The shifting enterprise edge. Part 1 of 5. CSP or CSP
Amongst all the noise around the edge and its associated compute and intelligence, there is a fundamental change underway. The edge is shifting and there is nothing in the way of this change. Why? Shift from capital expenditures to operational expenditures reduces risk, frees up capital, and provides increased flexibility. So edge services (eg. virtual perimeter) is going to the cloud - the question is, which cloud?
There are several drivers influencing the 'which cloud' question - with the main one being that the centre of the application universe is moving to the public cloud and is disaggregated. At the same time, networking is increasingly being done in software which means its free to move. It’s not bound to proprietary hardware and it’s no longer about the router or edge device. Networking is about access to the applications - secure and high performing.
Communication Service Providers and Cloud Service Providers are in the middle of this transformation. One holds the power of last mile access and the other holds the power of the application and developers. Where do they meet?
So the enterprise edge, first became virtual, and now is becoming cloud native shifting into the domain of both CSP and CSP. What this means is that networking services like routing, security and performance intelligence may no longer sit in the branch or DC.
Take AT&T’s and Microsoft Azure’s recent announcement about a trial with Azure powering AT&T Network Edge Compute. An obvious and common question is where do traditional networking services reside and who’s best positioned to deliver these to the enterprise. “The model is also not tied to just Azure, with Roman Paceawicz, senior vice president for offer management and service integration at AT&T, noting that the carrier could expand this to any public cloud environment.” A full mesh between Communication SP clouds and Cloud SP clouds makes for a very interesting proposition to unlock enormous value. What are the benefits that these partnerships bring to the enterprise today and how will these evolve?
At the Azured roadshow with Azure, Telstra, Palo Alto Networks & Sinefa, conversation indicated thats some customers view this transformation as an “expansion” as opposed to a shift. The edge network services sit at the cloud edge, right off the access. Does this mean we are heading into a new era of Digital Co-opetition between the CSP and the CSP?
With this network service expansion to the cloud and the new digital co-opetition model between the CSP and CSP, what will these new services look like and what new value can they unlock for the enterprise? A subject for Part 2 - Re-inventing the network for the cloud