Microsoft has announced the official launch of
Edge Zones for its cloud computing service Azure. The release of Edge Zones will enable users of Azure to now
bring all their applications straight to the Redmond-based firm’s edge locations.
This initiative is designed to allow
real-time processing of a high-volume of data, with minimum delay in
Microsoft is also introducing an edition of the product entitled “Edge Zones with Carriers” in preview, beginning with US multinational conglomerate
AT&T. This version connects zones straight to 5G networks within the carrier’s designated data centre. On top of this, Azure is a being enabled with Private Edge Zones for those using private
5G networks with Azure Stack Edge (previously known as azure Data Box Edge).
Along with partnering up with a select list of carriers that include
Vodafone, SK Telecom, Rogers and Telstra, Microsoft has also announced the launch of new individual Azure Edge Zones situated in over 10 different cities in a programme starting this summer, with New York, Miami and Los Angeles included.
The Microsoft announcement outlined the new partnership and its aims:
“For the last few decades, carriers and operators have pioneered how we connect with each other, laying the foundation for telephony and cellular, with cloud and 5G, there are new possibilities by combining cloud services, like compute and AI with high bandwidth and ultra-low latency. Microsoft is partnering with them to bring 5G to life in immersive applications built by organization and developers.”
This move from Microsoft is also designed to keep the firm in the race with other major cloud providers seeking to dominate the market. Recently, Google released both Anthos for Telecom and the Global Mobile Edge Cloud which also offers a promise to bring apps close to edge locations of that cloud for telco and 5G usage.
While Microsoft suggests that its new Azure Edge Zones offering offers a more comprehensive solution regarding its geographic availability and partner ecosystem, than its competitors, it is obvious that
5G has become a trend among all the largest cloud providers. The Microsoft acquisition of Affirmed Networks, the 5G cloud specialist is further evidence of how the tech-giant is seeking to gain position in the market.
Details on the array of available Edge Zone versions show Azure Edge Zones’ focus to be mainly on Artificial Intelligence workloads and Internet of Things, while Edge Zones with Carriers is aimed at low latency in online gaming, events and remote meeting and creating aiding smart infrastructure. Due to both the complexity of rollout and cost for such a system, Private Edge Zones have been developed with larger enterprises in mind.
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