18 June 2014

Edge Softwarization

IT adoption (facilitated also by related cost reductions) will accelerate the pace of innovation of Telco networks as well (as it is doing in the Data Centers/Cloud domains, since quite some time); this will contribute reducing the overall networks costs (e.g., CAPEX, OPEX), whilst even improving current Carriers class levels of performance. A huge quantity of processing and storage at low cost, interconnected via high bandwidth (low latency) links, will change the “equation” of the “Software Defined“ Internet.

Moreover, these technologies (enabling SD-x) are going to become widely accessible in any part of the world, almost on an equal basis. This will impact Technology Providers ecosystems and would result in new business models probably based on cheaper hardware and software. Network and Service Providers are seeing the opportunity to develop new ways to offer new services (thereby increasing revenues).
In turn, this transformation will reduce the thresholds for new Players to enter the Telco and ICT markets, leading to a shift of paradigm in Industry: competition is being moved to software, lower investments will be required to enter into Telco-ICT businesses. This tendency is even more accelerating and, from a socio-economic perspectives, enabling the transition from the economy of resources towards the economy of data/information/knowledge.

The number of devices connected to the network is growing at an exponential rate. For every cell phone today we have already a few sensors and by the end of this decade there will be more than hundred sensors per each cell phone, increasing dramatically the number of connected objects. There are cars today having more than fifty processors, and tomorrow cars might become just like small Data Centers. Drones and Robots are already entering our daily life.

More and more the distinction between the “network” and the “terminals” connecting to it will blur, as network and service functionalities will be executed part in the network and/or part in the Users’ terminals/devices…or whatever else is at the edge (i.e., up to hundreds of meters around Users). The edges will become the arena of very dynamic virtual environments (full of processing, storage and communication resources) created and controlled in an application-driven way.

This will allow the adoption of new services paradigms, as for example, “Anything as a Service”, where any terminal, device, machine or smart thing around end-Users will become the future “tool” (having API) to use and create new services (and data) for a variety of applications (see my next post).