Enabling 5G Use Cases at the Edge
- February 20, 2020
The industry really can’t stop talking about the edge. In the interest of not starting a classic “edge” conversation with a definition, let’s focus very specifically about its role as a new business model for 5G. From a Telco perspective, 5G enables a whole range of new applications and services that will open the doors to new revenue streams and provide a path to differentiation.
Aligning business outcomes to vertical industry requirements to operating models to technology enablers has become the foundation for how Dell Technologies is discussing the edge with our Telco customers and partners globally. For Telco, the “edge” is both a network architecture optimization intended to improve experiences over cellular, but also a key control point for the development of differentiated services.
We talk about the edge as an enabler for 5G data-driven business models – real-time processing of data from “things” and devices, when the decisions need to be made quickly before the data loses relevance; but we also need to discuss how 5G is an enabler for the edge – bringing a disaggregated, cloud-native user-plane to allow applications and services to connect in closer proximity (and lower latency) to the “things” and devices. 5G and edge are symbiotes, even as both 5G and edge computing have use cases that are independent of each other.
While there are a lot of unknowns still as to what the edge will look like (Physically, obviously. Virtually, it will materialize as containers on bare metal), one thing for sure is there are no two identical edge deployments. Many questions need to be answered when designing the edge including: what are the use cases that are going to justify the investment — operations-first (driven by network function) or business-first (driven by enterprise use-case)? What are the unique vertical industry requirements? How impactful will the edge be to service experience? How significant will operational savings be?
Every situation is different –infrastructure at the edge is going to have to be very flexible to support a variety of use cases. The homogeneous infrastructure deployment model of public cloud – built with common building-blocks scaled within a rack, then within a row, then within the data center – gives way to a heterogenous infrastructure model at the edge. A key to success is to have a flexible set of deployment capabilities that can be customized to support the specific edge requirements including:
This week, Dell Technologies announced a portfolio of solutions that support edge environments. The new PowerEdge XE2420 is specifically designed for the above requirements. Namely, the new Dell EMC PowerEdge XE2420 server:
In addition to the PowerEdge XE2420, we’ve also refreshed the rugged PowerEdge XR2, a 1U, single-socket, shorter depth server that’s certified for telecom applications outside controlled environments. And we’re rolling out new Dell EMC Modular Data Center Micro 415, that provides a hardened, rugged edge data center with integrated power and cooling in an enclosure that fits in a parking space.
We also continue to expand our set of ecosystem partners who validate, certify, integrate with, and leverage Dell Technologies’ infrastructure capabilities in both the telco core and edge. But more on that later…