Edge computing news 2024

May 2024

In May, a couple of noteworthy announcements surfaced regarding AI at the edge. Dell Technologies and NVIDIA announced Project Helix, focusing on simplifying on-premises gen AI deployments through full-stack solutions. This initiative aims to aid enterprises in leveraging their proprietary data efficiently and securely for various applications like customer service and market intelligence. The project supports the complete gen AI lifecycle, from infrastructure provisioning to deployment and streamlining results

Meanwhile, Huawei has forged partnerships with over a dozen AI startups to offer “AI-in-a-box” products for on-premise use, challenging the cloud AI services of major Chinese tech firms like Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent. These AI boxes cater to private cloud setups, which account for about half of China’s cloud market and this strategy differs from Western AI commercialisation methods and addresses Chinese companies’ concerns about data protection. This may also deepen the divide in China’s cloud market, where Huawei has traditionally dominated private clouds, especially for government and state-owned entities.

On the edge infrastructure front, Orange and AWS have announced plans to deploy AWS Wavelength Zones in Morocco and Senegal later this year, although specific cities have not been disclosed. This will be the first deployment of Wavelength Zones in regions without a full AWS cloud region or Local Zones, with the AWS hardware hosted in Orange data centers rather than relying on their existing infrastructure. Jérôme Hénique, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, highlighted that this initiative aims to support cloud transformation for businesses in Morocco and Senegal, ensuring data residency in secure Orange data centers and leveraging their connectivity solutions.

April 2024

In April, we saw the launch of Tata Communication’s Cloudlyte platform. While Tata are focused on providing a fully automated edge platform solution, they will also be providing a ‘solution in a box’ approach, providing enterprises with a package including the platform, infrastructure, network, managed services, and specific use cases. The platform is looking to support a wide range of industry use cases and joins a growing number of players in the edge orchestration and platform space.

In data centre news, UK data centre provider Pulsant launched its partner programme. It will aim to make Pulsant’s regionalised edge infrastructure and connectivity easily available to partners who will then deploy on top of it. Lastly, Vapor IO announced a partnership with VAST Data as part of its effort to build an “AI-as-a-service offering” for enterprises. Vapor IO will use VAST Data’s platform to help to store, manage and analyse enterprise data in one of Vapor IO’s 36 edge sites.

 

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March 2024

European data centre company nLighten added to their portfolio of recent acquisitions this month with the purchase of seven data centres from EXA Infrastructure. Through this acquisition nLighten’s European presence will expand to Belgium, Switzerland and Spain, and bring their total number of edge data centres to 34. We also saw acquisitions in the US edge data centre market, with LightEdge acquiring Connectria and adding six data centres to their existing footprint of twelve sites.

In the platform space, Acumera announced information about their work with RaceTrac, deploying their Reliant edge platform at more than 500 stores across the US. This is further evidence of Acumera’s success in the retail space, where they have announced a number of public wins recently.

February 2024

News which broke in December but is making waves at the moment in the industry is the EU announcement of €1.2 billion of funding to explore and deploy cloud and edge computing across multiple providers across Europe. We expect that this will accelerate signfiicantly the deployments of edge sites in key markets, though the first committed result of the project will be an open-source reference infrastructure, expected around the end of 2027.

There are 19 companies involved in the various projects, with more than 90 indirect partners. Notable players include telecoms operators Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom, Telecom Italia and Orange alongside companies focused on developing advanced applications to run at the edge (like Siemens) and platform and infrastructure enablers such as OpenNebula Systems.

STL sees this commitment as key to unlocking the edge market in Europe, which has historically been tentative in its deployments to date.

January 2024

In January we saw the Dutch headquartered industrial edge platform Helin gain seed funding of over $3 million, led by FORWARD.one. The Helin platform focuses primarily on industry verticals in energy, ranging from the extractives space to innovative new work enabling the asset management of solar farms. Zededa also closed its Series C funding round of more than $72 million, led by Smith Point Capital. They highlighted the demand for AI as one of the key drivers behind their success.

Also announced in January was IBM and American Tower’s partnership. This will see IBM provide American Tower with its hybrid cloud platform, which American Tower will deploy at a range of its distributed sites across the US. This will help to strengthen American Tower’s proposition as a carrier neutral edge provider.

Lastly, Singtel have announced that MasMovil, the Spanish operator, will leverage its Paragon platform to deliver edge services within Spain. Initially, they will launch only in Pontevedra but with the aim to scale should the value of the platform be proved.

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