How India’s Network Edge Will Transform
Ahead of speaking at India Mobile Congress on October 14th on SDN, NFV and Cloud: Transforming Edge Networking, Ryan Perera, Vice President and General Manager, Ciena India, shares his predictions on how edge compute will evolve.
Networks of today are all about content delivery. And nowhere is this more true than in India, where smartphone users download more than an average of 40 hours of video per month, off mobile networks without using Wi-Fi, according to research by Analysys Mason. Network architects are increasingly mindful of where this content is getting generated, where it gets cached, where it gets consumed and the end user experience during the consumption.
While most content could be unidirectional, such as video streaming, there is also content that is bidirectional and response-based such as gaming, remote medicine and connected agriculture. The type of content and the required user experience determine what edge compute should look like, how far away from the users should the edge be created and what functions should it perform.
Data’s center of gravity is moving to the Edge
Till a few years back, most content was hosted centrally in hyperscale data centers. However, with emerging use cases there is a need to move content toward the edge and create a distributed cloud architecture. Some apps may still have their core functions in a central hyperscale data center; however, they will support a thin shim layer closer to the network edge to serve latency sensitive services to create a better end user experience.
I predict that edge compute is a domain where service providers and enterprises such as internet content providers in India will experience ‘coopetition’. Over time, they will find the right models to work together and create a win-win scenario for monetizing the connect of the network edge in India.
Let’s look at the value that service providers and enterprises bring to edge compute:
- The value that service providers have is their real estate and end customers. They own thousands of edge sites; they own the connect network and the infrastructure and capability to run these sites. Their capability is very regionalized and therefore extremely difficult for a global enterprise to replicate.
- On the other hand, the value of enterprises is in their cloud experience and the software capabilities to disaggregate the compute between the data center and a thin shim layer at the edge. They have mastered this capability over the last few years.
The question is: How can service providers and GCNs come together to create hundreds (subsequently thousands) of edge locations across the country and find the right use cases to monetize the edge?
I am speaking at India Mobile Congress on the topic SDN, NFV and Cloud: Transforming Edge Networking. I welcome you to attend my session and stop by Hall 2, booth number 2.8, to talk more about how we can together to monetize the connect in India.