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The Edge

Lumen brings virtual machines to the edge

Lumen Technologies has launched its latest virtual machine (VM) service for edge applications, the Lumen Edge Virtual Machines. The service provider's new Edge VMs are its latest infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform and are designed for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), startups and large enterprises deploying applications and workloads at the edge of the network.

In addition, Lumen said the Edge VMs provide customers with access to on-demand compute, storage and secure networking for their applications. The VMs are designed for edge applications such as processing data from IoT sensors and supporting AI, ML and robotics applications, said Dave Cooper, SVP of edge computing for Lumen Technologies.

For customers that don't require dedicated bare metal servers for their workloads, they can opt to "utilize virtual machines, which allows them to choose various options, including vCPU and RAM and various other parameters on the computer, similar to what you would do in public cloud, closer to the edge on the Lumen Edge Data Center," explained Cooper.

Customers can build an estimate for the cost of the Edge VMs on the Lumen Marketplace. Pricing starts at about $34 a month for 1 virtualized central processing unit (vCPU), 4G of RAM and 100 GB of storage up to a starting cost of $306 a month for 12 vCPUs, 16 GB of RAM and 250 GB of storage. Billing is as-a-service, so customers pay only for usage.

The Edge VMs run on the Lumen Platform, which is supported by Lumen's 450,000 route fiber mile network. The VMs are also provided on shared, multi-tenant servers hosted in Lumen edge facilities.

"We have a lot of distributed physical locations where we can deploy edge computing nodes; we have a lot of fiber connectivity to manufacturing locations, logistics and sorting centers – the types of locations where these edge and IoT use cases make a lot of sense and add a lot of business value," said former Lumen VP Chris McReynolds on a Light Reading podcast earlier this year.

While the Edge VM service is managed by Lumen, customers can access monitoring and reporting capabilities through the Lumen Orchestrator, and alongside other Lumen edge services and public cloud services from AWS, Microsoft and Google.

In 2021, Lumen launched Lumen Edge Bare Metal, which is pay-as-you-go server hardware, and Lumen Network Storage, which is network storage for ingesting and updating data. These services represented Lumen's "first foray into infrastructure-as-a-service on the edge in order to be able to provide the enterprises compute and storage options that were located closer to where digital interactions occur, where many of these next-generation use cases and workloads will be placed," said Cooper.

The global market for enterprise edge services is forecast to reach $97.0 billion this year, and more than double to $214.1 billion by 2026, according to research group Omdia.

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— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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