Exium Works with IBM to Deliver Edge Solution


By: Mary Jander

Exium, a 5G cybersecurity startup, is working with IBM (NYSE: IBM) to offer edge computing based on Red Hat OpenShift. The deal is intended to be the first of a series of partnerships aimed at spreading Exium’s secure network-as-a-service (NaaS) across 5G-based hybrid cloud environments.

Exium’s offering is already in trials with large enterprise customers, according to Exium founder and CEO Farooq Khan. “Through our collaboration, Exium plans to integrate [with IBM] … to offer edge solutions at scale for our clients,” he stated in a press release.

How Exium Works with IBM

Exium’s new solution works with IBM’s Edge Application Manager. That product, announced in 2020, deploys artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics to manage Internet of Things (IoT) workloads across a range of transport networks. It enables up to 40,000 edge nodes, including drones, smart cameras, robots, and sensors, to be remotely automated and managed by a single administrator. IBM has added a slew of ecosystem partners, including Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), Dell (NYSE: DELL), Equinix (Nasdaq: EQIX), Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), Juniper (NYSE: NPR), NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA), and Samsung, among many others, to equip the software for use in telecom and enterprise networks.

Now Exium has been added too. Exium’s stack provides an overlay of zero-trust network access (ZTNA) for WiFi, Ethernet, and 4G networks managed by IBM’s Edge Application Manager. For 5G, Exium’s stack runs as a native 5G core in public or private wireless environments integrated with IBM’s software. And since Exium works as a stack installed within public clouds, including AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform, the combined Exium/IBM product supports multi-cloud environments.

According to Exium, this multi-cloud capability is what distinguishes Exium’s offering from another recently announced service from Verizon (NYSE: VZ) that combines Verizon 5G Edge with Microsoft’s (Nasdaq: MSFT) Azure Stack Edge. "IBM has an open edge that can work with other cloud providers," said CEO Khan.


Since Exium software works with 5G and other transport options, it can support software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN), making it a secure access service edge (SASE) solution for emerging networks that combine the benefits of 5G with SD-WAN.

Khan told Futuriom that the ability to securely support more than one transport layer, even if that layer is inherently insecure, is meant to be a differentiator. "We don’t trust any network, but we run as an overlay to any transport or hyperscaler,” he said.

Also, Exium competes with vendors such as Cato Networks, which offers its own SASE service, but unlike Cato, Exium does not support its own points of presence (PoPs) but piggybacks its secure stack on those of other players – the hyperscalers and now IBM, with more on the way.

Exium’s Next Steps

Exium was founded in 2019 as a secure 5G NaaS, and its message is still being honed. Essentially, however, being a 5G core stack for securing hybrid environments – whether within the network or at the network or premises edge -- remains its main pitch. And with the IBM integration, Exium is signaling that it’s got a lot of room to expand through working with other products and players.

Indeed, the IBM announcement, Khan says, will be followed by other integrations. Further, the company, which is privately funded but has not revealed its investors or their contributions, is aiming for a fresh round within the next 12 months. Watch this space!