Edge computing value generation with distributed cloud

Application developers from various industries e.g. manufacturing, gaming and automotive industries see great opportunities arising with the introduction of edge computing. What is the role of CSPs and how can they contribute to the edge computing ecosystem?

working on the laptop

End-to-end edge computing 

To facilitate for application developers and provide new services to enterprise customers, CSPs are evolving their current infrastructures to Distributed Clouds both to support telco workloads and 3rd party applications. Hyperscale Cloud Providers, such as AWS and Google, also address edge offerings, but currently they are lacking distributed infrastructures. 

But first, what is a Distributed Cloud? Our definition is; “Distributed Cloud provides execution environment for cloud application optimization across multiple sites, including required connectivity in between, managed as one solution and perceived as such by the applications. “ 

Another way to express it is that Distributed Cloud is an end-to-end approach to edge computing allowing each individual use case to “decide” where the edge is. Distributed cloud goes along with automated deployment of applications at just the right location in the network to optimize resource efficiency and user experience. For that reason, end-to-end orchestration for hybrid clouds is a key capability providing end-to-end management of networking, cloud infrastructure and workload placement. 

Edge computing business models and CSP key assets 

When CSPs address edge opportunities, one of the key aspects is how to work with the application ecosystem to provide solutions for industries. There are three ways to do this; 

  1. CSPs and industries drive the ecosystem to provide solutions. 
  2. CSPs drive the ecosystem on their own. 
  3. CSPs leverage the Hyperscale Cloud Providers’ ecosystems. 

So which model is the best? That varies depending on CSP strategy and market position, the type of industry being addressed and how far their ecosystems have developed already. What is common for CSPs is their foundational assets they can contribute with, but not limited to;  

  • Distributed Points of Presence on a global or nation-wide basis 
  • Cloud Infrastructure, e.g. an NFVI based on the ETSI NFV specifications 
  • Connectivity including current 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G networks, support for device mobility and local break-out – and more

 

Edge computing graphic
Image: Foundational CSP assets for edge computing and distributed cloud.
Using these assets, CSPs can contribute with essential capabilities based on Distributed Cloud and exposure of cloud, network and orchestration logic. It is all about making assets and capabilities usable for application developers by leveraging Distributed Cloud APIs. Since many developers don’t know how telecom networks work, it is important to simplify API exposure as much as possible. Failing in this means there will be few developers interested in developing applications on CSP infrastructure. CSPs should aim for a converged solution with cloud execution, service exposure, and dynamic workload placements through industry aligned APIs to best meet the needs of industries and developers. 

Ericsson recently held an industry analyst update focusing on these topics in more detail. View the webinar here

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ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR
Henrik Bäckström
Henrik works as a Product Marketing Manager at Business Area Digital Services, focusing on cloud infrastructure products and network applications.
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