The “something” is the ability to use the telco network edge as a space from which to deliver enhanced services, founded on cloud applications, to customers. They could also use that same edge to site network functions, to be able to access network resources more flexibly and dynamically.
One rising issue for the mobile operator is that delivering this service and application capability from the edge does not have a one-method-suits-all deployment model. Not all of the edge will be a telco edge. Some of it will sit in a telco private cloud, some even on the device, some in public cloud platforms, and some on the enterprise premises that utilise public cloud technology or other cloud platforms. Alongside these, the classic telco edge proposes the edge of the wireless network as a host for network functions, and for consumer and enterprise applications that have specific requirements relating to mobility, latency, security and throughput.
For the operator, all of this seems achievable and desirable if the management and orchestration of those diverse edges – public, private, on-premise, on-network – can be simplified and harmonised. Otherwise it’s a mess of different cloud platforms, management interfaces, cloud OS, tools and scripts.
A Research Brief from AvidThink delves into the detail of all of this. It tells us that, “The majority of communication service providers (CSPs) believe they have legitimate claims on the edge computing market.”
It breaks down differing approaches to the market, giving specific examples of hyper scaler partnerships, vendor delivery and telco edge strategies. It is clear that CSPs hope that building an edge compute infrastructure can bring new monetisable services, but it also illustrates the diversity of competing agendas in the market.
Dealing with that will be key for MNOs and CSPs: what AvidThink finds is that there is a need “for an abstraction and orchestration layer that can coordinate telco workloads across multiple clouds”.
And so the Brief makes the case for an Orchestrator of Orchestrators for the edge, giving carriers the ability to manage and co-ordinate diverse workloads that sit in different clouds, and different edges. The note goes on to break down the functions of this Orchestrator of Orchestrators, making the case for it as a key piece in the edge puzzle, and a key enabler of the CSP edge business model.
Do you understand why an Orchestrator of Orchestrators might be required, and what it might bring to a CSP or MNO? Do you agree that an abstraction layer will be key to telco edge strategies?
To find out, you can download AvidThink’s Research Brief by filling in the form below.