An expansion to Verizon and AWS’ 5G partnership may be the ideal solution for businesses hesitant to use multiaccess edge computing (MEC) due to latency and poor security: Private MEC hosted on-premise using AWS Outposts.
Verizon cites ultra-low latency, higher levels of security and deeper customization as key advantages to the new model, which it said can be used ” to quickly deploy real-time enterprise applications like intelligent logistics, predictive maintenance, robotics, factory automation and more to lower costs and improve safety, precision and efficiency.”
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Mobile edge computing, Verizon’s branding of MEC, is a private deployment of Verizon 5G technology designed to run on local networks in factories, warehouses, business campuses, and other locations that suit the above-mentioned use cases.
AWS, for its part, is adding support for MEC to its AWS Outposts, which are hardware racks full of AWS tech that are managed by AWS but installed locally in private data centers. Outposts allow developers and enterprises to access all of the various AWS services they need in a private, hybrid cloud environment idea for services that need to run locally due to data processing workloads, residency requirements, or other factors that make cloud hosting impractical.
“The Private MEC solution deployed on AWS Outposts addresses these challenges by providing a secure, dedicated cloud computing platform and reliable on-premises wireless networking based on 5G, all using a single infrastructure deployment,” AWS said in a blog post.
AWS and Verizon previously collaborated on 5G to pair Verizon 5G Edge and AWS Wavelength, an infrastructure project that allowed 5G edge networks to transmit data to AWS services operating in data centers positioned close to the edge of those 5G networks. This enabled public 5G networks to perform in a lower latency manner, essentially making them a public 5G version of the new private MEC technology achieved with an AWS Outpost.
“Private MEC is a natural expansion of our collaboration with Verizon,” said Dave Brown, vice president elastic compute Cloud at AWS. “Private 5G MEC from AWS and Verizon brings ultra-low latency to dedicated, closed, on-premises environments for use cases such as autonomous mobile robots, quality assurance, and hazard alerting,” Brown said.
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Corning Inc. has also been announced as the pioneering host for the new AWS/Verizon private MEC partnership, and has already deployed the necessary hardware in its Hickory, North Carolina, fiber optic cable manufacturing facility. Corning’s use for private MEC comes in the form of “computer vision and machine learning models to process sensor data received from [Gestalt Robotics] autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), then send commands to the AMRs over the ultra-low latency, high-throughput 5G private network,” Verizon said.
This new service isn’t generally available yet; Corning is the first trial customer. Verizon said it hasn’t yet set an availability date, so organizations interested in making use of private Verizon 5G MEC-capable AWS Outposts will need to keep an eye out for more announcements from the two companies involved.