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Think Digital Update: 5G-specific Edge Computing Inspire IBM and Red Hat’s First Big Offering in COVID-19

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IBM-owned Red Hat has announced jointly-developed new offerings and partner ecosystem to pave way for enterprises and telcos to deploy and manage AI, IoT, and Analytics workloads at the Edge.

At the IBM Think Digital conference, the company has announced new services and solutions for the 5G era. A broad ecosystem of partners has fueled these innovations to come to life. 5G-focused Edge Computing offerings would help enterprises and telecommunications companies speed their transition to a new, agile methodology to drive quicker adoption of AI, Machine learning, IoT, and Data Analytics. Nearly 50% of the top Fortune 100 companies are using Red Hat OpenShift, and almost 30% of the top Fortune Global 500 companies use OpenShift, representing two of the top three telecommunications companies.

The company also announced IBM Edge Ecosystem and Telco Network Cloud Ecosystem which builds on a client-focused partnership model to help providers deploy their 5G-ready Network Cloud platforms.

Red Hat’s open source technology, combined with IBM’s experience and expertise in Multi-Cloud environments, forms the core of the Edge platform.

IBM’s Edge-Enabled Applications and Services

At Think Digital Conference, IBM Red Hat announced key IoT and AI-centric platforms.

The new dedicated IBM Services teams for Edge computing and telco network Cloud draw on IBM’s deep expertise to help clients deliver 5G and edge-enabled solutions across all industries.

These are:

IBM Edge Application Manager

small version of edge computing infographic

Built on Open Horizon, created by IBM engineers, IBM Edge Application Manager is an autonomous management solution to remotely enable AI, analytics, and IoT enterprise workloads. Edge Application Manager can be deployed and remotely managed, delivering real-time analysis and insight at scale. With this edge management application, a single user can securely manage a vast network of connected devices.

IBM Telco Network Cloud Manager

Telcom Cloud Manager runs on Red Hat OpenShift to deliver intelligent automation capabilities to orchestrate virtual and container network functions in minutes.

Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat OpenStack Platform, would empower telcos to quickly modernize their networks for greater agility and efficiency, and to provide new services today and as 5G adoption expands.

In short, Telco service providers will have the ability to manage massive networking workloads with greater emphasis on driving agility for IoT, AI, and analytics.

Other Cloud Computing services include:

  • IBM Visual Insights
  • IBM Production Optimization
  • IBM Connected Manufacturing
  • IBM Asset Optimization
  • IBM Maximo Worker Insights
  • IBM Visual Inspector

These products collectively enable telecom players to flexibly deploy AI and cognitive applications and services at scale.

At the time of this announcement, Denis Kennelly, General Manager, IBM Hybrid Cloud said, “In today’s uncertain environment, our clients are looking to differentiate themselves by creating more innovative, responsive user experiences that are adaptive and continuously available – from the data center all the way out to the Edge.”

Today, IBM, together with Red Hat, is helping top-tier clients unlock their Edge capabilities in the Multi-Cloud environment, developed to extract the best outcomes for the 5G ecosystem. Red Hat OpenShift is the central tech stack driving the innovations in Edge, focused at providing an agile 5G-ready infrastructure to address global enterprise needs.

What Red Hat-IBM Plans to Achieve with Edge?

Speed, agility, resilience, and security — These are the four key objectives of IBM Red Hat’s latest 5G-centric Edge Computing offerings.

Rolling out 5G telecommunications network is the key to blazing IT modernization, fortified with low latency and minimal transmission delays. It will enable every mobile data packet to transition to Edge Computing capability, which could support complex tasks, relevant to drive AI, IoT, Connected device management, and even RPA activities.

IBM has confirmed with new edge services, IBM Business Partners, and open Multi-Cloud solutions from IBM, enterprises will be able to tap into the potential of 5G to support crucial uses. These include activities such as emergency response, robotic surgery, or connected-vehicle safety features that benefit from the few milliseconds latency saved by not having to send workloads to a centralized Cloud.

IBM’s Edge offerings would help the customer to fully realize the benefits of leveraging Hyper-scale computing to run accelerated AI, AutoML, and analytics.

Kubernetes and Containerization for 5G Infrastructure

IBM’s decision to join forces with Red Hat last year indicated its vision to modernize the 5G and peripheral Telco capabilities. These include innovations in Multi-Cloud and data management. Red Hat’s OpenShift enables customers to build Edge using Kubernetes to overcome the complexity of managing massive workloads pressing from connected devices and IoT gadgets.

IBM clients would be better positioned to efficiently manage workloads across a massive volume of devices from different vendors and provide telcos the agility they need to quickly deliver edge-enabled services to customers.

IBM Edge Ecosystem and Telco Network Cloud Ecosystem

IBM Edge Ecosystem

In addition, IBM is announcing the IBM Edge Ecosystem, through which an increasingly broad set of ISVs, GSIs and more will be helping enterprises capture the opportunities of Edge Computing with a variety of solutions built upon IBM’s technology.

