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The Future of 5G and Edge Innovation — and How Intel is Leading the Charge – Futurum Tech Podcast Interview Series
by Daniel Newman | May 21, 2020

On this episode of the Futurum Tech Podcast Interview Series, host Daniel Newman welcomes Jeni Panhorst, Vice President and General Manager of Network and Edge Platforms Division at Intel for a conversation about the future of 5G and edge innovation.

Technology Companies are Essential

Intel, like most companies in the last few months, has had to pivot to figure out how to deliver what other companies and the world needs right now to fight this pandemic. Whether it’s just dealing with the changes in the way that we work, being able to support the enterprise capacity or the communications capacity that’s required for people as they pivot their work from offices to homes, Intel has been a backbone for technology solutions in infrastructure worldwide. And that’s likely going to continue with the proliferation of 5G networks and edge technology.

The Future of 5G and Edge Innovation

10 years ago, the smartphone revolution created an entirely new ecosystem for innovation of apps and services that now, we couldn’t imagine living without. Intel has been involved in that transformation from the beginning, working network operators, telecom equipment manufacturers, hardware manufacturers, software innovators, system integrators, and other partners to build network infrastructure with greater capacity and great flexibility that supported and connected all these devices. This has formed the foundation for the future of 5G and edge innovation.

Today networks have more flexibility and agility to bring computing capacity closer to where data is generated which in turn enables innovation. We have the ability to process data much closer to where it’s brought into the overall system which drives down decision latency and drives up a value of insights that are generated.

Jeni shared that Intel has built a huge foundation through virtualization of the network, cloudification of the network, which is going to form the bedrock for the next wave of 5G and edge innovation as well.

Improving the Ability to Innovate

Dan referenced a recent report Futurum conducted in partnership with Intel on hardware to software transformation that determined with software-defined virtualization, a lot more can be done in less time — workloads can be scaled, data can move more seamlessly, and we can have real-time applications for things like edge and IoT, in retail, smart cities and government.

But this high degree of virtualization has also given companies the ability to do more and more computing closer to the data. They have the ability to add AI and machine learning-enabled services much closer to where those devices exist. More companies are able to innovate new use cases for these technologies.

Jeni and Dan discussed a few different examples of new use cases like factory reconfiguration. There’s an aggregation of insights coming from multiple different factory locations, so companies have the ability now to reconfigure the equipment to deal with changing demand or the need to produce different types of goods like we saw with the PPE shortage. And since companies have found success with this, it will likely accelerate more in the future.

The Next Generation of 5G Edge

Jeni shared some of the exciting announcements that Intel has made recently like the Intel Xeon processors and the Intel Atom P5900 product — a system on a chip specifically focused on the radio access network. It is the first Intel architecture processor focused on base stations.

Intel is focused on building next-generation 5G base stations based on this product, as well as a set of products across the portfolio, including the FPGA products, the ASIC products and the Intel Ethernet controllers, in order to have a complete solution that delivers on the needs of 5G processing.

Intel’s Commitment to Partnerships

There’s an opportunity now to partner across the industry to ensure that the needs of the next generation of networks are met. Non-real time is not valuable anymore. The closer the data is to the actual moment is when companies will see the biggest return — and that is what intel is committed to providing.

Jeni shared that Intel is heavily dependent upon those partnerships that exist across the entire value chain, whether it’s the equipment manufacturers, the software vendors, the system integrators, and the operators and end-users who are deploying and using the technology. But not every network developer will have the right expertise that is needed for the new use cases.

In order to foster innovation Intel created an open source software toolkit called OpenNESS. The purpose is to abstract the complexity out of the network to developers of edge applications while providing a place for those next-generation cloud-native edge applications to land.

There are a lot of challenges that still need to be addressed in order to ensure the orchestration and automation of the necessary infrastructure in order to deliver all of the promises of next-generation edge computing. But it’s definitely something that Intel is invested in, in order to create that next wave of innovation.

This was a fascinating conversation with a dynamic leader in the 5G and edge computing space that should not be missed. And don’t forget to subscribe to the Futurum Tech Podcast so you never miss an episode.

Transcript:

Daniel Newman: Welcome to the Futurum Tech Podcast. I’m your host, Daniel Newman, Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research.

And I’m excited about this interview series podcast where I have Jeni Panhorst, Vice President and General Manager of Network and Edge Platforms Division at Intel Corporation, or Intel, as I like to call it. Jeni, welcome to the Futurum Tech Podcast Interview Series. How are you today?

Jeni Panhorst: Doing great. It’s a great Monday in the middle of this crazy world that we’re living in right now, Daniel, so thanks for having me.

Daniel Newman: And thanks for cueing me up there. I’ve been saying that on recent podcasts. This particular show is being recorded on the 27th of April, 2020, and I’ve never been so focused on timestamping podcasts.

