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Dell, SK Telecom, VMware bring 5G edge to enterprises

IT giants team with telco to collaborate on an integrated multi-access edge computing system with the aim of providing more secure and reliable access to data at edge locations

Dell Technologies, VMware and SK Telecom have entered a collaboration on an integrated multi-access edge computing system, providing what they say will be more secure and reliable access to data at edge locations.

Explaining the rationale for their partnership, which sees the creation of the OneBox MEC (mobile edge computing) platform, the companies cite a recent STL Partners study that they commissioned along with chip firm Intel which found that 40% of the enterprises surveyed had issues with the latency of their current networking systems.

For in-hospital patient monitoring systems, 61% of those surveyed said they experienced performance issues, and 45% expressed reliability concerns with their current technology. Meanwhile, nearly 70% of architecture, engineering and construction companies did not believe the technology they currently used was secure enough.      

Increasingly, MEC is addressing such issues and is now considered a crucial element in the evolution of use cases such as the internet of things. OneBox MEC is described as a “single box” approach that provides enterprises with an integrated, private 5G and edge computing platform, designed to bring new 5G and edge computing capabilities.

And as a fully integrated system, it will simplify deployment and operations and deliver reliable and predictable performance via secure connectivity, say the partners. Solutions providers, network functions providers (RAN and core) and systems integrators will use the OneBox MEC to improve latency, reliability and security of IT systems and networks.

The OneBox MEC will use the Dell EMC PowerEdge XE2420 server for data-intensive, low-latency edge services to deliver the performance, availability and security required for CSPs to build their portfolio of private 5G and edge solutions, said the three firms.

Coupled with the VMware Telco Cloud Platform and SKT’s existing 5GX MEC Platform, OneBox will provide private 5G and MEC services to diverse enterprise customers, with the intention of offering new options to act quickly on data where it resides.

“The edge is the new frontier for innovation,” said Lakshmi Mandyam, vice-president of product management, telco and edge cloud, at VMware. “The platform we are building with Dell Technologies and SKT will help enterprises innovate at the edge with velocity and bring new and exciting experiences to their customers. Our telco cloud platform provides a foundation on top of which enterprises can deliver edge services on any cloud with agility and a consistent experience.”

Lee Dong-kee, vice-president and head of 5GX MEC product at SK Telecom, added: “With OneBox MEC, our enterprise customers will be able to launch MEC-based services in a speedy manner. Through continuous collaboration with Dell Technologies and VMware, we will flawlessly support ultra-low-latency services by combining the strengths of 5G and MEC to accelerate innovations for companies in diverse areas including healthcare, retail and construction.”

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