Why private edge networks are gaining popularity in the enterprise right now

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Unleashing the value of real-time data from the edge on secure, scalable mobile platforms that deliver intuitive experiences is the future of private edge networks. Edge computing’s rapid growth continues to attract many competitors, from startups to global telecom providers, all focused on becoming a platform standard.

Alef’s launch this week of a Mobile Toolkit they claim enterprises can use to deploy an edge network in 60 minutes without 5G is the latest example of the innovation driving the market. Alef’s goal is to prioritize users’ needs for a more intuitive, understandable way to get the benefits of edge platform-as-a-service (PaaS), peer-to-peer edge and private edge networks. 

Alef’s expertise in APIs, building strong developer relationships and solid track record of enabling enterprises’ mobile applications with EdgeNet serving as the mobile abstraction layer are helping to create the mobile network-as-a-service (MNaaS) market. Dominant competitors in the edge PaaS market currently include Avassa, F5 Volterra Voltstack, KubeEdge and others. In addition, Alef also competes in the peer-to-peer edge computing market against Equinix, Fasetto, mimik technology, Rajant, Storj and others. 

What is driving private edge computing’s rapid growth   

Business leaders are rapidly accelerating their digital transformation strategies to support new business initiatives and growth strategies in 2022. PwC found that 60% of executives said digital transformation is their most critical growth driver this year. Real-time data is an essential fuel for driving any successful digital transformation, intuitive. 

The demand for real-time data and insights across enterprises is a strong growth catalyst for edge computing. IDC predicts worldwide spending on edge computing will reach $176 billion in 2022,  expected to grow to $274 billion by 2025. By 2023, it is expected that more than 50% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside the data center or in the cloud, up from less than 10% in 2019. Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Edge Computing, 2021 includes 33 technologies this year, most of which are now in the Innovation Trigger phase of the hype cycle. 

Alef’s new product announcement aims to improve mobile developers’ productivity, enabling them to gain more value from real-time edge-based applications and the data they produce. The fuel that feeds each of the 33 technologies on the hype cycle is real-time data captured on smart sensors and other edge devices. 

 Important factors that are contributing to edge computing’s growth in enterprises today include:

  • Enabling zero trust security to the edge. Legacy tech stacks built entirely on trust have large gaps cyberattackers are increasingly skilled at taking advantage of. Rapid advances in edge computing technologies are driving down the cost of self-healing endpoints, making them more affordable for all organizations. Cloud-based edge platforms also help accelerate zero trust security initiatives. Broadcom, CrowdStrike, McAfee and Microsoft lead the endpoint security market. When it comes to Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), CrowdStrike is the market leader. Microsoft leads the broader endpoint protection platform market. 
  • APIs define the future of edge computing. For edge computing to gain large-scale adoption across enterprises, APIs need to provide an abstraction layer that alleviates the intensive work of having developers write code to communicate with each system in a tech stack. Abstraction layers save developers’ time and streamline new app development. Alef’s approach looks at how they can capitalize on stable APIs to protect developers from dealing with complex tech stacks in getting work done.
  • Edge device processors are getting more intelligent. The rapid gains in chip processor architectures make it possible to complete data capture, analytics and aggregated at the endpoint first before sending the result to cloud databases. In addition, endpoint devices’ growing intelligence makes it possible to offload more tasks, freeing up network latency in the process. The latest generation of edge-based processors is designed with instruction sets that support neural network calculations are an example.
  • All businesses need real-time data to grow. Small gains in visibility and control across an enterprise can deliver large cost savings and revenue gains. It’s because real-time data is very good at helping to identify gaps in cost, customer, revenue and service processes. Look for edge computing to provide real-time reporting, real-time streaming analytics and data distribution and caching, especially across sensor-based networks.

Managing edge networks’ complexity needs to improve 

Barriers to holding private edge networks back from gaining greater adoption in enterprises are how difficult they can be to configure and scale across diverse platforms securely. Alef is prioritizing an intuitive approach to network configuration and API-based platform to solve integration challenges, which is what enterprises need today to begin utilizingprivate edge networks.  

Alef’s platform is designed to provide mobile app developers with a development environment and tools to take advantage of 4G, LTE, 5G and certain Wi-Fi implementations without knowing the details of these diverse technologies. Their goal in creating the Mobile Toolkit is to help enterprises reduce the risks of misconfiguring private edge networks by simplifying the setup process. 

The Mobile Toolkit contains a core set of APIs, Alef Access Point, eSIMs, devices and a walkthrough starter guide, relying on the CBRS spectrum, which is publicly available. Alef’s open  Edge API Platform enables enterprises to create a private mobile network inside the firewall as part of their enterprise network. 

Athonet, Celona, Federated Wireless, Geoverse and Nokia are competitors at the platform level. Alef’s bold move to create a Toolkit will inspire innovations from startups and large-scale competitors alike.  

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