Sunday, April 5, 2020

Microsoft Azure Edge Zones previews with carriers

Microsoft has begun previewing Azure Edge Zones, which are 5G customer scenarios that can leverage its cloud capabilities.



Microsoft said Azure Edge Zones and Azure Private Edge Zones will enable:

  • Development of distributed applications across cloud, on-premises, and edge using the same Azure Portal, APIs, development, and security tools.
  • Local data processing for latency critical industrial IoT and media services workloads.
  • Acceleration of IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), and real-time analytics by optimizing, building, and innovating for robotics, automation, and mixed reality.
  • New frontiers for developers working with high-density graphics and real-time operations in industries such as gaming.
  • An evolving platform built with customers, carriers, and industry partners to allow seamless integration and operation of a wide selection of Virtual Network Functions, including 5G software and SD-WAN and firewalls from technology partners such as Affirmed, Mavenir, Nuage Networks from Nokia, Metaswitch, Palo Alto Networks, and VeloCloud By VMware.

Microsoft, which has already announced an Azure Edge Zone partnership with AT&T, is now expanding the program to the following carriers: Etisalat, NTT Communications, Proximus, Rogers, SK Telecom, Telefonica, Telstra, SK Telecom, and Vodafone Business.

By connecting Azure services directly to 5G networks inside the carrier's data centers, applications will benefit from significantly reduced latency,

“This is a uniquely challenging time across the globe as we rethink how to help organizations serve their customers and stakeholders,” said Anne Chow, chief executive officer, AT&T Business. “Fast and intelligent mobile networks will be increasingly central to all of our lives. Combining our network knowledge and experience with Microsoft’s cloud expertise will give businesses a critical head start.”

In addition, Microsoft announced the preview of Azure Private Edge Zones, a private 5G/LTE network combined with Azure Stack Edge on-premises delivering an ultra-low latency, secure, and high bandwidth solution for organizations to enable scenarios, like with Attabotics, accelerating e-commerce delivery times by using 3D robotic goods-to-person storage, retrieval, and real-time order fulfillment solutions. This solution leverages Azure Edge Zones and IoT technologies such as Azure IoT Central and Azure Sphere.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/microsoft-partners-with-the-industry-to-unlock-new-5g-scenarios-with-azure-edge-zones/

Microsoft and AT&T preview Network Edge Compute

Microsoft and AT&T announced select preview availability for Network Edge Compute (NEC) technology, which weaves Microsoft Azure cloud services into AT&T network edge locations closer to customers. NEC will initially be available for a limited set of select customers in Dallas. Next year, Los Angeles and Atlanta are targeted for select customer availability.

NEC is enabled by AT&T’s software-defined and virtualized 5G core, which the company calls the Network Cloud.  This means the Network Cloud is now capable of delivering Azure services.

“The first smartphones on 3G networks introduced the idea of mobile apps over a decade ago. A few years later, 4G LTE made it feasible to connect those devices faster to cloud applications to stream videos, hail rides, and broadcast content to the world,” said Mo Katibeh, EVP and chief marketing officer, AT&T Business. “With our 5G and edge computing, AT&T is collaborating uniquely with Microsoft to marry their cloud capabilities with our network to create lower latency between the device and the cloud that will unlock new, future scenarios for consumers and businesses. We’ve said all year developers and businesses will be the early 5G adopters, and this puts both at the forefront of this revolution.”

“We are helping AT&T light up a wide range of unique solutions powered by Microsoft’s cloud, both for its business and our mutual customers in a secure and trusted way,” said Corey Sanders, corporate vice president, Microsoft Solutions. “The collaboration reaches across AT&T, bringing the hyperscale of Microsoft Azure together with AT&T’s network to innovate with 5G and edge computing across every industry.”


AT&T to move most non-network workloads to public cloud by 2024

Microsoft and AT&T announced an extensive, multiyear alliance under which Microsoft will be the preferred cloud provider for non-network applications. Specifically, AT&T will provide much of its workforce with Microsoft 365, and plans to migrate non-network infrastructure applications to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

AT&T said the alliance is part of its broader public cloud first strategy to consolidate data center infrastructure and operations. AT&T is becoming a “public cloud first” company by migrating most non-network workloads to the public cloud by 2024.

“AT&T and Microsoft are among the most committed companies to fostering technology that serves people,” said John Donovan, CEO, AT&T Communications. “By working together on common efforts around 5G, the cloud, and AI, we will accelerate the speed of innovation and impact for our customers and our communities.”

“AT&T is at the forefront of defining how advances in technology, including 5G and edge computing, will transform every aspect of work and life,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “The world’s leading companies run on our cloud, and we are delighted that AT&T chose Microsoft to accelerate its innovation. Together, we will apply the power of Azure and Microsoft 365 to transform the way AT&T’s workforce collaborates and to shape the future of media and communications for people everywhere.”

In addition, Microsoft will tap into the innovation AT&T is offering on its 5G network, including to design, test, and build edge-computing capabilities. With edge computing and a lower-latency 5G connection enabled through AT&T’s geographically dispersed network infrastructure, devices can process data closer to where decisions are made. Recently, Microsoft and AT&T worked together to test an edge computing-based tracking and detection system for drones. With more connected devices and the growing demand for streaming content from movies to games, businesses and consumers require ever-increasing network capabilities.

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