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Kaloom 2023 Predictions: The Edge is Here; Edge to Multi-Cloud is Next


Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2023.  Read them in this 15th annual series exclusive.

The Edge is Here; Edge to Multi-Cloud is Next

By Laurent Marchand, CEO, CTO, Founder at Kaloom

The edge is definitely here, with edge computing expected to be a $700 billion industry by 2028. 5G will enable emerging applications at the edge such as AR/VR, IIoT, remote medicine and more, empowering service providers to think beyond a mobile consumer revenue model. However, 5G also pushes an immense amount of data to the network edge. Enterprises and service providers are struggling because legacy edge architecture cannot handle the mounting heterogeneity and diverse performance requirements of emerging applications. This is compounded by the familiar constraints of edge infrastructure, including space, cooling and power budget limitations. Amid these challenges, Enterprises and service providers are hungry for Edge to multi-cloud functionality. Consolidation, Services Function Chaining, Hardware acceleration and direct connectivity from the edge to any cloud platform will allow enterprises and service providers to surmount these challenges and accelerate services from the edge to multi-cloud.

1.      Hybrid cloud and multi-cloud will reign

The numbers are in; hybrid cloud solutions are vital. According to a recent survey by IBM, 77 percent of business leaders have implemented hybrid cloud infrastructure and 71 percent see hybrid cloud as crucial to digital transformation. Through the adoption of hybrid cloud, companies can leverage a mix of public and private cloud infrastructure to lower costs and ensure low latency connectivity, optimized security and high availability in their edge infrastructure. In 2023, multi-cloud will become a reality as well. Companies will no longer rely on a single cloud provider for their IT infrastructure. They will use a combination of multiple public cloud providers and their own edge compute infrastructure for the private cloud portion.

Open ecosystems help network vendors interoperate efficiently to reduce operational costs. But companies will increasingly apply this multi-vendor mindset to their cloud infrastructure. No single vendor solution, including public cloud provider solutions, can satisfy the requirements of today's digital economy. Edge-native software that enables hardware acceleration and provides direct connectivity from the edge to any cloud provider will be crucial to this shift. In 2023, companies that understand this will no longer be at the mercy of a single cloud provider. This understanding will allow them to rapidly implement the most cost-effective multi-cloud strategy and infrastructure suited to their needs.

2.      The rise of infrastructure processing units

With conventional servers, service providers must run all tenants, cloud service provider (CSP) software, load balancers, firewalls and more in the general purpose CPU. If you have a limited number of servers and you're using 30-40 percent of each server for infrastructure services rather than customer applications, you're in trouble. The compute requirements of these services are heightened with 5G, requiring a complete 5G packet core and terabit-scale processing in functions such as the user plane function (UPF). With conventional processing methods, you'd need a hundred servers just for the 5G UPF.

Infrastructure processing units (IPUs) will see rapid deployment because they address these challenges and transform how servers operate. As they strive to accelerate services from the edge to multi-cloud, service providers will offload CSP infrastructure software functions to IPUs and intelligent network fabrics instead of traditional switch fabrics and general purpose CPUs. This means that only monetizable tenant applications will run on the CPU and tenants will have access to 100 percent of the processing power available from hardware such as Xeon processors, marking a clear division between CSP and tenant workloads. This functionality will help service providers reduce the Total Cost of Ownership while ensuring most resources are open for monetization.

3.      Disaggregation, network slicing and service function chaining will become vital

As we head into 2023, service providers will increasingly leverage disaggregated, best of breed solutions that reduce single vendor reliance while reducing costs.  This will be further complemented by network slicing and service function chaining, all managed by overlay network management & Orchestration. End-to-end network slicing will enable monetization of applications at the edge, improving the ROI of 5G edge infrastructure. Slicing cuts physical data centers into virtualized, distributed data centers to serve the varying requirements of differentiated services. This capability facilitates fully isolated, end-to-end data transfer that is optimized for specific business purposes, empowering providers with multi-tenancy. Service function chaining will prove crucial as well, enabling service providers to consolidate multiple functions into one network that is more easily managed and orchestrated to deliver end-to-end services.

An innovative approach to the user plane function (UPF) will also maximize 5G investment. Through open ecosystem implementation and interoperability, Kaloom, Red Hat and Intel recently innovated a new design for the UPF that provides the terabit performance required by data-hungry 5G applications. This 5G UPF is enabled by disaggregated, heterogeneous architecture and achieved through a cloud-native foundation for 5G network functions. This achievement signifies the continuing trend of a cloud-native, automated, fully programmable edge enabled by disaggregation and virtualized network functions. We see this trend continuing in 2023.

One interesting facet of all this edge transformation is that it will not happen overnight. For example, containers are a popular method to improve on the shortcomings of virtual machines (VM). But service providers will see the necessity of technology that allows their legacy VM to run on top of the container platform in the same environment for added cost savings. Containers will not replace legacy VM infrastructure immediately, so interoperability and transformation will remain a priority.

Multi-cloud: the future of edge computing

Hybrid cloud and multi-cloud infrastructure will allow companies to move beyond the consumption of public cloud services while monetizing emerging applications at the edge. There is still plenty of work ahead, and edge infrastructure transformation is a lengthy process with long-term benefits. Regardless of where you fit in the ecosystem, acceleration of services from the edge to multi-cloud will prove pivotal to enabling the next phase of our digital economy.




Laurent Marchand has over 25 years of experience in telecom and networking technologies. Laurent is a prolific inventor and entrepreneur with expertise in telecom network architecture, mobile infrastructure and data centers. He is a member of "Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec" and a graduate in Engineering from École Polytechnique de Montréal. He is the CEO and Founder of Kaloom, a software solution company enabling service providers and enterprises to accelerate services from Edge to Multi-Cloud.

Published Friday, January 06, 2023 7:34 AM by David Marshall
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