Telco Cloud SASE and Edge

Announcing VMware Telco Cloud Platform – Edge: Put Your Edge Strategy into Action with Agility, Automation, and Multi-Vendor Solutions

If you work in a strategic role at a communications service provider or a large enterprise, you’re likely pondering how you can deliver the foundation for deploying next-generation network services and edge-native applications. Opportunities at the edge look larger by the day, especially when they’re combined with 5G, but strategies for capitalizing on them seem as elusive as ever. 

With Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC), Private Mobile Networking (PMN), and Content Delivery Networking (CDN) becoming top-of-mind topics for many strategists, a critical question comes to the fore: How can you deploy edge-native workloads with automation and consistent operations while getting access to an ecosystem of edge services, equipment providers, and hyperscalers?  

To answer this question, we’re announcing VMware Telco Cloud Platform – Edge, a multi-cloud platform adapted for the edge to modernize the network and deliver on the 5G monetization promise. The platform’s automation centralizes management of distributed edge services. Operational consistency cost-effectively streamlines the deployment of edge services across common infrastructure. Access to a multi-vendor ecosystem helps you move in an agile yet predictable manner.  

The announcement of VMware Telco Cloud Platform – Edge comes on the heels of our announcement of VMware Edge Compute Stack as we continue to expand our offerings to empower you to modernize your network and monetize the edge. 

As always, the story starts with rapidly emerging market opportunities coupled with the challenges of devising an effective strategy and putting it into motion, at scale and on budget.  

Vast Opportunities, Strategic Challenges, Edgy Competition  

The edge is intriguing because it is where you can modernize your existing services and reimagine your position in the digital landscape. Devising and implementing an effective edge strategy, however, requires rapidly scaling investments and engaging successfully with diverse partners. At the same time, intense “co-opetition” is the reality today, as an article in the Harvard Business Review pointed out across a range of industries earlier this year. Although the article wasn’t specific to telecommunications, it’s clear that hyperscalers, equipment providers, and others are looking to dominate the edge market.  

Some of your biggest partners might also be your biggest potential competitors. Finding potential partners with complementary technologies that can deliver enterprise and consumer edge services is key. In addition, developer alignment and ISV engagement call for software development kits (SDKs) and simple environments for development. 

Definitions and Destinations Near and Far 

Rapidly evolving technology complicates strategic planning and competitive dynamics. Even the definition of the edge varies depending on who you ask or what use case you have in mind. For some, it refers to the edge of a network, the point closest to a device positioned outside; for others, the edge is better defined as the physical compute infrastructure continuum between the device and the cloud.  

Location, Location, Location 

Definitions aside, though, what really matters is that the edge brings processing capabilities and data closer to where it consumed. It shortcuts the trip between the endpoint and the cloud data center, reducing latency in the process.  

Combined with 5G, the edge represents a major opportunity to reimagine communication services, build new compute capabilities and monetize innovations. You can: 

  • Modernize your networks with edge compute sites closer to customer endpoints.  
  • Enhance wireless network connectivity services with 5G.  
  • Deliver on-demand services that meet your customers’ use cases and availability requirements, even when they differ across customers and locations.  
  • Monetize new edge compute services beyond connectivity by using a horizontal compute platform for third-party application providers and developer communities, including services to host RAN intelligent controller (RIC) and MEC applications. 

Overcoming Obstacles with Agility  

Obstacles, of course, stand in the way. As the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money, but knowing where and when to invest is difficult in a rapidly evolving market with tight competition. Participants are under pressure to form a partner ecosystem, work well with developers, and improve security.  

The costs of developing too many edge sites or engaging with new audiences where it is unwarranted will lead to suboptimal business outcomes. Business models need to be flexible. Success requires agility.  

The pressure to get the investment right raises a critical question: What is an economically optimal approach to building and operating a large network of distributed edge sites?  

The Fast Track to Success at the Edge 

And that’s where VMware Telco Cloud Platform – Edge comes in. It’s a consistent platform that fast-tracks success at the edge by empowering you to modernize your networks, tap robust partner ecosystems with confidence, attract innovative developers, and monetize new services. VMware Telco Cloud Platform – Edge can be deployed at both the Provider and Enterprise edge.  

Serving as the foundation of a modern network, VMware Telco Cloud Platform accelerates time to market of services, drives innovation through openness, and delivers network automation across domains. 

