IBM Leverages Red Hat OpenShift for New 5G Edge Services

IBM unveiled new edge-computing services and solutions this week designed to help enterprises make the most of their transitions to 5G. The new offerings, which will run on the Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes platform, focus on improving the ability of companies to manage workloads across an ever-expanding constellation of devices from different vendors, and giving telcos in particular the agility they need to deliver edge-enabled services. The new solutions will also enhance their ability to run AI and analytics at the edge to achieve insights closer to where the work is done, the company said.

Announced at the company's Think Digital conference, currently underway online, the list of new solutions includes:

  • IBM Edge Application Manager, an autonomous management solution to enable AI, analytics, and IoT enterprise workloads to be deployed and remotely managed. Designed to deliver real-time analysis and insight at scale, the solution enables the management of up to 10,000 edge nodes simultaneously by a single administrator. IBM says it's the first solution to be powered by the Open Horizon project, created by IBM engineers to enable a single person to securely manage a vast network of edge devices.
  • IBM Telco Network Cloud Manager, which delivers intelligent automation capabilities to orchestrate virtual and container network functions in minutes. The service will have the ability to manage workloads on both the Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat OpenStack platforms, which, the company points out, "will be critical as telcos increasingly look for ways to modernize their networks for greater agility and efficiency, and to provide new services today and as 5G adoption expands."
  • New dedicated IBM Services teams for edge computing and telco network clouds "that draw on IBM's expertise to help clients deliver 5G and edge-enabled solutions across all industries," the company said.

IBM also announced the launch of two ecosystem initiatives: the IBM Edge Ecosystem, through which ISVs, GSIs and others will be helping enterprises capture the opportunities of edge computing" with different solutions built on IBM technology; and the IBM Telco Network Cloud Ecosystem, which aims to bring together a set of partners across the telecommunications industry that offer "a breadth of network functionality that helps providers deploy their network cloud platforms," the company said.

A range of companies have signed up to participate in these open ecosystems, IBM says, including equipment manufacturers, networking and IT providers, and software providers. The list includes: Cisco, Dell Technologies, Juniper Networks, Intel, NVIDIA, Samsung, Packet, an Equinix Company, Hazelcast, Sysdig, Turbonomic, Portworx, Humio, Indra Minsait, Eurotech, Arrow Electronics, ADLINK, Acromove, Geniatech, SmartCone, CloudHedge, Altiostar, Metaswitch, F5 Networks, and ADVA.

"5G and edge will enable massive innovation for manufacturers, with 5G networks enabling phones and devices at the edge to deliver new AI-driven improvements to quality, productivity, and safety," said KC Choi, EVP of Global B2B Sales at Samsung Electronics, in a statement. "But the ability to achieve the scale and effectively manage the connectivity of the vast number of devices and sensors in a manufacturing environment is complex. To address this challenge and enable Industry 4.0 innovation at scale, we're collaborating to put IBM's edge computing and AI solutions and Samsung end-to-end 5G network platform and mobile devices to work. Together, we'll deliver new 5G enabled solutions leveraging sound and video insights as well as augmented reality to uncover anomalies that can occur throughout the manufacturing process."

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at