Excerpts from our video interview with Dan Rodriguez, Corporate VP and GM, Network Platforms Group, Intel
One of the big themes of 2020 has been network transformation, with both the core and radio access networks seeing considerable activity and fundamental change. This activity coincided with a global pandemic that elevated the importance of connectivity and underlined the need for networks that are agile, flexible and capable of adapting to changes in demand.
Network transformation is not new, of course. During the 4G era the core network became increasingly software-defined, with network functions virtualized to increase efficiency, simplicity and enable new applications. This laid the foundations for the change that will accompany 5G’s maturation to standalone networks capable of living up to the promise of high capacity, fast speeds and low latency, and with it the rise of edge computing.
This was the basis for my discussion with Dan Rodriguez, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Network Platforms Group at Intel, as part of CCS Insight’s week-long online event to present our predictions for 2021 and beyond. Dan leads Intel’s expansion from the core network to the network edge and on-premises environment as it delivers an array of silicon supported by a comprehensive set of software and tools.
We discussed the nature of this transformation and the move from fixed-function devices to a future where hardware is abstracted away through software to cut costs and boost agility and efficiency. The network is becoming “cloudified”. We talked about Intel’s place in this transformation and the role it’s playing alongside a range of partners to facilitate this change.
Data processing, analytics and artificial intelligence are moving closer to the source of the data as privacy, data residency requirements, performance, cost and agility all drive the expansion of network edge computing. A high-bandwidth, low-latency connection between a device, machine or user and the edge cloud will enable new uses and business models as we overcome a rigid dependence on centralized or on-premises computing environment.
As Dan noted, over 70% of data will be created outside data centres, and this creates an abundance of opportunity for new processing and network applications and services.
An exponential increase in processing demands and diverse network and usage needs make it necessary to have a wide range of computing and networking options. They must be supported by a commitment to, and an understanding of, open standards and software development to help users test, develop, deploy and build up their infrastructure.
We discuss how network transformation is helping operators such as AT&T, BT, Deutsche Telekom, Rakuten, SK Telecom, Telefonica, Telstra, Verizon and Vodafone. We also discuss how Intel is helping companies such as Audi solve challenges through edge computing to achieve tangible business results and return on investment.
Intel and CCS Insight both believe that for 5G to achieve its promise, it needs to become a platform on which network functions, applications and services can be intelligently managed, deployed and scaled. As 5G matures, this is becoming a computing challenge as much as a networking one.
Below we’ve put together a few highlights from the interview. I hope you like it. If you’d like to see the full video of the interview and recordings of all the sessions from our Predictions Week, please get in touch.
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