I’ve also never in my life, and I think in anyone’s life that I’ve had on this show, lived through a global pandemic that caused most of the world and most of the United States to shelter in place and to be in our homes. I point out it as a Monday. You said, “A wonderful Monday.” I think the days are just pretty much all days now. Saturdays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, all just day days.

But we are starting to see a little bit of light, it seems, at the end of the tunnel. There’s still a lot of work to be done. The healthcare system is still really trying to manage. Government is trying to deal with a best plan to keep people safe, but concurrently keep the economy going.

And in our podcast, they’ve all changed a little bit because I used to like to really talk about product services, have great companies like Intel come on, tout their wares, tell people what to buy and where to buy it. And now, I feel like there’s a little bit of a tone that we all need to be sensitive to. We can’t just come on here and tout products and services, not that we ever should, by the way.

But we really do need to talk about what’s going on and what’s going on in the world. And in your company, Jeni, Intel, I’ve done a few podcasts, actually talked to your pandemic team, and your company’s been really involved in COVID-19 and in a response.

Talk a little bit about just kind of how it’s going for you and the experience, and kind of what you’re telling customers, partners, employees, people on your team, in regards to this whole COVID-19 experience that’s going on in the world.

Jeni Panhorst: Yeah, you hit on so many things there that really resonate with me. We’re all living through just an unprecedented era for any of us to pretend that we know exactly how this is going to play out and exactly what kind of our new normal will look like as we emerge from this. It’s really impossible for any of us to say.

So when you just look at the journey we’ve been on so far, like you said, end of April, this was something that Intel started dealing with way back in January. And originally, it really was a question of employee safety, business continuity. Intel, perhaps not surprisingly given our massive factory network, we have a lot in place, in terms of pandemic response and business continuity. And so that’s really where the focus was originally, and of course, ensuring that safety.

But exactly like you alluded to, what this has quickly turned into, I think, not just for technology companies like Intel, but really all companies and organizations around the globe, is just this realization of, how can we pivot in order to ensure that we’re delivering what the world needs to kind of weather the pandemic and then come out of it successfully on the other end?

And what is completely evident, if it wasn’t ever before, is the role that Intel plays as really the backbone for technology solutions in infrastructure worldwide. And they’ve played that role for over 50 years now, but especially with respect to kind of the install base of Intel-based infrastructure and the opportunity we have to deliver on emerging needs.

And so of course it’s providing the communications and the cloud backbone, robotics that are being used in China and other locations to transport supplies, whether it’s Intel and Medtronic partnering together for improving the capability of ventilators with remote management, whether it’s an increase in capacity for cloud computing and networking.

These are all different things that we’re hearing from our customers, in terms of areas that they need us to partner with them in order to weather this pandemic together.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, and Intel has been instrumental in a few ways. As an outside analyst, I try to objectively look at the industry, and from the get-go, I was very impressed with the response. I take a walk down memory lane, but I was ready to go to Mobile World Congress, as were many, and-

Jeni Panhorst: As we all were, yeah.

Daniel Newman: … that was sort of the pivotal moment where this went from sort of like a, okay, this might become a little bit inconvenient over in China. There’s something going on. It-

Jeni Panhorst: To, wow, this is serious.

Daniel Newman: … may hit us over here. But you know what? Life goes on, right? That got canceled, then there was events, then things started shutting down here. And then, the first wave was companies were like, “We’re not going to have some of our live events, but we’re just going to take them online.”

And then, all of a sudden, it was like, holy crow, this thing’s hitting the States in a big way. This is going to be a global issue and we need to change our business model. We need to focus on our critical roles in the industries that we serve, and that could be whether it was the 50 million pandemic response that Intel took, the additional 10 million in donations in its community.

And even when Bob Swan wrote his initial open letter, he talked about the company’s role as a critical business during this time. Now, the tech industry was maybe not naturally seen, Jeni, as a global critical business, believe it or not, because it wasn’t healthcare, wasn’t food-
Jeni Panhorst: It’s not considered to be frontlines, right? But it does provide that backbone, and-

Daniel Newman: But yeah, so-

Jeni Panhorst: … I think that’s what’s crucial, yeah.

Daniel Newman: And that’s exactly right. And that’s what Bob really helped me realize, among with many others, that whether it’s the laptops that our students are going to learn on, they need chips, whether it’s the service provider networks that are expanding to support LTE and 5G, there is Intel technology and other key tech technology that isn’t just coming from your traditional service providers or even your traditional radio.

This has all moved to software, and this has moved to software and hardware in a sense of modernized architecture and compute. And that means companies like Intel need factories running, need front offices operating, need engineers designing, need all the capabilities and things from quantum to AI to data center that your company is involved with to be contributing, because that’s what’s going to get us to an answer.

