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Intel® Smart Edge: Unleashing Services at the Edge

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Edge computing is emerging as the next transformational technology across industries—and its rapid growth is only increasing. In fact, Gartner suggests that by 2025, over 75% of data will be created and processed outside centralized data centers. And as soon as 2023, Deloitte predicts 70 percent of enterprises will use the intelligent edge.

As edge services continue to gain momentum, the ecosystem and enterprises need a more efficient development approach to abstract complexity and simplify development and deployment of infrastructure and apps for the edge. There is a clear demand for cloud-native flexibility to seamlessly move workloads from cloud to edge—where businesses need it.

Maximizing business value for our customers
As the need compounds for solutions up and down the edge software stack, Intel® Smart Edge and OpenNESS have emerged as prominent offerings for edge computing—driving developer innovation for advanced 5G use cases. Enabling application and service acceleration across on-premise and network edge use cases, the two offerings have gained traction among customers and partners while in parallel addressing unique requirements and business models. The possibilities to synergize these offerings are tremendous—and key to fully leveraging the potential of cloud-native edge computing.

Last week, Dan Rodriguez, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s Network Platform Group, announced that Intel is unifying our approach to Intel Smart Edge and OpenNESS under one brand: Intel Smart Edge. This effort to streamline the edge software portfolio extends beyond branding—it brings together the architecture and code bases for delivering common product roadmaps, accelerating innovation, and providing flexible options for open and commercial ecosystem needs. This unification ultimately aims to maximize value and deliver better business outcomes for our customers whether they want to build with or buy from Intel.

The first release of both the open and commercial Intel Smart Edge offerings is targeted for September 2021 with regular subsequent releases.

Introducing Intel Smart Edge
Intel Smart Edge is a Kubernetes-based portfolio of edge software solutions that enable highly optimized edge platforms to manage applications and network functions with cloud-like agility across any type of network.

The portfolio consists of Intel® Smart Edge Open (previously called OpenNESS), a royalty free edge computing software toolkit, and a commercial edge software from Intel, Intel Smart Edge. Intel Smart Edge is based on Intel Smart Edge Open, and is delivered with added differentiated features, business terms and conditions and dedicated support.

Intel Smart Edge Open
Intel Smart Edge Open embodies our goal to accelerate innovation at the edge by enabling a rich portfolio of commercial edge offerings in the ecosystem. Smart Edge Open addresses the needs of infrastructure and application providers building optimized edge platforms and looking for specific capabilities to enhance their edge services. The various functional building blocks provide flexible integration into partner edge solutions based on the customer’s unique needs.

Smart Edge Open also offers Experience Kits, which are use-case specific SDKs that integrate with tools like OpenVINO(TM), FlexRAN, Open Visual Cloud and other Intel technologies. This lets our customers converge multiple workloads on their edge platforms. By providing critical edge capabilities in the form of modular building blocks, Intel Smart Edge Open creates a faster path to commercialization for partners. Customers can leverage exactly what they need from the toolkit, so they can prioritize their investment dollars on delivering added differentiation.

The first release of Intel Smart Edge Open will build upon what OpenNESS has delivered to date and continue to provide cutting-edge capabilities and experience kits in subsequent releases. The solution will be delivered as source code under two licenses: the open source Apache license, which provides access to select building blocks and experience kits, and the royalty-free Intel proprietary license, which offers access to the full suite of capabilities within the toolkit. Customers that have already signed the Intel Distribution of OpenNESS (IDO) license will be seamlessly upgraded to the Smart Edge Open Intel proprietary license.

With our continued support for Smart Edge Open, we are reiterating our commitment to our long-standing support of innovations for industry-wide collaboration and developer nurture.

Intel Smart Edge – commercial software from Intel
Intel Smart Edge is a turn-key, commercial software from Intel that supports rapid commercial deployments. It includes advanced edge capabilities, dedicated support for ease of use, and a seamless experience for enterprise clients. Like Smart Edge Open, it is based on a cloud-native architecture. The software delivers performant platforms that offer cutting-edge multi-access edge computing for enterprises.

For private networks, Intel Smart Edge can enable open, cloud-native, telco-grade reference architectures that abstract complexity and improve backhaul with enhanced security. This approach allows service providers and enterprises to deploy and operate private networks that help protect data and empower low latency.

Like Smart Edge Open, the commercial Smart Edge software delivers critical capabilities and utilizes optimizations across several Intel technologies to achieve workload convergence. It is a great option for customers and partners looking for off-the-shelf edge software that comes with commercial terms and conditions.

Join the journey for faster, flexible innovation at the edge
We strongly believe that this common approach to products, customers, and ecosystems leverages the best of our capabilities across our edge offerings to deliver better business outcomes. At the end of the day, our customers look forward to a thriving ecosystem of ready-to-deploy commercial edge options on Intel architecture. We’re at the forefront of making that a reality. Our commercial applications portal is growing to provide a rich catalogue of application vendors for both vertical and horizontal needs across both the Smart Edge offerings

I am very proud of what we have accomplished with our software offerings early in the market, many of which are part of our MWC solutions showcase. Visit Intel’s MWC virtual showcase to learn about:
● Our collaboration with Google Cloud and how Smart Edge Open is enabling a Cloud-Native 5G vRAN on hyperscaler platforms.
● How, through our collaboration with Dell, we are integrating edge computing into vertical markets to offer edge platforms that deliver critical multi-access edge computing capabilities for enterprises with our commercial Intel Smart Edge.
● How Intel is collaborating with Cellnex, Lenovo, Nearby Computing & Submer to provide autonomous lifecycle management services with Smart Edge Open.

Join us on this exciting journey to bring your edge applications to market faster—at the pace of innovation. Learn more about how Intel enables the edge at intel.com/MWC.
About the Author
Vice President, Data Platforms Group, General Manager, Smart Edge Platforms Division Intel Corporation Renu N. Navale is vice president in the Data Platforms Group and general manager of the Smart Edge Platforms Division at Intel Corporation. She is responsible for overall strategy, software and platforms that strengthen Intel’s presence in the network edge computing business sector. She also leads ecosystem enabling for the Network Platforms Group (NPG) to accelerate network and edge transformation, and she fosters scale and industrywide collaboration through open source initiatives. Navale joined Intel in 2004 with extensive experience in networking and software. During her Intel career, she has held positions in strategic planning, product management, software marketing and engineering, and in 2015, she earned an Intel Achievement Award, the company’s highest recognition. In 2019, Navale was a finalist for the Edge Computing Woman of Year industry award from Edge Computing World and State of Edge. She also serves on the board of LFEdge, an industry initiative focused on creating an open source community for Edge. Before assuming her current role in 2017, Navale served as technical assistant and chief of staff to the vice president and general manager of NPG. Earlier in her Intel career, she oversaw the creation and launch of the Intel Network Builders program. Her tenure at Intel also includes managing the strategic planning team in the Internet of Things Group’s automotive division, where she led autonomous driving and connected car strategies. Before joining Intel, Navale worked on wireless, VoIP, and network management technologies at Nokia Networks. Her achievements were recognized twice with the company’s highest award for software design and innovation during her eight-year tenure. Navale holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from Bangalore University in India, a master’s degree in computer science and engineering from Arizona State University, and an MBA degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. She has published multiple papers on topics related to wireless technologies. An active champion of STEM education, Navale volunteers as a programming coach and science fair mentor and judge. She is currently on the advisory board for the SciTech Institute and the Girls Innovation Academy to promote STEM education. She also champions diversity and inclusion efforts for NPG as part of the People First initiative.