IHS Markit: Video to Drive Demand for Edge Computing Services

Edge computing will get its primary propulsion from demand for video services, IHS Markit found in a survey. The Linux Foundation commissioned IHS Markit to identify the top apps and revenue opportunities for edge compute services.  Video content delivery was cited by 92% of respondents as the top driver of edge computing, while augmented/virtual reality, autonomous vehicles and the industrial internet of things (IIoT) all tied for second place.

During a keynote address at this week’s Layer123 SDN NFV World Congress at The Hague, IHS Markit’s Michael Howard, executive director research and analysis, carrier networks (and a long time colleague of this author), presented some of the results from the market research firm’s survey of edge compute application survey respondents.

“The edge ‘is in’ these days in conversations, conferences and considerations—and there are many definitions,” Howard wrote in an email to FierceTelecom. “Our conclusion is that there are many edges, but as an industry, I believe we can coalesce around a time-related distance to the end user, device or machine, which indicates a short latency, on which many edge applications rely.  The other major driver for edge compute is big bandwidth, principally video, where caching and content delivery networks save enormous amounts of video traffic on access, metro, and core networks.”

IHS Markit defined edge compute as being within 20 milliseconds of the end user, device or machine. When compared to Internet Exchanges, telcos have an advantage at the edge because they are much closer to the users via their central offices, cell sites, cell backhaul aggregation, fixed backhaul and street cabinets.

Integrated communications providers and over-the-top providers have partial coverage for edge compute with distributed data centers that are within the 20 milliseconds to 50 milliseconds range, while telcos can hit 5 milliseconds to 20 milliseconds.

Among the top services that are driving edge compute, video content delivery, which included 360 video and venues, was first at 92% followed by a three-way tie among autonomous vehicles, augmented reality/virtual reality and industrial internet of things/automated factory all at 83%. Gaming was next at 75%, with distributed virtualized mobile core and fixed access in another tie with private LTE at 58%.

Other findings from the survey:

  • Surveillance and supply chain management each garnered 33%, while smart cities was last at 25%.
  • When it comes to which edge services will garner the most revenue, distributed virtualized mobile core and fixed access, private LTE, gaming, video content delivery and industrial IoT all tied at the top of the survey results.
  • Supply chain management, autonomous vehicles and AR/VR tied in the next grouping while surveillance and smart cities tied for last.
  • Consumer-driven revenue at the edge includes gaming and video content delivery networks while enterprise-driven revenues will include private LTE, industrial IoT and supply chain.
  • Overall, many of the edge deployments will initially be justified by cost savings first followed by revenue-bearing applications.
  • Edge compute apps will start out in limited or contained rollouts with full deployment taking years and investments across several areas, according to the survey.

Although edge compute brings services closer to end users and alleviates bandwidth constraints, it’s complex. Even a single edge compute location is complex with elements of network functions virtualization, mobile edge computing and fixed mobile convergence technologies that can spread across hundreds of thousands locations.

There are also authorization, billing and reconciliation issues that need to be addressed across various domains, which could be resolved using blockchain to create virtual ledgers.

Further, there’s a long investment road ahead to fully deploy edge compute. Areas that comprise the top tier of investments for edge compute include multi-access edge compute, integration, edge connectivity (two-way data flows, SD-WAN services, low latency and bandwidth), 5G spectrum and engineering.

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Earlier this year, AT&T Foundry launched an edge computing test zone in Palo Alto, California, to kick the tires on AR, VR and cloud-driven gaming.  As part of the second phase, AT&T Foundry is expanding its edge test zone footprint to cover all of the San Francisco Bay Area, allowing for increased application mobility and broader collaboration potential.

7 thoughts on “IHS Markit: Video to Drive Demand for Edge Computing Services

  1. Billions of connected devices generating petabytes of data will require nearby edge cloud resources to deliver local, low-latency applications. From telco NFV and C-RAN to IoT, self-driving vehicles, and augmented reality, the Kinetic Edge offers the most comprehensive path to the future.

    The 2018 Telecom Council SPIFFY Zephyr Award for Best Mobile Opportunity goes to Vapor IO.

    The company’s Kinetic Edge delivers the next generation internet by placing data centers at the base of cell towers and in other nearby locations. Utilizing our colocation facilities and interconnection services makes it possible to bring cloud-like services to the edge of the wireless network. With locations planned for all major US metro areas, Vapor IO is your partner for production-scale edge computing.

    https://www.vapor.io/

  2. The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) launched a new group to produce vendor-neutral APIs and software tools focused on mobile functions running on edge infrastructure. This will tie software developers more closely to edge networks being deployed by telecom operators.

