In addition to VMware Edge Cloud Orchestrator, new Edge announcements include a new retail edge solution and a new managed connectivity services which will appeal to service provider partners.
LAS VEGAS – At the VMware Explore 2023 event here, the company announced enhancements to its edge portfolio, in recognition of the growing importance of this area. The highlight was likely new VMware Edge orchestration capabilities, which allow customers to orchestrate and manage multiple edge services at scale. They also announced a new retail edge solution to better support customer engagement, loss prevention, and point-of-sale transformation, and a VMware Edge managed connectivity service that lets wireless service providers deliver private 4G/5G services to enterprises, and will be available this quarter.
“The launch of VMware software defined edge is really exciting news,” said Sanjay Uppal, SVP and GM, Service Provider and Edge Business Unit. “It is an area of high growth among enterprises and service providers. With this, we assist them with a distributed digital infrastructure for running workloads across dispersed location, which can be placed close to edge devices.”
Edge deployments are presently undergoing a transition where the proprietary integrations of custom hardware and software common in recent years are giving way to a new software-defined edge that is intelligent, programmable, and scalable. Uppal said properly supporting customers at the edge for this modern era requires three things in the vendor solution.
“First, the stack for the data centre has to be shrunk to be right-sized to run on both the data centre and the smaller footprint of the edge,” he said. “Second, full synchronization is critical, because there are so many dispersed locations. Third, the workloads at the edge need to make their intent known to the overlay layer which then programs the edge itself. These three aspects pull this all together.”
A key element in bringing this about is VMware Edge Cloud Orchestrator, which brings in new and enhanced orchestration capabilities for the edge. This product used to be VMware SASE Orchestrator, but it’s not fair to call it a rebranding, since the enhancements are very substantial. It will provide unified management for VMware SASE and the VMware Edge Compute Stack – an industry-first offering to bridge the gap between edge networking and edge compute, managing all of compute, networking and security.
VECO [VMware Edge Cloud Orchestrator] is a first of its kind,” Uppal said. “It is a single console that brings together a multitude of services, both IT and OT. This ability to scale to thousands or hundreds of thousands of devices is absolutely essential.”
Related to the VMware Edge Cloud Orchestrator launch is the unveiling of new orchestration capabilities for VMware Edge Compute Stack based on Project Keswick.
“Automatic updates are another key feature,” Uppal stated. “It reduces both risk and operational expenditure.”
The new solution is VMware Retail Edge Solution, which brings the agility, ease of management, and better security of VMware Edge Compute Stack to retail store environments.
“This revolutionizes retail environments,” Uppal said.
VMware Retail Edge is a single software-defined platform that lets customers build, run, manage, connect, and protect their business services across all their retail stores, simply and more cost-effectively. VMware Retail Edge lets, customers reduce in-store infrastructure costs and management, remotely deploy and maintain applications on demand, and accelerate the deployment of next-generation. By combining VMware Retail Edge with solutions from partners such as Chooch.ai and Stratodesk, retailers can better support customer engagement, loss prevention, and point-of-sale transformation.
The final big edge announcement is the coming initial availability of the VMware Private Mobile Network later this quarter.
“This is a first of its kind solution being deployed by service providers,” Appal said.
VMware partners with wireless service providers to help remove the complexity associated with private mobile networks and enable enterprises to focus on their strategic business outcomes.
“It provides cloud orchestration, and seamlessly integrates with IT, and is offered as a managed service through a variety of partners,” Uppal indicated. It is built on VMware Edge Compute Stack, and enables rapid deployment and effortless management and orchestration. VMware has also announced that it is working with Betacom, Boingo Wireless, and Federated Wireless as the initial beta wireless service provider partners for this new offering.
“The primary channel for the Primary Mobile Network is service providers, and MSPs that understand radio,” Uppal concluded.