HPE CEO discusses 5G and edge computing opportunities
With virtualization and distributed compute both instrumental in the long-term success of 5G, traditional IT companies are looking to invest and return on supporting service provider roll outs of next-generation cellular systems.
During the recent Dell Technologies World event in Las Vegas, executives from the family of companies that makes up Dell Technologies told a cohesive story around the centrality of IT to wireless networks, particularly the need for modernization across the cloud, core and edge. Edge is of particularly interest in the context of 5G given that the latency enhancements require distributed compute to pass on the benefits to end users by way of new applications like real-time collaboration, AR/VR, etc…
In fact, in a recent interview with Network World, HPE CEO Antonio Neri said the company plans to invest $4 billion over four years into edge computing.
Discussing edge computing, Neri said, “We offer branch solutions and edge data center solutions that include wireless, LAN, WAN connectivity and soon 5G. We give you a control plane so that that connectivity experience can be seen consistency the same way.”
Expounding on the company’s view of 5G, he said, “It’s a big focus for us. What customers are telling us is that it’s hard to get 5G inside the building…Because the problem is that we have LAN, wireless and WAN already fully-integrated into the control plane, but 5G sits over here. If you are an enterprise, you have to manage these two pipes independently.”
Neri noted that wireless spectrum in use today represents a certain degree of “co-mingling” so, given the cost comparisons of Wi-Fi vs. cellular, for instance, you have to pick “the right connectivity for the right use case.”
Modern enterprises, including service providers, have a number of considerations in play when determining cloud strategy with some workloads run locally in private data centers and others dependent on large, public clouds like those operated by AWS or Google. Dell Technologies CTO John Roese said the company has been espousing the benefits of multi-cloud for seven years and, at the time, “We got beat up on mercilessly.”
Neri said HPE has “been the one to say the world would be hybrid.” In the context of distributing compute out to the network edge, “Maybe that small cloud is connected to a big cloud which could be in the large data center, which the customer owns–or it can be one of the largest public cloud providers,” he said.”