    The Edge Application Developer Project includes representatives from Intel, Deutsche Telekom (DT), and the operator’s recently launched edge-focused subsidiary, MobiledgeX. Software already developed by MobiledgeX will be used by the TIP project through an Apache 2.0 open source software license model.

    https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/dt-intel-mobiledgex-lead-tips-edge-app-developer-project/2018/10/?c_action=home_slider

    1. Mike Robuck of Fierce Telecom wrote:

      Edge compute and edge networks are hot topics these days, and having Deutsche Telekom and Intel’s backing means TIP doesn’t think there’s enough being done for edge network development. With a heavyweight entry into edge open source by TIP, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute’s Multi-Edge Computing group may be looking at a narrower, less mobile-centric focus than TIP’s Edge Application Developer Project Group.

      There’s also the Linux Foundation’s Akraino Project, which is an open source software stack that supports cloud services optimized for edge computing systems and applications. In August, the Linux Foundation announced that Akraino had moved out from formation and into execution. AT&T’s Mazin Gilbert, Ph.D., previously told FierceTelecom that he foresees Akraino becoming its own umbrella organization for edge development.

      So is there enough of edge compute and edge networking for all of the various standards bodies and open source groups? It will come down to the support of enabling technologies, such as 5G, getting applications and services to market at a fast clip, and, most of all, getting backing from the service provider and vendor communities.
      ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
      Five TIP Project Groups—mmWave Networks, Open Optical Packet Transport, OpenCellular, OpenRAN and vRAN Fronthaul—all have technologies in trials with operators around the world.

      Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica and Vodafone have been the most active service providers within TIP by putting out requests for information (RFI) to the vendor community. Vodafone and Telefónica have issued two RFIs; OpenRAN in June and the Crowdcell Project Group in August.
      …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
      Vodafone, Orange, Telefónica and TIM Brazil provided input for TIP’s Disaggregated Cell Site Gateway specification. With that specification in hand, Edgecore Networks and Adva announced this week that they expected to have their joint white box gateway for mobile cell sites ready for deployment by the third quarter of next year.
      ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
      Bottom line: Telcos know they need to embrace IT and hyperscale technologies and practices, but the trick is to do that and continue serving millions of customers at the same time. Facebook is more than happy to see its open hardware and RAN initiatives adopted on a massive scale, but telco and cable operators have to find the right solutions for each of their respective networks. — Mike Robuck

      https://www.fiercetelecom.com/telecom/editor-s-corner-tip-summit-roundup-news-and-views

  3. Ericsson has announced an agreement with Limelight Networks to add content delivery capabilities to its new Ericsson Unified Delivery Network (UDN) platform.

    Ericsson aims to develop UDN as a webscale edge delivery network, and is using the agreement with Limelight Networks to add content delivery as the first application built on the platform.

    Edge computing promises to address rapid increasing demand for data by leveraging distributed infrastructure to support low laency applications such as IoT, gaming and virtual reality.

    “We are always looking for ways to improve the performance and reach of our network,” LimeLight Networks CEO Bob Lento said.

    “The strength of Ericsson’s partnerships with communications service providers through the UDN Network is a key component of this agreement that enable us to offer even better reach and performance for our customers. We are delighted to work with Ericsson on this initiative.”

    According to Frost and Sullivan principal analyst Dan Rayburn, edge computing and content delivery are a powerful combination.

    “Combining content delivery technologies with an edge cloud platform that’s distributed inside ISPs is one of the best ways to guarantee optimal performance and allow application providers to use edge services to improve the end-user experience,” he said.

  4. IBD: Next Big Thing In Cloud Computing Puts Amazon And Its Peers On The Edge

    Edge computing deploys data processing, storage and networking close to sensors and where other data originate. The goal is to process and analyze data locally in real time rather than send it to faraway data centers in the internet cloud and wait for a response of, say, 150 milliseconds.

    That sliver of time matters in some applications: A self-driving car that needs to detect a pedestrian or storm-damaged sign. A doctor who performs remote surgery using augmented reality tools. A video surveillance system equipped with facial recognition to identify a known shoplifter or terror suspect. Sensors that detect repairs needed on robotic arms in factories and oilfield pumps.

    Edge computing is the next step that companies like Amazon.com (AMZN) are taking to expand the cloud. Incumbents mean to protect millions or billions of dollars in their revenue from poaching by edge upstarts. Companies new and old are developing relevant hardware and software.

    “I’m convinced edge computing is here to stay,” said Marco Argenti, vice president of technology for Amazon Web Services. “It’s a natural evolution. Not all data needs to be transferred to the cloud to be processed. There might be bandwidth costs, cellular costs or it may be difficult to connect to the cloud. Or, you just need to react really fast, like in the case of a robot.”

    https://www.investors.com/news/technology/cloud-computing-edge-computing/

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