VMware is at the forefront as the company rolled out new software to help businesses support and manage increasingly distributed applications and data.
At its VMworld virtual conference this week, the company unveiled VMware Edge, a merger of new and existing software packages that together enable enterprises to run, manage, and secure what VMware calls “edge-native” applications across multiple clouds at local and remote edge locations.
The edge envisioned by VMware includes multicloud support that combines private and public network offerings as well as support for overlay services such as the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) and compute services. VMware Edge is orchestrated by a management plan that provides consistent observability, installation, configuration, operations, and management across all edge locations, according to Sanjay Uppal, senior vice president and general manager of the service provider and company. VMware Edge activity.
The VMware Edge platform includes a new hypervisor, ESXi-RT, which will be available in vSphere 7 Update 3. vSphere is VMware’s cloud computing virtualization platform. The Edge platform also includes a new integrated virtual machine and container-based stack, VMware Edge Compute Stack, to enable the deployment and securing of native Edge applications at the remote edge. The package will be available in three versions – standard, advanced and enterprise – depending on the needs.
VMware said it will develop a version of VMware Edge Compute Stack to provide an extremely thin edge platform for lightweight applications.
VMware Edge also includes vendor SASE software to support SD-WAN, cloud-based security, Zero Trust network access, and firewall. These features are delivered as a service through VMware points of presence around the world.
Uppal said the stack already has a number of partners. VMware Edge Compute Stack is compatible with Dell EMC VxRail, in particular the variant that integrates the Dell EMC PowerEdge XE2420 server platform. Dell EMC VxRail provides an IT infrastructure that enables automated operations that can span from data centers to cloud and edge environments.
The company said VMware Edge Compute Stack will be able to run on Lenovo’s ThinkSystem SE350 Edge servers. The integrated solution, previously announced by Lenovo, is intended for remote sites to process data closer to its creation and closer to users, including in retail stores, manufacturing sites and schools.
The goal of VMware Edge is to meet a number of native Edge requirements, according to the Edge site, VMware said. For example, customers should be able to automatically adjust compute and networking capacity for edge applications. They should also be able to centralize and automate operations and maintenance and containerize services for portability; deconstruct them into loosely coupled independent microservices; and orchestrate them with Kubernetes. Another requirement is to protect data privacy by segmenting and isolating workloads and using micro-segmentation to protect micro-services.
Edge Computing is still a young but growing market by most accounts.
A recent Network World article detailed the Uptime Institute’s Global Data Center Survey, noted that most respondents expect demand for edge computing in 2021 to increase dramatically.
The largest percentage of respondents (40%) expect to primarily use their own private edge data center facilities for upcoming construction, followed by 18% who plan to use a mix of private and colocation facilities . The others plan to rely mainly on colocation (7%), outsourcing (3%) or public cloud (2%).
“Yet it’s still early days for this next generation of edge development, and expectations are likely to change as more edge workloads are deployed. Shared facilities may well play a larger role as demand increases over time. In addition to improved business flexibility and low capital investment, the benefits of shared edge sites will include reduced complexity compared to managing multiple geographically dispersed sites, ”Uptime said.