SASE: Networking, Security, Edge, or None – or All of the Above? Where Should an Enterprise Start?

G. Barton
G. Barton Research Director

Summary Bullets:

• SASE combines WAN with elements of security and edge technology, but that is not a catch-all solution.

• For SASE to work, organizations must break down internal silos to create a unified approach to data routing and security policies.

What is SASE or – to reference it by its full name – secure access service edge? Enterprises can be forgiven to a degree of uncertainty on this point since, as with all new technology concepts, the term has been used rather freely by vendors, service providers, and analysts alike. In its original form, the concept envisioned a move beyond traditional WAN (including SD-WAN) to a group of network technologies that would be deployed at the network edge (in a move away from customer premises equipment) and would combine both routing and security capabilities.

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Airtel and IBM Bring Complementary Assets to Deliver 5G-Capable Edge Computing

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

• IBM and Bharti Airtel announced their intent to deploy Airtel’s edge computing platform in India, which will include 120 network data centers across 20 cities.

• This is a positive development for both firms, but there is still work to be done in educating the market, co-developing solutions with customers, and expanding the partner ecosystem.

Airtel’s edge computing platform delivers a hybrid environment based on IBM Cloud Satellite and Red Hat OpenShift; the business value is significantly enhanced when combined with 5G. Maruti Suzuki India intends to use the edge platform to increase accuracy and efficiency for quality inspections on the factory floor. Through Airtel’s 5G connectivity and IBM’s secured edge computing, enterprises can deploy and manage workloads in near real-time.

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AWS’ Private 5G Service Hits the Market with a Big Asterisk

Amy Larsen DeCarlo – Principal Analyst, Security and Data Center Services

Summary Bullets:        

• Eight months after AWS announced it was bringing a private 5G service to market, the solution is now generally available in select AWS regions.

• The AWS Private 5G service comes with a big, carrier-style caveat at launch; it only supports 4G LTE with 5G coming sometime in the future.

After announcing it in December 2021, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has now rolled out its AWS Private 5G service to a wider prospect pool, but without 5G support. The misleading branding of the service will no doubt cause confusion, particularly given the fact that AWS hasn’t specified when support for 5G will be available.

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Virgin Media O2 JV Infrastructure Investment Accelerates UK Broadband Gold Rush

R. Pritchard

Summary Bullets:

• Virgin Media O2 joins InfraVia Capital Partners to spend GBP4.5 billion on a fiber wholesale joint venture (JV) to offer connectivity to up to seven million premises

• As with any other gold rushes, the only guaranteed winners are the folks supplying spades, diggers, and other infrastructure provision services

Virgin Media O2 has announced a partnership with InfraVia Capital Partners to form a JV deal, which is expected to close in Q4 2022 to build a full-fiber network to provide connectivity to up to seven million premises as a complementary geographical expansion to Virgin Media O2’s existing target of 15.5 million premises – delivering a UK fiber footprint of 80% coverage on completion. The focus of the 50:50 JV will be to offer wholesale connectivity services both to Virgin Media O2 (as anchor tenant) and to other communications and internet service providers. The timing of the announcement when BT Openreach employees were on strike is more than a coincidence. Continue reading “Virgin Media O2 JV Infrastructure Investment Accelerates UK Broadband Gold Rush”

Vodafone Delivers Purpose in Action

R. Pritchard

Summary Bullets:

  • Vodafone is seeking to demonstrate how it uses technology to address connected education and connected health markets in both developed and developing countries.
  • Propositions such as ‘school in a box’ and m-mama in Africa have helped in delivering the education sector and safer healthcare for pregnant women.

Vodafone recently presented examples of its Purpose initiative, whose goal is stated to be “we connect for a better future by enabling inclusive and sustainable digital societies.” The three pillars of this strategy are Digital Society (connecting people, places, and things and digitizing critical sectors); Inclusion For All (ensuring no one is left behind in a digital society); and Planet (tackling the climate crisis, reducing carbon emissions, and helping others reduce theirs). These all demonstrate practical implementations of the company’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) agenda, as well as demonstrating that offering socially useful applications can also be a commercial opportunity.

