication, cloud, IoT and AI technologies to drive rapid innovations in the evolving world of Edge computing. Learn more about our innovations and ecosystem at Intel® Network Builders.

*Performance results are based on testing by Intel as of 2/04/2019 and may not reflect all publicly available security updates. See configuration disclosure for details. No product or component can be absolutely secure. Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark and MobileMark, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more complete information, visit www.intel.com/benchmarks.

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