IBM Telco Network Cloud Ecosystem

IBM is also creating the IBM Telco Network Cloud Ecosystem, bringing together a set of partners across the telecommunications industry that offer a breadth of network functionality that helps providers deploy their network Cloud platforms.


Cisco, Dell Technologies, Juniper Networks, Intel, NVIDIA, Samsung, Packet- an Equinix Company, Hazelcast, Sysdig, Turbonomic, Portworx, Humio, Indra Minsait, Eurotech, Arrow Electronics, ADLINK, Acromove, Geniatech, SmartCone, CloudHedge, Altiostar, Metaswitch, F5 Networks and ADVA as members.

Businesses that have already been working with IBM to deploy Edge Computing technologies include Vodafone Business, which is working with IBM to help improve worker safety and productivity in remote locations such as oil rigs, factories, warehouses, ports, and mines. Combining Vodafone Mobile Private Networks, IBM Edge Application Manager, and Red Hat OpenShift, the new solution uses sensors, AI, as well as predictive and video analytics to understand and respond to incidents in milliseconds, keeping workers safe.

Customer Story 1: Vodafone Business

Vodafone Business is the fastest to modernize its 5G-readiness with IBM’s Edge capabilities. It is already using IBM Edge Application Manager and Red Hat OpenShift to improve remote productivity, reporting incidents in milliseconds.

Impressed with IBM Red Hat’s unique Edge Computing offerings, Vinod Kumar, CEO, Vodafone Business said –

“At Vodafone Business, our primary focus is on keeping our customers and their employees connected and safe, whether remote working or working from remote locations. Vodafone Mobile Private Networks, IBM Edge Computing, and AI technologies enable companies to oversee operations even in the most remote locations, where rapid action can mean the difference between a near miss and a disaster.”

Customer Story 2: Samsung

Samsung is also collaborating with IBM and telecom company M1 to test the efficacy of Industry 4.0 solutions using 5G and Edge Computing for Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

KC Choi, EVP of Global B2B Sales, Samsung Electronics explained bow 5G and Edge make a formidable pair for an AI-driven future.

KC Choi said – “5G and edge will enable massive innovation for manufacturers, with 5G networks enabling phones and devices at the edge to deliver new AI-driven improvements to quality, productivity, and safety. But the ability to achieve the scale and effectively manage the connectivity of the vast number of devices and sensors in a manufacturing environment is complex.”

KC Choi added,  “To address this challenge and enable Industry 4.0 innovation at scale, we’re collaborating to put IBM’s edge computing and AI solutions and Samsung end-to-end 5G network platform and mobile devices to work. Together, we’ll deliver new 5G enabled solutions leveraging sound and video insights as well as augmented reality to uncover anomalies that can occur throughout the manufacturing process.”

Customer Story 3: Equinix

Equinix’s yet-to-be commercialized reference architecture uses the IBM Cloud Paks ecosystem to the edge of the network. Enterprise can combine Equinix’s Edge Metal infrastructure, Red Hat OpenShift, and IBM Edge Application Manager to build and deploy Omnipresent Edge on Cloud infrastructure.

“Working with IBM on our Edge Metal Private Beta is a perfect example of how collaboration can enable enterprises to tap into the power of Hybrid Cloud for low-latency use cases,” said Zac Smith, Managing Director of Bare Metal at Equinix.

Zac Smith added, “With interconnected, automated bare-metal paired with edge computing and Hybrid Multi-Cloud solutions from IBM and Red Hat, our customers can tap into a blueprint for rapid innovation at the network edge. Our Metro Edge locations will also have the advantage of enabling consolidation from the remote On-premises locations (edge-in) or migration from the Cloud (cloud-out) and yet still remain close enough to where data is created and actions are taken to reduce latency, avoid bandwidth constraints, and retain a high level of operational resilience.”

At Think Digital 2020, IBM will divulge more information on its upcoming product roadmap and its role in driving digital transformation amid COVID-19 pandemic.

Stellar Moment to Build on AI and Automation

IBM is also unveiling IBM Watson AIOps, at the Conference. Watson AIOps uses AI to automate how enterprises self-detect, diagnose, and respond to IT anomalies in real-time, enabling CIOs to better predict and shape future outcomes.

Rob Thomas, Senior Vice President, Cloud and Data Platform, IBM affirmed the winning role of using AI and Machine Learning to modernize enterprise in COVID-19. Rob Thomas said –

“What we’ve learned from companies all over the world is that there are three major factors that will determine the success of AI in business – language, automation and trust.” 

Rob added, “The COVID-19 crisis and increased demand for remote work capabilities are driving the need for AI automation at an unprecedented rate and pace. With automation, we are empowering next-generation CIOs and their teams to prioritize the crucial work of today’s digital enterprises—managing and mining data to apply predictive insights that help lead to more impactful business results and lower cost.”

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