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The Future of SLAs: Predictive and Outcome-Oriented  

G. Barton
G. Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprises should work with providers to develop more meaningful KPIs within SLA agreements.
  • AI technology is enabling predictive fault detection; working with providers will help improve AI performance.

Service level agreements (SLAs) are one of the tech world’s necessary evils and often one of its most ineffective tools. Ideally, no SLAs should be required; enterprises would much rather have the service work than be compensated for its failure. Furthermore, the financial penalty in SLAs is often nowhere close to compensating for the financial loss caused by an outage. GlobalData’s conversations with enterprises have revealed a lack of faith from enterprises in SLAs, with more than one IT manager referring to them as ‘pointless.’

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Red Hat Summit: Ansible’s Growing Prominence

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:             

  • Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform is growing in prominence within OpenShift and the industry in general
  • Ansible’s popularity has prompted a new round of key partnerships to expand OpenShift’s ecosystem

Red Hat Ansible has matured into a shining star, not only among OpenShift’s portfolio, but the industry in general for its ability to abstract the complexity of building and operating IT automation at scale as part of enterprises’ business transformations.

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Vodafone UK M&A Rumors Indicate Further Consolidation During Cost-of-Living Crisis

R. Pritchard

Summary Bullets:

  • The incremental consolidation of the UK enterprise telecoms market continues in light of broader national combinations, with further deals inevitable.
  • Although driven by financial imperatives in a highly competitive market, these developments reflect a broader re-segmentation in the context of the current economic environment.

Following the creation of the Virgin Media O2 50:50 joint venture between Liberty Global and Telefónica via the merger of their respective Virgin Media and O2 UK businesses, there has been an increasing pressure on Vodafone, BT, and other players to improve investor returns by creating a greater scale through mergers and acquisitions.

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ASEAN 5G Q1 2022 Roundup: Beginning of 5G Network Slicing and the Platform Play

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Singtel’s Paragon platform streamlines different 5G capabilities and can minimize the barriers to adoption of enterprise 5G solutions.
  • Leading providers such as Singtel and PLDT have started their initiatives on network slicing. This will enable wider enterprise 5G applications and private network solutions.

It was a slow start of the year for enterprise 5G in ASEAN, especially after strong momentum in 2021 with various industry collaborations and new feature launches (e.g., SA, MEC, private network).  There were only a few key announcements on new launches and partnerships.  Nevertheless, there were a couple of key milestones in market development in the region.  Singtel, one of the most advanced 5G providers in the region, launched an all-in-one 5G platform in the market.  This is crucial for driving enterprise adoption by streamlining diverse initiatives across various 5G capabilities such as private networks, edge computing, network slicing, and IoT.  This could also be the beginning of 5G platform plays enabling automated service provisioning and on-demand commercial models.  The second highlight is network slicing.  While the network slicing feature is still new in the market, several providers such as AIS, Singtel, and PLDT are taking a proactive approach to trials and include this feature in their 5G offerings to gain a competitive edge.  Other players are expected to build similar capabilities to close the gap in the near future. Continue reading “ASEAN 5G Q1 2022 Roundup: Beginning of 5G Network Slicing and the Platform Play”

Cisco and Private 5G – Clarification

Summary Bullets:

S. Schuchart

• Cisco’s Private 5G solution will be offered through its service provider partners

• Enterprises need the integration of private 5G solutions with their existing network management, identity, and policy tools

In early February, Cisco made an announcement of some new Wi-Fi 6E access points, new Catalyst switches, and lastly the new Cisco Private 5G offering, and I wrote a report for our clients about it. However, there was a mistake on my part. I posited that Cisco was challenging the service providers and offering the product directly to customers. The truth is that Cisco is offering its new Cisco Private 5G offering with service provider partners, not against them. Cisco was kind enough to point out my mistake and provided me with more details on their go to market strategy for Cisco Private 5G. For that mistake, I apologize to Cisco. However, it does bring up the opportunity to talk a little bit more about why the Cisco Private 5G offering is important to enterprises, regardless of where it was sourced.

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