• United States
Jon Gold
Senior Writer

IBM, Red Hat, and AT&T team up for private edge deployments

News Analysis
Nov 02, 20202 mins

An alliance of IBM and AT&T brings together 5G, Kubernetes and cloud management in an effort to simplify enterprise edge-computing deployments.

IBM’s new Cloud Satellite offering will move the company’s open hybrid-cloud framework into new and different environments, thanks to partnerships with AT&T for 5G connectivity and IBM’s Red Hat  unit for containerization.

Cloud Satellite, currently in beta, is a software product, sold through IBM, that provides a link to IBM and AT&T’s hardware. It offers a one-dashboard method of managing services across multiple computing environments, networks and locations. It leverages Red Hat’s OpenShift containerization platform—built on Kubernetes for the flexibility to deploy applications and services across multiple environments—IBM’s cloud framework for management, and AT&T’s public or private 5G for connectivity between customersites and the cloud. Thus, an application could be deployed at the edge, but managed from IBM’s cloud framework, with connectivity furnished by AT&T, and OpenShift making it simpler to keep workloads virtualized and flexible.

The idea is to make it easier for businesses to adopt technology that needs low latency and edge computing. For example, retail stores could monitor spoilage, spills and crowd data in close to real time, likely via sensors—for food temperature and moisture— and smart cameras feeding data back to the cloud via AT&T’s network instead of using the retailer’s existing network.

IBM is pitching this latest team-up as a reaction to the increasing adoptoin of hybrid-cloud strategy, particularly among larger enterprises. By abstracting the application and service-management layers into a single system, enterprises could avoid the need for more complex control setups that wouldn’t be guaranteed to be interoperable in the first place.

Moreover, and despite the fact that the truly advanced 5G features are mostly restricted in deployment to small areas near major urban cores, there’s an increasing consensus building that both carrier-based and private 5G offerings are central to enabling new operational technologies like edge computing. This despite the fact that the truly advanced 5G features are mostly restricted in deployments near major urban are.