Edge for 5G

It is clear that 5G is already around, as demonstrated in a couple large-scale sports games, like Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang and World Cup 2018 in Russia. The successful demonstration of the new networking architecture has encouraged the accelerated 5G rollouts across leading vendors like AT&T and Nokia.

Observed from the successful 5G cases in those two sport games, it is apparent that edge computing is the key to enable large-scale 5G deployments. On the other hand, the industry is now addressing the importance of open architecture for edge computing.

The Paradigm Shift

The shift from centralized data center to edge computer server also indicates hardware shift. When industries were launching centralized cloud, they were using proprietary hardware equipments to connect to the public cloud. However, in the case of edge computing, open architecture is far more cost-efficient and scalable for business cost-effectiveness and simplified management.

Today, edge computing built in open architecture is already deployed in telecom, retail, enterprise branch and public service domains due to increased workloads and economic initiatives. In software-defined setting, open architecture, such as Open Source, offers an abstraction layer in common interfaces for mainstream solutions, regardless various CPUs or hardware designs from multiple vendors. In fact, stability is critical for technological deployments.

Edge computing has motivated a paradigm shift in how network traffic shall be run, and how applications should be addressed. Service providers turned from proprietary equipments to adopt open architecture solutions running on VMs or Linux OS for simplified management. Also, they have reduced their reliance on proprietary, dedicated equipment vendors to save operating costs.

Partnership and Vertical Applications

Another interesting fact in this paradigm shift is the increasing number of partnerships and alliances. Once operators adopt open source, software-based, virtualized infrastructures, they would no longer spend additional costs on legacy proprietary equipments. However, it means that no one company can offer a complete software-hardware-firmware solution package for the edge. Therefore, companies in the market have been forming partnerships or alliances across fields to resolve any challenge that may arise during the deployments. In fact, many of the partnerships are formed to drive IoT-related vertical applications.