What Is the Edgeless Enterprise?
The Edgeless enterprise embraces established 5G networking principles, advances in mobile edge computing and cloud-native software design to unify the policy framework across any und underlying existing network infrastructure–while enabling network automation to support a new generation of network-dependent applications and digital initiatives in the enterprise, from the ground up.
How Does Edge Computing Work?
To understand the benefits of the edgeless enterprise, we first must understand how edge computing works today.
Edge computing works by placing compute resources as close to the data source as possible to reduce latency and provide network access to multiple locations. Edge devices sit between the cloud or data center and act as an intermediary between the device and the data that the device needs.
Challenges in Edge Computing
Edge computing introduces a wide range of attack vectors for cybercriminals. Its distributed architecture leaves more possibilities for attackers to find a vulnerability. If exploited, the vulnerability could impact the availability of any device relying on that compute system. If multiple edge computers are centrally managed, the vulnerability may be present across all nodes on the network.
Since each edge computer may have to support multiple authentication methods and device types, edge computing creates a complicated environment for administrators, making the network more susceptible to a breach. This complexity also makes it difficult to push out global policy updates, patches, and configuration changes, leading to more security flaws.
Edge devices can represent a single point of failure for an entire section of the network. For instance, autonomous vehicles relying on edge computing for real-time inputs could fail to work at all if the edge compute environment failed.
Even if the signal reverted to a cloud-based backup, the latency from the cloud to the device would likely cause issues. Often, enterprises have to purchase an emergency backup edge server to overcome this, further adding to the cost and complexity.
Many times edge computers only process and send relevant data and dispose of the rest. This may free up network resources but could prove to be an oversight down the road. If data is misclassified as useless, businesses could be losing visibility of their applications and network.
While the cloud may be slower, it offers a centralized repository to store data for both long- and short-term use. Centralized data gives you peace of mind knowing that it’s there if you ever need it. It also allows your security team to implement centralized security monitoring through Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems.
Edge computing can start as an affordable solution but quickly balloon in cost over time. Between the need for redundant hardware at each location or within a mobile edge compute environment and the cost of storage space per host, as well as data transit costs, maintaining edge machines can be a prohibitively expensive solution in the long term.
While investments in edge computing may lower]cloud storage costs, the complexity and management required to run an edge computer network bring in new expenses of their own. Edge devices often requires pecialized software for management and licensing that negates edge servers’ initially low ticket price.
As enterprises grow, they often hit bottlenecks in their computing infrastructure that is centralized around the complexity of their edge network. Edge computers may solve latency issues and local data storage problems, but they introduce complexity that makes scaling and administering computers challenging.
As user and device demand grows, enterprises are finding it increasingly difficult to manage their patchwork of networks. Between the corporate LAN, enterprise Wi-Fi, and various hotspots, the application layer is becoming increasingly dispersed and difficult to manage.
Issues such as configuration drift can slowly impact edge computing networks, increasing the possibility of misconfiguration and requiring more time from staff to manually make changes. This problem inevitably gets worse over time if a more centralized solution isn’t introduced. And centralizing management across edge computers isn’t easy due to each location’s unique needs and integrations.
Benefits of an Edgeless Enterprise
The demand for latency-sensitive applications has given rise to edge computing, but has created complexity and mismanagement in its wake. Edgeless enterprise architecture is designed to unify control over dispersed networks while still providing ultra-low latency services to the devices that need them.
The Edgeless Enterprise model leverages private 5G and cloud-native software to unify policy management across all network infrastructures with the ultimate goal of moving vital network services closer to the data and applications that need them. This new approach reduces complexity through centralized management and allows for network automation and orchestration at an enterprise level.
Since an edgeless enterprise network centralizes policy management, setting specific KPIs across individual services or devices is easier than traditional edge computing. Administrators can set service levels that influence all their applications from a single dashboard. Within a Celona 5G LAN, this is achieved through patented MicroSlicing technology that allows IT staff to fine-tune specific QoS policies for each application flow or desired device group.
For example, hospitals can use MicroSlicing to ensure all ICU wearable device sensors are prioritized over other network traffic. Administrators can define specific service-level agreements (SLAs) for those devices to automatically enforce discrete throughput, packet loss or latency thresholds required for each application.
Some key benefits of the edgeless enterprise model are below:
● Simpler policy and configuration changes across multiple networks and devices
● The ability to begin automating network service allocation for applications
● Faster application response times from reduced network latency
● Reduced complexity through a unified framework
● Speedier app and automation deployments
● Improved data visibility across the enterprise
● Ability to scale faster through amore agile architecture
How an Edgeless Enterprise Works
The edgeless enterprise networks encompass several key pieces of technology to unify the application layer. For the first time, enterprises can use this architecture to achieve cloud-native end-to-end policy management and visibility.
Private 5G provides the flexibility, speed, and low latency to support devices that once relied on edge computing. Because 5G was developed using cloud-based principles, private 5G allows companies to build a more agile mobile network that is truly software-defined.
As opposed to commercial 5G, the private model gives businesses full control over their coverage, budget, infrastructure, and data ownership. This helps eliminate surprise data overages and the metered “per user” cost structure.
Celona simplifies private 5G through plug-and-play infrastructure and an intuitive management console that can be managed by any IT department or managed service provider.
Software Defined Networking (SDN)
SDN principles allow for the separation of the network and data plane. This effectively enables centralized traffic management across multiple networks by controlling QoS, and security policies at a logical level.
This construct allows network resources to be as programmable as the enterprise applications themselves. With a cloud-native deployment, enterprises can place their Celona Edge software on-premise or in a public or private cloud environment. This gives IT and network staff highly scalable and flexible deployment options that complement existing applications architecture.
IT administrators are increasingly looking for ways to strategically automate changes across their on-premises and cloud networks. Celona’s edgeless enterprise model uses a cloud-native operating system built on a Kerberos-based microservices architecture to improve the speed and agility of enterprise applications.
Each network function and policy is deployed as a microservice through a cloud-native Software Defined Networking (SDN) framework. The model uses AI-powered automation and monitoring to deploy changes and monitor service levels at each edge location dynamically.
On the management end, edgeless enterprise architecture can manage LAN, WLAN, and 4G/5G traffic through a unified framework and policy structure. This is at the heart of the edgeless enterprise – allowing companies to deploy new applications and network services to support them without being restricted by the location of computing resources. This makes it easy for businesses to horizontally scale by simply assigning more compute resources.
With the edgeless enterprise architectures, organizations can begin automating deployments, perform self-healing network tasks, and implement dynamic policy-based routing across custom groups of devices and applications.
5G, SDNs, and AI technology are powerful by themselves, but when combined through the edgeless enterprise model, they create the opportunity for enterprises to move past the traditional limitations that required discrete compute systems for each application or network service.
The Celona Solution
Celona partners with enterprises to plan, build, and manage edgeless mobile networks as a full-integrated and turnkey solution.
Plug-and-play devices can be quickly deployed throughout the campus, while proactive monitoring ensures network SLAs, such as throughput and latency requirements, are consistently being met.
Celona uses edgeless enterprise architecture and cloud-based artificial intelligence to make implementing private mobile networks an out-of-box experience. Deployment can be performed alongside existing wireless and IT infrastructure without interrupting business operations.
If you’re building your network for the future, Celona can help. Check out our private LTE network planner to see what your network would look like on the CBRS, or test-drive the Celona Solution Architecture for yourself through our free trial.