Over the last 17 years, the cloud became the essential tool for businesses. AWS has been leading this charge in delivering cloud value propositions to traditional IT customers, providing cost efficiencies, agility, scale, security, and reliability to those who use it.
As technology advances, the need for an enterprise edge-to-cloud continuum becomes increasingly important. The edge is a constantly redefined space, and there is a growing need not just to go from cloud to edge, but also from the edge to the cloud, to take advantage of the cloud value proposition for applications and workloads that live on the edge.
At Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2023, cloud innovation experts Andy King and John Tomik of the Slalom Element Lab, Federated Wireless CEO Iyad Tarazi, and Debika Bhattacharya, Chief Product Officer of Verizon Business, joined Wayne Duso, AWS Vice President of Engineering and Product, for a discussion of how their respective customers are finding ways to unlock the value of edge-to-cloud continuum, particularly in accelerating their monetization.
The panelists discussed how their customers are generating a tremendous amount of data at the edge and the need for the ability to process it there, along with connectivity at the edge and back to the cloud.
The intersection of 5G, edge computing, and cloud services
The emergence of 5G technology opened new opportunities for businesses to develop innovative solutions and streamline their operations. The combination of 5G, edge computing, and cloud services provides a powerful toolset for companies to improve their efficiency and productivity.
Federated CEO Iyad Tarazi provided the example of how Cal Poly University is solving the issue of students consuming 20 times more data today than when the Wi-Fi network was originally built by deploying a private 5G network from Federated Wireless that leverages AWS’s edge computing capabilities.
Another strong Federated Wireless example? The deployment of a warehouse application for the Department of Defense. The application was able to automate an entire million-square-foot Marine Corps logistics warehouse, reducing the complexity and resources needed to operate the site. This was made possible using robotics and edge computing connected by a private 5G network, with all the data being logged on-site.
The panelists agreed: the real value of these technologies comes from their integration. Applications and data must be able to move seamlessly between the edge and the cloud. Without the cloud, the edge application is severely limited.
Creativity in unlocking the potential of these technologies is a must. John Tomik, Slalom’s Managing Director, described a project with a water utility on the West Coast, which involved remote inspections of water treatment facilities where there was little to no connectivity, and the use of augmented reality devices and training solutions to troubleshoot issues in real-time.
The key lessons for business looking to leverage the edge-to-cloud continuum to its fullest potential?
- Deliver value: Identify the problems that need to be solved and let the use case drive the solutioning.
- Be practical: Determine the necessary infrastructure to serve one edge use case and build from there.
- Creativity first: Identify new use cases that may not have been possible before. The value unlocked there will inform other innovative use cases.
By focusing on delivering value, integrating these technologies, and being creative in their approach, businesses can unlock the full potential of these technologies and create new opportunities for growth and innovation.
Achieve big by starting small
According to Andy King, Slalom’s Director of Global IoT, many customers have a big vision, but prefer to start small with a micro-experiment. This allows them to identify the use case and KPIs that will benefit their business, and often leads to a micro-pivot from the original idea.
By setting up a cloud infrastructure using AWS services like Greengrass, Greengrass Core, and IoT Core, customers can demonstrate how the data will flow and how it can be processed at the edge. This allows for further analysis in the cloud and the ability to scale horizontally.
Iyad Tarazi shared his enthusiasm for the Snow family, which is ideal for customers who want to start right away with one application and grow from there. In his experience, many customers already know what they want to do, they just don’t know how to go about it. By starting small and fully connecting to the rest of the Amazon experience, engineers can quickly find out how far their applications can go.
Verizon’s Debika Bhattacharya highlighted the advancements made in networking over the past few years. Historically, networking was very component and circuit-based, but now it’s a service that customers can flex up and down as needed. By building programmable networks, applications can talk directly and the network can adapt to what’s needed. These new aspects of networking have been influenced by the cloud industry and make it easy, dynamic, and intuitive for users and applications.
AWS services and a “think big, start small” mentality can help customers achieve their goals by setting up the infrastructure, running micro-experiments, and demonstrating how data will flow and be processed. The cloud computing paradigm is about accelerating innovation and providing customers with the services they need to achieve their goals.
Want to learn more about the future of connectivity at the edge? Discover how Federated Wireless is leveraging AWS services and cloud infrastructure to make the impossible possible for enterprises across industry sectors by watching our latest webinars, here.