Connecting the World of Tomorrow, Today, with 5G Edge Cloud
A conversation with Srinivasa Kalapala, Vice President of Technology Strategy and Network Cloud at Verizon, and Dave Brown, Vice President of Elastic Compute Cloud at AWS
Today's spotlight centers around the AWS cloud services required to support the successful rollout of 5G. 5G has captured all the hype of today's communication industry, offering speeds up to 10x the speed of 4G. The network speed revolution has arrived, and AWS is on the ground floor developing services that enable communication service providers to innovate more quickly and provide 5G services to their end customers without latency.
When we started looking at how AWS was going to support 5G, one of the things we realized immediately was that latency is going to matter. We had to make sure that we had a compute environment that didn’t add any additional latencies.”
The problem of latency and the promise of 5G
With the promise of 5G being 10x faster than the current 4G connection, one of the challenges we faced centered around how AWS is structured with our regions today. Having a user on the other side of the country talking to an existing AWS region would lose much of the latency benefit from a 5G connection. We realized the need to be able to put AWS compute directly into Verizon's network.
At re:Invent 2020, we announced a project called AWS Wavelength. The project embeds AWS compute and storage services at the edge of the 5G network, directly within the Verizon facilities, to ensure that end customers feel the latency benefit. We launched it a couple of months back with our first two locations in Boston and the San Francisco Bay area, and over the last few months, we've been able to grow to seven total locations.
The power of our partnership with Verizon and the creation of AWS Wavelength is the standard practice of excellence we offer all our clients. If you have a development team today that is familiar with deploying AWS applications, using our APIs, using our consoles using any one of the more than 200 services we have, it's literally a few mouse clicks to be able to deploy into a Wavelength location at any one of those seven locations on the Verizon network. It's effortless to optimize 5G speed with what we've built with Wavelength—drop-in on the 5G wave today.
By putting the cloud close to the network, we can deliver massive amounts of data and deliver the outcomes in near real time.
We're also able to ensure that they don't have to send all of this data all the way to the far cloud, and in that process deal with bandwidth and other challenges that they may have.”
The right partnership is key to keep up with the speed of tech
Another startup we are working with is in the realm of healthcare. Avesha Systems uses machine learning to detect polyps as part of the endoscopy treatments. The benefits of Wavelength’s, 5G's low latency, extremely high bandwidth, edge machine learning, and data processing capabilities allow Avesha engineers to identify polyps while the camera is moving through the human body and detect benign versus the troublesome ones in real-time, thus providing a revolutionary experience for the customer. No more multiple trips to the doctor, anxiously waiting by the phone for results, because with this technology finding the right ones against the wrong ones happens in real-time.
Another example is our customers from the automotive industry. Savaari delivers enhanced mapping, dynamic mapping to both autonomous and standard vehicles. They also provide emergency services and a computer version-based warning or other kinds of capabilities. All these technologies fall into the umbrella of what we call Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything, C-V2X set of technologies.
By putting the cloud close to the network, not only are we able to deliver these massive amounts of data and deliver the outcomes in near real-time, but we're also able to ensure that they don't have to send all of this data to the far cloud, and in that process deal with bandwidth and other challenges that they may have. This capability gives companies a way to scale significantly and across the footprint. Those are powerful examples of how 5G is changing the game for so many end users across multiple verticals, such as healthcare, live streaming events and connected vehicles.
Network alone is not enough
Network alone will not be able to deliver the digitization shift and the automation capabilities businesses need. It's a combination of connecting and delivering those reliable insights. Call it computer amazing or robotic connectivity that enables them to process on the local edge and use those insights to control their industrial process.
We're seeing that the interest is not just simply for networks but for both, just the way we see Wavelength playing a significant role in our macro network and with Mac. We see it as a compliment.
AWS Wavelength’s Role in Verizon’s Goal to Deliver a 5G that Powers the Fourth Industrial Revolution
- Reliability and high-performing network within their environments.
- A cloud to deliver all sorts of these applications.
- Highly capable product to be combined with private networks to deliver a holistic capability to customers.
What’s best for you? AWS Outpost vs. Local Zones vs. Wavelength
Latency is going to change a lot when considering what computing types of applications, we build. While 5G has a promise of very low latency, we do have other offerings to provide customers to make sure that we can provide low latency compute, even when you're not using 5G on other networks.
The first of these offerings we announced two years ago at re:Invent 2018 is AWS Outposts, targeted at customers who have applications that need low latency access to AWS and potentially local data processing requirements and, in some cases, data sovereignty. Meaning, you may be in a country where you're storing some data that you don't want to either leave the state or leave a geographical location, and then outposts are good for you. AWS Outpost is a rack that we would install directly into your on-premises data center or a facility you're working with. It's a rack dedicated to your applications and your organization.
Local Zones is a concept of, can we bring a full availability zone, which is one of the building blocks of our regions, and provide that to our customers in a geographical location to provide single-digit millisecond latencies for workloads. Local Zones are available to anyone over the general internet but within a geographical area. We currently have a local zone in Los Angeles, and we're looking to roll out local zones all over the U.S. and globally.
Then we have, Wavelength. Wavelength works directly within the carrier's network. So AWS compute within the Verizon network in this case, accessible over the mobile networks and with 5G.
Utilizing AWS takes away a lot of the hardware management you need to do because AWS manages it. Allowing the client to run their network functions in a very cloud-like way.
By utilizing Wavelength, you will be able to take an application that you've already deployed on AWS and be able to deploy that to a Verizon wavelength facility very, very quickly, you can do that literally in a number of minutes.
Begin to dream about how 5G might change your industry, change your environment, change the way that you work. The future is now with AWS Wavelength and 5G.”
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