Edge to cloud: In conversation with Loh Khai Peng, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Edge to cloud: In conversation with Loh Khai Peng, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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The growth of data-intensive, immersive mobile applications and connected devices is driving the need for 5G networks. 5G can enable low latency from the telco core all the way to the edge. If telcos can embrace edge computing, they will be able to up their value proposition for customers, evolving from bandwidth providers competing on price to thought leaders who provide high value enterprise services and generating new revenue streams.

Hear from Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Khai Peng Loh, Vice President & Managing Director, Growth & Emerging Markets & APAC Solutions Sales on the broad range of solutions HPE offers, which can bridge from the enterprise edge across the telco network into multiple clouds, to help telcos and enterprise customers tap on new digital business models.

Watch Khai Peng’s full interview with Ken Wee, our SVP, Alliance Partnerships and Innovation.

Ken: Could you tell us what is driving the need for new 5G networks?

Khai Peng: As digital transformation continues to accelerate across industries, major technological requirements continue to evolve in a market in which the current 4G LTE network capabilities will become insufficient.

Firstly, we are seeing the growth of data intensive and immersive mobile applications and at the end of 2024, we will see an average data consumption per smartphone of about 21GB per month, up from 5.6GB per month in 2018. Secondly, increasingly more things will be connected, hence generating a lot of data. And according to one research, by next year, about 29 billion devices are expected to be connected globally.

Thirdly, we’re seeing the emergence of mission critical edge to cloud use cases. For example, by 2025 autonomous vehicles will upload over 1TB of vehicle and sensor data per vehicle per month to the cloud. And this is an increase from about 30GB per advanced connected car in 2018.

Therefore, 5G will be needed to address these market needs in order to deliver exponential bandwidth capacity, massive device density to allow connectivity of billions of devices as well as IoT devices. Ultra-reliable low latency from the telco core all the way to the edge.

Ken: Why does a telco need to have a new network core to support 5G? And what are the challenges for telecom operators in deploying cloud native 5G technology infrastructures?

Khai Peng: That’s a good question. 5G is not just a set of radio interfaces, but it’s really a new way of building the core networks to become more open, more agile and more intelligent. The transformation of the telco network from vertically integrated functions to an open cloud native containerised 5G core, will be needed to gain this agility.

The 5G network will be able to support end to end network slicing to allow the provisioning of differentiated services to the enterprise market. And CSPs will need to reach the level of agility in the 5G era in order to model and orchestrate all of these digital services. As part of this transformation at the core that telcos also need to think and operate in the new IT paradigm.

Instead of just a centralized infrastructure, CSPs must embrace the intelligent edge, which is a distributed flattened network where IT infrastructure is located closest possible to users. In other words, the telco edge. And we have CSPs transitioning towards having an IT infrastructure based on open standards. Network equipment providers are no longer the sole solutions providers, but rather an important supplier in a broader mix of solutions, since this new architecture disaggregates the all black box proprietary solution into a set of IT hardware and software elements in the stack.

In addition to this disaggregation CSPs need to act with agility in the development, testing and deployment of new innovative services in an efficient manner in order to keep up with business demands for new revenue streams and cost reductions, as well as to cope with competitive external market pressure from other CSPs as well as OTT players.

Ken: How is Hewlett Packard Enterprise tackling these challenges?

Khai Peng: At Hewlett Packard Enterprise we have created a new organization and brought together the infrastructure, the software and services teams from across HPE under one roof. And this comes with about 30 years of experience in delivering telco software and services. And we believe that HPE is one of the very few players who have both enterprise and sales, as well as telco solutions that can bridge from the enterprise edge across the telco network into multiple clouds.

We realise that as telcos go on this journey, embracing a more open agile infrastructure that is really proven at scale from the edge to the cloud, we are very well placed to help them navigate the change. Our technology stacks are pre-integrated, pre-tested stacks of software and infrastructure and made available as a service in order to help our telco customers to deploy faster and to shorten their time to market, but at the same time, not locking them into a specific set of components.

So at the telco edge, HPE paves the way to full telco edge solutions stack by delivering an orchestration platform that helps to provision and deploy a variety of workloads as a service.

Ken: Why is edge computing important for the success of 5G? And what is the business outcome edge computing delivers for organizations?

Khai Peng: Well, as you know, the next wave of digital transformation is really happening everywhere. The digital first economy is upon us, everything happens at hyperspeed, and the pace of change accelerates every day. Customer expectations for new innovative services and digital experiences have accelerated and this is enabled by faster connectivity and a migration of compute and other workloads to the edge. Now workloads that used to be on premise, then in the cloud, are now distributed across multiple clouds on premise and edge, connected by an even faster and lower latency communications links.

The availability of computing at the edge drives the need for better connectivity, which together enable new applications utilising the edge and the connectivity. And the cycle continues and goes on.

Ken: How can HPE enterprise help telcos to tap into new digital business models business models and play an important role in evolving enterprise ecosystems?

Khai Peng: In my opinion, there’s no need for enterprises to rip and replace their current and planned investments. Rather 5G will become an additional complementary technology that brings exceptional capabilities to generate new opportunities for innovation.

HPE helps to deliver innovation across the network, from the edge to the core through a set of secure open solution stacks, delivered as a service. At the edge of the enterprise network, applications can be provisioned directly by the enterprise, or offered as a service by the telcos. The same edge compute platform can be utilized for provisioning MEC, SD-WAN and wireless services managed by our orchestration software. HPE Aruba Air Slice can be used to replicate the quality of service capabilities in WiFi as planned for 5G, and roaming from cellular to enterprise WiFi can also be made simplified so that users do not see interruptions in service. We enable this through HPE Aruba’s Air Pass. Air Pass utilizes the Passpoints standards to seamlessly onboard sim based devices onto the Aruba WiFi.

Also, HPE GreenLake enables enterprise IT infrastructure on premise or in the cloud with flexibility. Specifically, the GreenLake flex capacity allows our customers to choose the technology they want and pay for only what they use. The HPE GreenLake workload solutions accelerate business outcomes with complete curated solutions operated for our customers. And with HPE GreenLake hybrid cloud customers get a complete managed cloud with continuous costs and compliance controls.

And last but not least, HPE offers a broad partner ecosystem and provides a hands-on lab environment where customers partners and HPE experts collaborate in designing in developing and in testing the full stack of edge to core business solutions.