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Colt enhances IBM partnership to gain 5G edge

Connectivity solutions provider joins IBM’s partner ecosystem to collaborate on 5G and edge technology for enterprise customers, simplifying distributed infrastructure operations

Global high-bandwidth connectivity systems provider Colt Technology Services is to collaborate with IBM to help customers adopt an edge computing strategy.

The move is designed to enable its customers to move data and applications across hybrid cloud environments, from private datacentres to the edge. Colt plans to work with IBM to jointly explore innovative use cases using IBM Cloud Satellite systems and Edge Application Manager, to benefit enterprise customers globally across 29,000 enterprise buildings.

Colt said organisations were currently adopting new cloud technologies designed to address their business challenges, but managing this new distributed infrastructure paradigm is not simple, particularly when these applications have stringent location-dependent requirements such as low latency, regional data compliance and resiliency.

Colt said the collaboration has shown in a lab setting how deploying IBM Cloud Satellite on Colt’s edge platform can be simplified for customers. Built on Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud Satellite systems are designed to enable companies to tap into a consistent and secure set of cloud services, such as artificial intelligence (AI), security and automation, regardless of where their workloads reside – on a public or private cloud, on-premise or at the edge.

By combining the deployment flexibility of Cloud Satellite with its edge platform, Colt said it will collaborate with IBM to develop low-latency-dependent customer use cases that take advantage of AI, 5G and the internet of things.

These use cases will be deployed across Colt’s IQ Network, which comprises more than 29,000 on-net buildings and 900 datacentres, as well as its customer and network edge locations. The Colt IQ Network aims to deliver improved performance, enhanced control, flexibility and scalability to customers running on a fully owned and operated dense fibre network that enables enterprises to benefit from an end-to-end connection to the cloud.

Virtual machines for IBM Cloud Satellite can be instantiated and configured using a management and orchestration tool with zero-touch provisioning. Also, Colt’s on-demand networking capabilities are designed to help critical connectivity to be provisioned in near-real time to help enable distributed cloud deployments at the edge.

The edge is where industries are headed to gain business advantage. A recent IBM Institute for Business Value report, Why organisations are betting on edge computing: Insights from the edge, revealed that 91% of the 1,500 executives surveyed indicated that their organisations planned to implement edge computing strategies within five years.

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“Colt and IBM have been working together for many years across multiple markets and verticals with a focus on accelerating digital transformation,” said Mark Hollman, VP partner development and success. “As we see an increasing demand for multi- and distributed cloud environments, we will collaborate on how we can serve our joint customers.

“We are exploring now how to combine our Colt IQ Network with IBM’s hybrid cloud platform to help deliver innovative solutions designed to help accelerate digital transformation for our enterprise customers.”

The satellite system works with IBM Edge Application Manager, autonomous management technology that runs on Red Hat OpenShift, for its customers (in industries such as retail and healthcare) across 29,000 enterprise buildings. It is claimed to be the industry’s first system powered by the open source project Linux Foundation Open Horizon and is also attributed with being able to enable the secured deployment, continuous operations and remote management of AI, analytics and IoT enterprise workloads to deliver real-time analysis and insights at scale.

The introduction of Intel Secure Device Onboard made available as open source through the Linux Foundation, is intended to provide zero-touch provisioning of edge nodes, and is said to enable multi-tenant support for enterprises to manage up to 40,000 edge devices simultaneously per edge hub.

“We look forward to collaborating with Colt to help customers deploy, operate and manage thousands of endpoints throughout their operations with IBM Cloud Satellite and IBM Edge Application Manager,” said Evaristus Mainsah, general manager, IBM Hybrid Cloud and Edge Ecosystem. “Together, we can help enterprises accelerate their digital transformation by acting on insights closer to where their data is being created – at the edge.”

Colt is also part of IBM’s partner ecosystem, collaborating with more than 30 equipment manufacturers, networking, IT and software providers to implement open standards-based cloud-native systems that can autonomously manage edge applications at scale.

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