Edge Compute

On-premise Edge compute, bringing the power of Cloud closer.

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Host your network services and applications with Colt's Edge Computing platform

Edge Computing transforms and replaces your legacy on-premise Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) into an intelligent and flexible Cloud platform, capable of hosting security and network services, distributed Cloud services and latency sensitive enterprise Edge applications.

Edge Compute platforms are able to host multiple network services such as Router, Firewall, WAN optimisation and SD WAN as Virtual Network functions (VNFs) at any location globally.

Colt Edge is based on Universal Customer Premise Equipment (or uCPE) technology. Want to learn more about what uCPE is? Read our technical introduction here.

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The benefits of Edge Compute

  • Reduce Capex

    Reduce the need for dedicated network appliances (such as Firewalls, Routers and WAN Optimisation devices) by replacing them with software equivalents (known as Virtual Network Functions). The same server can be used for multiple network functions avoiding the need to procure expensive proprietary hardware.

  • Reduce Opex

    Simplify operations and in-life service management, contract management and administration by consolidating multiple services onto a single hardware platform. Removing proprietary hardware and using shared resources on a single platform can reduce capital expenditure and overall operating expenditure long term up to 30%.

  • Provision On-Demand

    Orchestration capabilities, Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP) and software-based dynamic control dramatically accelerate new site deployment and provisioning. Virtual functions and services can be enabled on-demand removing the need for on-site deliveries and technical expertise.

  • Consolidated Hardware

    Avoid the need for individual dedicated appliances – router, firewall, WAN optimisation device and more. Consolidate multiple proprietary services onto a single universal appliance and benefit from reductions in cost, hardware footprint, power, cooling and environmental impact.

  • Innovation & Automation

    Bring the power of the Cloud to your enterprise network edge with an open, programmable platform that drives innovation. Standardised protocols in data, control and management-plane streamline, simplify and automate network integration and operation.

  • Increase Flexibility

    Planning a technology refresh? Replace current end-of-life CPEs with more flexible software equivalents. Considering SD-WAN? Avoid the costs and challenges of sourcing proprietary SD WAN devices and connectivity globally.

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Edge Compute explained

  • In the same way your smartphone is a piece of agnostic hardware with phone, music, address book, mapping functionality and other apps, Network Function Virtualisation brings these benefits to the enterprise.

    Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) is the generic term used for the process of separating network functions from dedicated hardware appliances so that they may run as software on standardised hardware. It is the initiative to convert hardware-based network functions into software application.

    These application are Virtual Network Functions (VNF) NFV is the technology that underpins the virtualisation and cloudification of customer on-premise locations and network nodes.

  • SD WAN is a virtual WAN architecture and Software-defined approach to managing enterprise network connectivity, enabling businesses to securely and efficiently connect users to applications.

    Customer implementing SD WAN can run their services on proprietary SD WAN hardware (or “bare metal” device) or can host it as VNFs on Edge Compute platform. Edge compute enables business to host any network functions as VNFs, and SD WAN is one such function that can be hosted, similar to other functions such as Firewall or WAN optimisation.

  • Colt uses vendor agnostic off-the-shelf (OTS) commodity hardware from Advantech. The main characteristics of this hardware includes:

    – A generic x86 platform
    – Open platform with the ability to host any VNF function
    – The ability to run a range of multi-vendor VNFs
    – Central management of hardware and support
    – Simple network integration
    – Global support
    – Delivery anywhere in the world

    Hardware ranges from 8 to 24 cores and can currently run up to 4 VNFs simultaneously. Additional resilience can be provided with dual CPEs and redundant VNFs.

  • We can host any virtual network functions including, but not limited to:

    – Firewalls (such as Check Point or Palo Alto)
    – WAN optimisation (such as Riverbed)
    – SD WAN (such as Versa)
    – Routers (such as Cisco and Juniper).

    Provisioning is via a dedicated portal with flexible licensing and management options. You can purchase your own licenses for VNFs, or purchase these via Colt. Similarly you can retain completely ownership and management of your VNFs, or we can manage them for you.

    We maintain orchestrator hardware in multiple regions to support VNF downloads and provisioning. Whilst Colt handles the procurement and maintenance of connectivity and Edge Compute with your VNF, you retain full control of your end-to-end solution.

  • Enterprises implementing SD WAN solutions often find it difficult and expensive to source proprietary SD WAN devices and connectivity globally. With Edge Compute, you can host your specific SD WAN as a software function whilst laying the foundations for true edge compute in the future.

    In this scenario, Colt would take care of procuring and maintaining the hardware and connectivity in all locations globally, while you have full control of your SD WAN solution. This is cost-effective and solves the lack of SD WAN interoperability and the need to managed multiple vendors.

  • Edge compute is often an ideal solution for customers planning a technology refresh that want to replace existing hardware with a more future-proofed solution.

    CPEs nearing end-of-life can be replaced with Edge compute in order to benefit from extended hardware ROI and support for additional services in future. This is often a seamless transition as existing physical functions are moved into the virtual world ‘as is’, without any requirement for new
    processes, software or training.

  • SD WAN and Edge Compute (based on Universal CPE) all add intelligence and flexibility into the network, driven by the growing number of virtualised services and cloud based applications. This need for intelligence will drive further innovation, potentially combining with technologies such as Artificial Intelligence to automate tasks, or spot problems before they occur.

    The future network will be intelligent, secure, fully-automated and software defined, with real-time provisioning, offering unmatched flexibility, agility and ease of management.

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