A year into its partnership with Intel Corp. to develop software-defined infrastructure for ambitious telecommunications companies, Ericsson says the pair’s efforts have been “fruitful.”
Ericsson and Intel are focusing on co-developing a hardware management platform spanning entire networks, from the core to the edge.
In a new blog post by Ericsson, the company describes the combination of its software-defined infrastructure-management applications with Intel architecture and open-standards support like the Distributed Management Task Force’s Redfish, a standard for managing servers, networking, storage and converged infrastructure
The hardware-management platform is aimed at communication-service providers who want to be more than simple mobile connectivity players. It is designed to bring cloud-like agility to the physical infrastructure layer, enabling vendors to quickly and adeptly react to market changes with new and augmented services.
The platform accommodates virtualized network functions, containerized network functions and distributed cloud within communication-service-provider networks
“The ability to spin up, tear down, and manage physical resources exactly where and when needed and with the right longevity is imperative,” Ericsson writes in the white paper.
Ericsson, in a related in-depth white paper on the topic, proposes four roles for telecommunications players in the value chain, all of which call for committing to service-level agreements.
They can opt to be a full edge provider, with a strong go-to-market relationship with the customer; they could also provide edge services or even the platform.
Communication service providers could also be the partner edge provider, selling connectivity, reselling vendor infrastructure and a platform, and possibly hosting the edge stack.
Telco executives can also choose to be an aggregator edge provider, providing infrastructure software and deployment platform as a service. In this role, the wireless telecom owns and operates the edge hardware.
Then there is the limited edge provider role, in which the telco fronts the enterprise for most of its needs, including edge infrastructure and platform.
Communications and network services providers want to play in the edge computing space, but simply offering infrastructure to developers isn’t going to be enough. Being realistic about your company’s strengths and which enterprise opportunity you should target is going to dictate what kinds of technology and human investments (including sales and marketing) will follow. In that regard, Ericsson’s structuring of the opportunities available is worth taking a look at.
Jim Davis, Principal Analyst, Edge Research Group
edge computing | Ericsson | hardware | infrastructure management | Intel