The Topology of the Edge: Bridging Enterprise Edge to the Telco Cloud
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Telco edge built with open source software and application programming interfaces (APIs), based on the published European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) framework, will enable enterprise/operational technology (OT)/Internet of Things (IoT) edge workloads to be migrated to the telco edge, with the added benefit of opex and capex reduction and enhanced scaling for the enterprise, because multi-access edge computing (MEC) is a shared resource and will ultimately evolve to provide comprehensive coverage of geographies and population centers. Communications service providers (communications SPs) will be looking at several further decomposition of edge into aggregate hybrid infrastructure, including indoor, private networks, public Wi-Fi 6, and dense urban and suburban and rural edge infrastructure. Wi-Fi 6 can also be integrated with MEC and 5G with the introduction of seamless roaming between 5G and Wi-Fi 6. The ICT industry is currently exploring container-based virtualization infrastructure for MEC applications to reduce the overhead management and orchestration (MANO). Communications SPs will need to develop their business strategies for MEC in phases by starting out modestly until the pricing model and opex/capex models are well-understood. "The optimal density of telco edge infrastructure is achieved when it is carefully paired with a 5G network," says Bill Rojas, adjunct research director for IDC. He adds, "Moreover, the ability to share the same edge network functions virtualization infrastructure (NFVI) will lead to reduced capex and enhanced operational efficiencies, benefitting both telco edge customers and owners of telco edge infrastructure, as compute/storage MEC future scaling will be required."