Organizations distribute the load across multiple clouds while expanding to the edge – moving applications and services closer to where people, data, and things connect to the networked digital world.
VMware outlined how it helps customers make sense of a more complex, multi-cloud environment and revealed its vision of how it will help customers navigate the transition to the edge. He also introduced VMware Edge, a product portfolio that will enable organizations to run, manage, and secure end-to-end applications across multiple clouds, anywhere.
“A new type of load is emerging – edge applications – which have to work on the edge to perform as intended. AR / VR, connected vehicles and addictive games are becoming widespread. 5G has made the use of co-robots, drones and digital twins a reality, “said Sanjay Upal, senior vice president and general manager, service provider and Edge, VMware. “VMware provides a solid foundation – a multi-cloud edge – to help organizations move forward into the new reality of the edge.”
A certain edge
VMware defines Edge as a distributed digital infrastructure for performing workloads in multiple locations close to users and devices that produce and consume data. Where workload is placed on the edge, it is key to meeting the requirements of edge-based applications.
- Edge-related workload placed anywhere between the cloud and the remote client’s location and delivered as a service is called the near edge.
- Edge-related workload placed at a remote location of the customer closest to the endpoints is called the far end.
Edge’s native applications require a multi-cloud edge. One that connects underlying services running in a service provider’s network (e.g. private connectivity, 5G operator, network slicing) with overlay services delivered from above (e.g. SASE) and computational services abstraction for end applications. All are organized by a control plane that provides consistent monitoring, installation, configuration, operations and management at all end locations.
Introducing VMware Edge
VMware Edge brings together products from across VMware that will enable organizations to run, manage, and better protect end-to-end end-to-end cloud applications, both near and far. VMware Edge solutions are purposefully designed for genuine applications and their unique performance and latency requirements.
VMware Edge solutions include:
- VMware Edge Compute Stack, introduced at VMworld 2021, is a specially designed, integrated virtual machine and container-based stack that will allow organizations to upgrade and protect highly native applications in the far end. VMware Edge Compute Stack will be available in standard, advanced and enterprise editions. VMware also plans to develop a lightweight version of the VMware Edge Compute Stack to provide an extremely thin edge for lightweight applications.
- VMware SASE combines SD-WAN capabilities with cloud-based security features, including cloud web protection, zero-trust network access, and a firewall. These capabilities are provided as a service in both near and far endpoints of a global network of Points of Presence (PoP).
- VMware Telco cloud platform delivers solutions to the forefront of the world’s largest communications service providers from their 4G / 5G core to the Radio Access Network (RAN). By helping service providers upgrade their network backbone, VMware allows them to deliver end-to-end services by overlapping their consumer and enterprise customers.
“Many transformation technologies – 5G, SASE and open RAN, by the way – are coming together. Now is the time for organizations to create a digital foundation for their end infrastructure. With its leadership in multi-cloud and modern applications, VMware is uniquely positioned to deliver a comprehensive set of solutions that help its customers drive business continuity, flexibility and create competitive edge differentiation, ”said Dave McCarthy. IDC Vice President of Research, Cloud and Edge Infrastructure Services.
Building an ecosystem with a wide edge
VMware has key partnerships across the broad ecosystem to deliver seamlessly integrated solutions to customers. Its broad partner ecosystem includes public cloud vendors, service providers, end-application developers, network service providers, system integrators, network equipment vendors, top-level hardware manufacturers, and end-to-end hardware manufacturers.
For example, VMware Edge Compute Stack is integrated with the healthy one Dell EMC VxRail D series, optimized for end implementation. As the only HCI system developed in conjunction with VMware, Dell EMC VxRail provides an efficient and flexible IT infrastructure that allows automated operations capable of extending from data centers to cloud and end environments.
“The advantage is fast becoming a more significant part of corporate IT and is essential for customer-transformed data. The key to edge success is to extend reliable and integrated infrastructure to the edge so that operational technologies can be effectively deployed, managed and maintained, ”said Gil Schneorson, Senior Vice President, Final Computing, Dell Technologies. “By working with partners such as VMware, we help our customers handle their end-to-end implementations with products and solutions designed to easily scale and manage in a hybrid cloud so that customers get the most out of their data.”
Similarly, the VMware Edge Compute Stack will be able to run on top of Lenovo ThinkSystem SE350 Edge servers. The integrated solution announced earlier by Lenovo, is ideal for remote sites that need to be able to process data closer to their creation and closer to users, including retail stores, manufacturing sites and schools, to name a few.
Charles Ferland, vice president and general manager, Edge computing & Telecom at Lenovo, said: “We are happy to share a shared vision for end computers with VMware, providing value to customers. The VMware edge cloud platform is perfectly designed to provide services where users need them on the edge. Combined with the robust and secure Lenovo ThinkSystem SE350 server, our common customers can receive preloaded systems directly on their end sites. The ThinkSystem SE350 also includes a built-in network switching module and WiFi / 4G connectivity, eliminating the need for additional external network equipment and providing increased network resilience.
In terms of operational technology (OT), SmartHub.ai focuses on defining a software-defined end of IoT to help businesses discover, embed and manage IoT assets from IoT devices to IoT applications. Its platform also helps integrate all edge data sources to enable solutions and actions based on ML / AI edge models. The platform will integrate with VMware Edge to provide a consistent and comprehensive view of near and far end locations.
Niranjan Maka, co-founder and CEO of SmartHub.ai, said: “Companies are pushing many of their innovations to the edge to provide new business and experience to end customers. Interactions involve a complex end ecosystem of IoT devices, applications, and data closer to customers. In addition, low latency applications and edge AI loads address key challenges that would not have been possible so far. Enabling OT teams to manage large-scale end infrastructure is the key to success. There is no other company that is more willing to handle the end-to-multi-cloud workloads of VMware and its partner ecosystem.
Andre Devilers, Head of IT Infrastructure Architecture at Michelin, said: “We are in the midst of a digital transformation of our manufacturing sites. As we implement and manage more workloads than AI and machine learning in factories, our network traffic requirements are evolving. VMware SD-WAN has played an important role in helping us stay agile as we maintain performance and latency requirements. We look forward to continuing to work with VMware to address the challenges of deploying cloud-based services, including network performance, security and end-to-end management. ”