EdgeIR Fireside Chat: IBM takes on multi-cloud networking challenge

Automation and optimization of networking are crucial topics for edge computing. In a new Edge Industry Review Fireside Chat interview, we discuss the need for better networking solutions as enterprises find themselves (intentionally or not) in the era of multi-cloud service consumption.

EdgeIR spoke with Andrew Coward, IBM’s GM of software networking about how the networking industry is undergoing significant changes. IBM sees an opportunity to enter the market and provide a framework for enterprises to manage their networks across multiple cloud environments.

You can watch the full interview on our YouTube channel here and on our Vimeo channel here.

Show timestamps

(02:19) The issue facing the networking industry as enterprises move to the cloud is a loss of control over the network and a lack of visibility into traffic flow.

(03:51)  IBM is focusing on four main areas in order to address the problem of managing traffic between multiple clouds: orchestration, automation, analytics, and connectivity. The focus is on developing new solutions in a new space rather than competing with incumbent networking vendors.

(08:30)  Many enterprises have deployed multiple vendors for their SD-WAN solutions, which has made it difficult to manage workloads and connectivity. IBM’s solution is to offer an orchestrated and service-assured management service for connecting SD-WAN boxes to VPC connectors and multiple clouds. The service is used by telcos and large enterprises that want to manage their own connectivity.

(12:08)  5G has increased the need for connectivity and resiliency in retail and banking, as well as other edge environments. The overlap between public and private 5G networks needs to be managed and IBM is working on this through an open-source project called Open Horizon that enables dynamic software updates at the edge of devices.

(18:18)  On the shortage of workers and the need for automation in the COVID era.

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