Key Benefits of VMware Telco Cloud Platform—Edge 

Here are some key benefits of VMware Telco Cloud Platform—Edge:  

  • Deploy service provider and enterprise edge sites faster and manage them with less effort through automation and a unified management plane 
  • Integrate edge sites into to your network modernization efforts by using common, open standard interfaces (ETSI, TMF and O-RAN) 
  • Run heterogeneous applications on the same platform to support network modernization and edge monetization 
  • Accelerate edge revenues by rolling out differentiated communication services and new offerings through validated partner solutions  
  • Keep control of your edge strategy by owning the platform that hosts the services and by having the freedom to select your vendors of choice. 

VMware Telco Cloud Platform—Edge is deployed on commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware and composed of VMware vSphere, VMware Tanzu Standard, and VMware Telco Cloud Automation. The platform can be extended with add-ons like VMware vSAN and VMware SD-WAN and SASE to fulfill various telco and enterprise edge use cases.  

  • VMware Telco Cloud Automation supplies a centralized management plane for network domains and multi-cloud operations. It delivers automation capabilities at every layer of the telco cloud from infrastructure, CaaS to network functions and services.   
  • VMware Tanzu offers a proven Kubernetes distribution combined with PaaS and CaaS management for edge-native applications.  
  • VMware vSphere powers your computing environment and is optimized for edge applications with simplicity, efficiency, scalability, and built-in security. 

Managing Network Resources with Automation 

By modernizing your network and abstracting the management of end-to-end network resources, the platform provides:  

  • Protected infrastructure with a hypervisor architecture and built-in security  
  • Unified virtual machine (VM) and cloud-native infrastructure across core, RAN and edge domains, turning the network into a complete compute continuum  
  • Consistent management across domains – RAN, Edge, and Core 
  • Multiple layers of automation for day 0, 1 and 2 operations. There is automation for network services, network functions, Kubernetes, and infrastructure  
  • Automated customizations for VMs and Kubernetes nodes to streamline edge workload placement and migration  
  • Centralized provisioning of platform components and network functions to accelerate time to deploy and reduce the operational costs of rolling out edge sites  
  • Kubernetes orchestration for edge-native workloads  
  • APIs and libraries to integrate with DevOps practices and CI/CD tools  
  • Compliance with standards for simplified integration to telco architecture (TMF, ETSI, 3GPP, O-RAN)  
  • Power of choice with a marketplace of more than 230 certified network functions from 40-plus vendors through the VMware Ready for Telco Cloud program  

Reimagining Communication Services  

The platform is validated with a set of VMware and partners’ solutions to roll out services at the network and enterprise edges:   

  • Network Slicing:  VMware today unveiled Project Lattice, a tech preview, which will extend VMware Telco Cloud Automation with 3GPP standard-compliant network slicing management. This capability will enable service providers to plan, design, and instantiate end-to-end network slices across the RAN, edge, core and transport network domains. An add-on module to VMware Telco Cloud Automation, the new network slicing capability will help service providers unify these domains and close the gap between the delivered services and required network resources from physical or cloud infrastructure. 
  • Multi-Access Edge Compute (MEC): VMware has partnered and validated MEC platforms to offer MEC orchestration and developer applications for monetization.  
  • Content delivery network (CDN): VMware partners with CDN vendors to deliver virtual CDN. The solution takes advantage of virtualization and automation at the network edge to transform video delivery into a scalable network function. You can adjust capacity dynamically to simplify scalability, lower cost and improve your customers’ experiences. 
  • Private mobile networks (PMN): VMware offers PMN validated solutions that you can deploy at your enterprise customer edge. The platform supports various deployment formats with centralized or distributed RAN, core and management.  
  • Edge-native compute: VMware Edge Compute Stack is a purpose-built, integrated VM- and container-based stack that enables you to deploy and secure edge-native apps at the far edge. 

Monetizing 5G Services at the Edge 

The implementation of new differentiated capabilities at the edge allows SPs to monetize their communication and compute services to various new audiences, including enterprise IT and OT. Similarly, the addition of MEC and O-RAN RIC SDKs offers access to new capabilities for ISVs and application developers.  

With VMware Telco Cloud Platform—Edge, you own the infrastructure and therefore the rails to the monetization of your compute and communication assets.  And VMware supports you along the way with a worldwide install base of hundreds of thousands of enterprise customers, including over 99% of Fortune 1000 companies running more than 70 million enterprise workloads. The more than 5 million developers who rely on VMware products every day show the potential reach of VMware technology across the edge. More than 230 network functions are certified on VMware Telco Cloud Platform.  

Just imagine what you can do at the edge when you can connect all the dots.  

VMware makes no guarantee that services announced in preview or beta will become available at a future date. The information in this blog is for informational purposes only and may not be incorporated into any contract. 


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