Edge computing is designed to solve key areas in network performance, data localization and security. As applications become more demanding of resources, a distributed platform creates a path to low latency and high bandwidth to keep up with today's demands. Businesses investing in 5G technology are focused on cloud computing, gaming, media, smart mobility and AR/VR, which all have use cases solved with an edge computing platform. There isn't one single application out there to push a business into edge computing, but there are many reasons in both 4G and 5G demand that makes it applicable to everyone. To better understand the need for edge, let's focus in on computer vision technology.

Computer vision uses artificial intelligence (AI) analytics of digital images and videos to provide real-time notifications and actions for various detection models created by the consumer. The computer vision application connects to IoT devices like cameras and sensors in order to detect objects in the AI model, and then sends notifications of the object being detected. Depending on the application, some are fully capable of executing additional actions like calling authorities, shutting down a factory line floor, opening service tickets and more. These "smart" businesses are factories, healthcare, retail, entertainment and more. No one industry is excluded from the possibilities of use cases with AI analytics, but there must be low latency between the compute and IoT devices to provide immediate remediation. 

5G technology is allowing edge sites to create Private Wireless Networks (PWN) and Private Mobile Networks (PMN) at the edge to close the latency gap on edge devices needed to function with computer vision technology. Software companies like Athonet and Mavenir are accomplishing this by teaming up with cloud providers and system integrators to deliver mobile packet core solutions that work both on-premise or in a public cloud. AWS Cloud and AWS Outpost is just one way Athonet is creating solutions for the edge, but also evaluating solutions with the WWT Converged Edge Platform (CEP).

WWT's Converged Edge Platform 3.0 is a complete multi-purpose platform designed for digital transformation at the edge. The hardware/software infrastructure built on vendor-specific reference architectures and an ATC validated design provides the ability to deliver 5G-enabled services and applications from as little as one site to thousands. Version 3.0 of the Converged Edge Platform includes new MEC orchestration tools, virtual infrastructure additions, and updated cloud connectivity. We've also added support for our new single Edge-In-A-Box solution as part of the new version.

Using the new MEC Orchestration tools, our Advanced Technology Center (ATC) edge demo labs have expanded to support multiple WWT on-premise edge site locations, but also includes public cloud integration using the open source Crossplane framework and Rancher for multi-cloud container management. Both of these open source solutions are part of the MEC orchestration tool called NearbyOne from Nearby Computing.

NearbyOne is a multi-cluster platform designed to manage a multicloud, multi-tenant, multi-site scenario under a single pane of glass. Using Nearby's orchestration, the Converged Edge Platform provides a fully orchestrated solution from data center to cloud to edge using the latest tools for day to day operations. For example, when provisioning virtual machines onto VMware vSphere with NearbyOne, crossplane and the HashiCorp Terraform provider for vSphere are utilized.

Nearby Computing is just one of many new software vendors that we've validated through the WWT Converged Edge Platform lab in the ATC. Mobile network vendors like Athonet and AirSpan have joined the WWT validated list of use cases for LTE/5G on CEP. In addition,  securing the edge has become simplified using the array of products from Palo Alto Networks (Next-Gen Firewall, Panorama, PAN-OS) in the same environment.

Get more details on the Converged Edge Platform, case studies and independent software vendor (ISV) ecosystem.

Mobile Edge Computing labs and services