IBM launches Cloud Satellite to target expanding edge computing market - SiliconANGLE
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IBM launches Cloud Satellite to target expanding edge computing market – SiliconANGLE

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IBM Corp. today announced the general availability of IBM Cloud Satellite, a software platform that enables enterprises to deploy services from its public cloud in their on-premises data centers.

Customers can run Cloud Satellite on commodity servers in their data centers or at edge locations such as factories. For hybrid cloud use cases, the software may be deployed on competing infrastructure-as-a-service platforms. Administrators can orchestrate their companies’ Cloud Satellite deployments through the same interface they use to manage workloads in IBM’s own public cloud.

Under the hood, IBM says, the platform is based on the Kubernetes software container framework. It also uses the Istio service mesh technology to provide networking features for applications.

Cloud Satellite lends itself to a number of use cases. One use case in particular IBM hopes to target is running analytics workloads at the so-called edge out of the network, outside traditional data centers. To that end, it announced a partnership with Lumen Technology Inc. against the backdrop of Cloud Satellite’s launch this morning.

Lumen is a Fortune 500 company that provides network connectivity to businesses and offers related products such as cybersecurity assistance. It has edge computing infrastructure in approximately 180,000 locations worldwide. The plan, IBM says, is to make Cloud Satellite available at those edge locations so customers can deploy its public cloud closer to their operations. 

The company envisions enterprises using Lumen infrastructure running Cloud Satellite for tasks such as processing data from industrial sensors. Processing information in closer physical proximity to the information source speeds up analysis by reducing network delays. Moreover, IBM sees its partnership with Lumen coming handy for customers in cases where data regulations require them to keep records they’re analyzing within the same jurisdiction where the records were created. 

To help with data analysis, IBM made Cloud Satellite compatible with its Cloud Pak for Data product. Cloud Pak for Data is a collection of software tools that can be used to analyze information with machine learning, create visualizations and build applications capable of processing records such as sensor logs in real-time.

IBM says companies can also run their own software tools on a Cloud Satellite deployment using OpenShift. OpenShift is the Kubernetes distribution of IBM’s Red Hat subsidiary. Ready-made partner applications, such as cybersecurity products, that are certified to run on OpenShift are available from the Red Hat Marketplace software catalog. 

“With IBM Cloud Satellite, clients can securely gain the benefits of cloud services anywhere, from the core of the data center to the farthest reaches of the network,” said Howard Boville, head of IBM’s Hybrid Cloud Platform group.

Cloud Satellite strengthens IBM’s hybrid cloud proposition, by enabling customers of its public cloud to easily extend their deployments on-premises, and at the same time will enable the company to better address the growing edge computing market. That market is also being targeted by IBM’s top rivals in the public cloud, which have brought their own edge computing offerings to market. 

The demand for edge computing is only expected to grow as high-speed 5G connectivity rolls out more widely. The bandwidth and latency improvements facilitated by the connectivity standard are set to make use cases such as analyzing sensory data in real-time more practical from a networking standpoint.

Photo: IBM

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