CTP Quarterly: What's Up with the Edge Cloud?


By: Mary Jander

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Layoffs. Bank closures. Belt-tightening. It’s no surprise that telcos, hyperscalers, and large enterprises are focused on surviving these difficult days. And they’ve homed in on the network edge as key to operational efficiency and the bottom line.

But where is the edge, you ask? Wherever applications deliver the goods – whether that’s data to an internal department, information to customers at ATMs, or instructions to robots in a warehouse. The edge is key to improving performance and reducing costs by processing as much data as possible at the location closest to the consumer of information.

Our latest Cloud Tracker Pro Quarterly tells you want's happening. We have compiled a summary of edge-cloud trends in our Quarterly Cloud Tracker Pro report. This includes data and news on the the edge-cloud strategy and buildouts by the leading cloud providers, service providers, and content delivery networks (CDNs). Our data includes latest capital spending trends and buildout of points of presence (PoPs).

So What's New at the Cloud Edge?

There is a lot of chatter and activity about the edge cloud, as it's being called, as organizations and enterprises look to deploy solutions and services that can leverage cloud data, artificial intelligence (AI), and edge compute.

To provide edge solutions, many providers -- including CDNs, cloud providers, technology vendors, and communications services providers (telcos) -- are building platforms and data to enable more efficient edge cloud services, including edge compute.

  • Cloud hyperscalers are extending their own distributed PoPs worldwide in the form of local zones and other edge-oriented infrastructure. These PoPs provide services to telcos and enterprises via technologies such as AWS Wavelength, Microsoft’s Azure for Operators, and Google Distributed Cloud Edge, all of which bring the cloud titans’ compute, storage, and network resources together with telco and enterprise facilities.
  • Telcos are opening up their networks via application programming interfaces (APIs) and multi-access edge compute (MEC) platforms for use by developers. And they’ve focused on 5G private networking as a means of promoting faster edge processing.
  • Content delivery network (CDN) providers such as Akamai, Cloudflare, Edgio, and Fastly are shifting from delivering content to equipping their giant distributed networks with edge facilities. These locations accelerate the links to various Internet service providers and cache data to improve performance at the network edge. CDN providers also add development tools and security to the mix, creating a secure access service edge (SASE) for users.

These efforts are just starting to surface, and they’re the tip of an iceberg that should grow over the next couple of years. All of the constituents – hyperscalers, telcos, vendors, managed service providers, and enterprise customers, to name a few – generate edge solutions of increasing elegance and complexity. Artificial intelligence (AI) should streamline and enable many of these efforts.

Our latest Cloud Tracker Pro Quarterly report includes a full update on these edge cloud trends and the capital expenditure (capex) that’s fueling them. CTP subscribers can click the link below to download the full report on telco and hyperscaler activity, as well as top use case trends for private and public 5G.

As a bonus, we have also opened up our 5G Services Tracker database to CTP subscribers. Go here to take a look.

As ever, let us know what you think. Email us individually or at analyst@futuriom.com

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