Dell Technologies announced the creation of an open, cloud-native ecosystem for telecom network operators looking to get their piece of the explosive enterprise edge business opportunity. The ecosystem includes hardware from Dell and partners, new software to help service providers deploy and manage global multi-vendor network environments and a new lab to enable companies to leverage ecosystem-developed innovations.
The aims behind the new ecosystem are to help carriers benefit from digital transformation and realize more economic return from the global movement of services and applications to the enterprise edge, where around $700 billion is expected to be spent across several different verticals by the end of the decade, said Dennis Hoffman, senior vice president and general manager, Dell Technologies Telecom Systems Business.
He added that three-quarters of all global data could be captured, analyzed and acted upon at the enterprise edge — which he described as “the third premises, neither on-prem or off-prem, but additive” — within a few years. However, while carriers are providing the bandwidth allowing the enterprise edge to emerge, they largely haven’t been the ones building the edge computing architectures and applications collecting and processing that data.
“The telecom industry is enabling this everything-from-anywhere world we now live in, only to see the vast majority of the economic returns from that shift go elsewhere,” Hoffman said. “For network operators the hope and promise of the edge era is not going to be captured without transformation.”
To move to a model that can help operators monetize the opportunity, Dell unveiled what it described as a cloud-native network architecture that can help carriers build and monetize edge computing networks. This includes open, scalable carrier-grade Dell servers — some of them yet to be unveiled, new reference architectures spanning edge, core and OpenRAN environments. Also, operators can leverage full-stack solutions from Dell partners like VMware and Red Hat, that include optimal Dell hardware, software and services.
Other hardware and software products and partners involved in the ecosystem include core software solutions with Affirmed Networks; private network solutions with CommScope RUCKUS; multi-access edge computing (MEC) solutions with Intel Smart Edge; 5G Open RAN software developed by Mavenir and Dell and core software solutions with Nokia.
Another significant piece of the ecosystem offering is Project Metalweaver, software that allows carriers to extend their new cloud-native networks in a more efficient manner by allowing them to “autonomously deploy and manage thousands of multi-vendor compute, network and storage devices across multiple locations” Hoffman said.
In addition to all of this, Dell is opening a series of Open Telecom Ecosystem Labs where it can bring partners and customers together to collaborate on and test new architecture approaches and services. The first of those labs will be in Round Rock, Texas, with another planned for Tokyo. Hoffman acknowledged that while the telecom industry may be suffering from lab fatigue, carriers still need a place where they can make sense of disaggregation and “pull everything together” and prepare solutions for faster market rollouts.