With partners and products, IBM charges after 5G, edge computing business

With partners and products, IBM charges after 5G, edge computing business

IBM’s edge software lineup continues to get a bit deeper and broader – deeper with products and broader with market-savvy partners. It has offered several new products and services aided by the acquisition of Red Hat, the open source software provider. IBM also announced partnerships with an A-level roster of information technology vendors to bolster its intent to be a player in the market for edge computing and 5G-related technology and services.

Big Blue’s new open-source products and platforms are designed for the expected demand for fast, low-latency 5G services. Each of them is supported by OpenShift, the Kubernetes platform that was developed by IBM’s recently acquired Red Hat.

Telco Network Cloud Manager is a new offering that orchestrates virtual and container network functions “in minutes,” according to IBM. The company says buyers will be able to manage loads on OpenShift and Red Hat’s OpenStack platform.

IBM says Cisco Systems and Equinix are among the companies who are ready to run Edge Application Manager with OpenShift on their hardware.

IBM isn’t solely focused on the telco part of the edge computing equation. Company executives are anticipating that, by 2023, the percentage of new, on-premises infrastructure on the edge will grow severalfold from about 10 percent now.

Edge Application Manager is autonomous software enabling AI, analytics and Internet of Things enterprise tasks that are best remotely managed. IBM claims a single administrator can use the software to manage up to 10,000 nodes simultaneously.

The software is built on Open Horizon, an open-source delivery platform led by IBM that oversees the service software lifecycle of containerized workloads and machine learning assets. Open Horizon is now a project under the supervision of the Linux Foundation’s LF Edge organization, helping to reassure customers that the source code is not going to be proprietary to IBM.

Developing the edge ecosystem

IBM has also said it has created a 20-partner edge ecosystem for independent software vendors and others, helping them to develop edge products for IBM’s own products.

The company also has debuted a telecommunications network cloud ecosystem through which it hopes to ease the process of deploying network clouds for telecom companies.

The list of collaborators with IBM in this product push is daunting, especially to smaller and newer players. Beyond those already mentioned are Dell Technologies, Intel Corp., Nvidia, Samsung, Packet, Juniper Networks and Arrow Electronics.

Ecosystem partnerships are crucial to edge computing projects because at this stage of the market’s development, no one company has every single component needed for the successful deployment of edge-focused projects.

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