Cloud Edge Use Cases Part 1: Edge MultiCloud Networking

Edge MultiCloud Networking

A couple of weeks ago, we published a blog on the AvidThink New Middle Mile report that features Aarna Networks. In the blog, we also talked about how we see the following three use cases emerging for the cloud edge (aka the new middle mile) orchestration:

1. Edge MultiCloud Networking

2. Storage Repatriation

3. Cloud Edge Machine Learning

In this blog, we will talk about the Edge MultiCloud Networking orchestration use case. We will cover the other two in subsequent blogs. 

Macro Trends

The datacenter space is growing at about 7.5% (source: Future Market Insights). Digital products or software driven products within data centers are growing substantially – from being 10% of the datacenter infrastructure in 2021 to 40% by 2025 (source: Gartner). Here are some examples of digital products available at a datacenter such as Equinix:

  • Compute: Equinix Metal, HPE GreenLake, AWS Outposts, Zenlayer, …
  • Storage: Pure Storage, NTAP, Dell APEX, Seagate Lyve, …
  • Networking: Equinix Network Edge that provides Cisco, Juniper, Palo Alto, Fortinet, Versa, …
  • DC⇔DC or DC⇔public cloud Connectivity: Equinix Fabric, Megaport, …
  • Kubernetes: Red Hat OpenShift, VMWare Tanzu, EKS Anywhere, Google Anthos,...

This is great news for enterprises because they can get the digital attributes of cloud computing –  on-demand, elastic, self-service, OPEX-model in the data center. In my mind, this is the exact definition of a cloud edge. Just having hardware in the datacenter does not amount to a cloud edge. It has to be digital. 

The Edge MultiCloud Networking Problem 

Now that we have digital products in a datacenter, how do we compose environments that workloads can use? These workloads can be solely running on the cloud edge or they can span cloud edge to the public cloud. The answer is quite shocking – creating environments that require compute, storage, networking, Kubernetes, and public cloud connectivity have to be built manually. I’ve heard horror stories where it took users weeks to compose these environments. If an application has to be deployed on top, it could even take months. Gartner predicts that 70% of organizations will implement structured infrastructure automation by 2025, up from 20% in 2021. I question the 20%, we have seen domain level automation, i.e. automation of just Equinix Metal servers for example, but we have not seen any evidence of automation of entire environments that need compute, storage, networking, K8s, and connectivity.

Orchestration as a Solution

Edge MultiCloud Networking orchestration provides zero touch automation for deploying, configuring, and managing the cloud edge along with public cloud connectivity. This allows workloads and resources to be shared seamlessly across the cloud edge and the public cloud.

Here is an example of how this orchestration would work in real life:

Edge Multicloud Networking
Edge Multicloud Networking

Aarna Edge Services (AES)

The AES SaaS offering provides initial orchestration and ongoing management of topologies such as the one shown above. It features an easy-to-use GUI that can slash weeks of work into less than an hour. In case of a failure, AES includes fault isolation and roll-back capabilities. The first version of AES supports the following digital products (with more to come):

  • Equinix Metal
  • Equinix Fabric
  • Equinix Network Edge (Cisco C8000V)
  • Azure Express Route
  • Pure Storage (coming soon)
  • AWS Direct Connect (coming soon)

Please see the demo and feel free to request a trial.

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