Hyperscalers are moving rapidly to expand their presence at the edge and create and exploit different opportunities. By 2018, Google, AWS and Microsoft Azure launched their stacks that support on-premise deployment and extend their services to hybrid cloud environments. Namely, Google Anthos, AWS Outposts and Azure Stack. Within the last year, all these hyperscalers have released versions of their solutions that are dedicated to the telecom network pushing further into edge locations and closer to the users.
Currently, hyperscalers are actively establishing their ecosystems by collaborating with different types of stakeholders and they are partnering with a growing number of operators to distribute their edge platform across their main regions. Microsoft Azure is even planning to build its own edge data centres, which might encourage the other two hyperscalers to take similar actions.
Hyperscalers’ distributed computing strategy consists of:
- Investing in understanding the mobile network and developing dedicated edge platforms that accommodate the network needs. This can be seen in the hyperscalers’ move to partner with or even acquire vendors with network virtualisation experience such as Google working with Netcracker and Amdocs for OSS/BSS integration and Microsoft’s acquisition of Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch. Such acquisitions and partnerships provide hyperscalers with technology and knowledge to help with developing their telco-targeted products.
- Gaining early access to operator infrastructure across multiple regions. Hyperscalers understand that in order to attract existing and new developers to their edge platforms, they must show a diverse and expanding portfolio of options for edge locations. That can be achieved by forging multiple deals with large operators across the globe.
- Supporting and building edge locations outside the telco networks. Hyperscalers are not limiting their platforms to telco edge and on-premise edge. They are exploring powering other alternative such as AWS’s Local Zones and Microsoft Azure’s standalone Edge Zones.