Enabling Successful Edge Services Deployment: The Edge is Not Just Another Cloud

Communication service providers (CSPs) increasingly realize that edge computing will play an important role in creating and deploying the next generation of digital-communications-dependent services. Whether powering a virtual or Open radio access network (vRAN, OpenRAN, O-RAN) for a 5G build-out, transforming the automotive experience via cellular-vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) initiatives, supporting a resurgence of Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial IoT (IIoT), or enabling new extended reality (XR) services encompassing augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), new services will need ample and proximate computing and storage resources.

Web 2.0 companies and hyperscalers have honed their techniques, developed new technologies, and established best practices in data center infrastructure build-out. These industry giants have helped improve the scalability, availability, and efficiency of the world’s largest cloud data centers. With the expansion of cloud platforms to the edge, web companies, hyperscalers, CSPs, and anyone involved in building out the edge need to understand and accommodate underlying differences between these new sites and regional cloud data centers.

For CSPs, the edge is a new yet critical element in their 5G build-out. The edge is also a component of telco cloud transformation. To successfully leverage the edge, CSPs must understand why and how it differs from today’s centralized clouds. This research brief aims to cover these differences in new services and workloads at the edge, including vRAN/O-RAN. We will discuss today’s edge challenges, as well as strategies that can improve the CSPs’ odds of success in this new endeavor.

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