And so the tech community, from Intel and from… The whole thing, really, I think I can applaud as an industry analyst. The whole community has shown tremendous solidarity, Jeni, whether it’s been donations, resources, people, financial programs that are being offered to help companies get back on their feet, people’s time, going out into the communities, taking risk. I have to say, I’m really impressed. And of course, Intel has been, really, one of those impressive companies.

Jeni Panhorst: Right, yeah. I mean, really, just in terms of what our traditional business model is, being that backbone and kind of keeping the engine running for so much of this innovation, whether it’s just dealing with the changes in the way that we work, being able to support the enterprise capacity, the communications capacity that’s required for people as they pivot their work from offices to homes, and also to support, like you said, a lot of that next generation innovation, but also pivoting the way in which we deliver value, right?

Example we see in another industry, right, in the textile industry, is this idea that factories are being retooled in order to produce masks and PPE, and so Intel’s looking at opportunities to do that as well. In fact, just last week, there was an announcement about opening up our IP portfolio in order to contribute to share an innovation that could be used in fighting the pandemic as well.

So the reality is, is that even a more varied set of assets than perhaps they might use in a normal course of business, that now, we’re finding new ways to contribute and combat this together.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, it’s been very impressive. So it’s a topic that you spend a lot of time on, but I want to keep moving here because I know that as we are kind of getting to a new normal, a more normal, as businesses do start to open up again, as the globe, across the globe…
I’m a big soccer fan, Jeni, and I heard the Bundesliga’s actually going to start playing games again mid-May-

Jeni Panhorst: Oh, wow. Okay, I hadn’t heard that.

Daniel Newman: … at the stadium, from what I understand, so we’re going to be-

Jeni Panhorst: Different dynamic.

Daniel Newman: I said, “You don’t know how much I miss sports right now. I really miss the…” I could sit at home all day if I could just get a game, but I can only watch so many replays.

But as things start to get to new normal, two of the areas you’re very focused on, 5G and edge innovation, are going to be critical. Talk to me a little bit about sort of what you’re seeing. What are the sort of the macro trends that you’re seeing for 5G and edge innovation?

Jeni Panhorst: Yeah. This is an area, networking, network infrastructure and network transformation, that Intel has been focused on for quite some time, well over a decade. And we spent a lot of time back a decade ago talking to network operators and understanding the challenges that they were facing.

But if you think back 10 years ago, we were right on the kind of precipice of the smartphone revolution, right? We’d just kind of gone through a large part of the internet revolution and were now on the precipice of the smartphone revolution, which really became, without kind of realizing it, the original advent of those devices. It was a creation of a whole new ecosystem for innovation of apps and services that now, we couldn’t imagine without.

But it required transformation, not only in those new ecosystems that were created, but in the infrastructure itself. And so you saw this need for, not just greater capacity, but also greater flexibility of the network infrastructure that supported and connected all of those devices and made all those different use cases possible.

And so Intel was a key influencer and participant in that as we worked with network operators, as we worked with those who are effectively the supply chain to that ecosystem, whether it’s telecom equipment manufacturers, other hardware manufacturers, software innovators, system integrators, really driving partnerships across the value chain in order to arrive at a network infrastructure that, today, is really… has a lot of that flexibility and agility built into it and is going to form the foundation for what is coming next in 5G and in edge.

And when you look at, really, a lot of these things that we talk about with respect to edge computing, it’s all about bringing computing capacity closer to where data is generated. And so that means moving that compute capacity out of perhaps all residing within cloud data centers, and moving some of it or increasing the amount of capacity closer to the devices, closer to the users and closer to where that data is coming from.

And that enables a ton of innovation, right? That enables, now, the ability to process that data much closer to where it’s brought into the overall system, drive down decision latency, drive up time to… drive up a value of insights that are generated, and it becomes just like the smartphone revolution was about a decade ago, right, where we couldn’t have even ideated the use cases that were going to be created.

We’re there today right now, where we can identify the first use cases for edge computing that are already taking hold today. But really, I think the most exciting part about this revolution is the fact that we’re creating a platform now for innovation, that we’re going to look back 10 years from now and not really having been able to dream up all of the use cases that will be created on this new set of platforms.

So tremendous amount of foundation has already been built up through virtualization of the network, cloudification of the network, and it’s going to form a really, really good bedrock for that next wave of 5G and edge innovation as well.

Daniel Newman: We did some research actually, a year or so ago, with Intel, and around hardware to software. And we basically found out that overwhelmingly, this next generation of networks will unquestionably be virtualized. They will be designed and built to look and feel much like the cloud. It is the cloud. It’s the cloud outside of the…

Jeni Panhorst: Distributed a bit more. Yep, exactly.

Daniel Newman: So for those people that have a hard time envisioning it, don’t look up, because that’s not where the cloud is either.

But realistically, we’ve determined with software defined virtualization, a lot more can be done in less time. Workloads can be scaled, data can move more seamlessly, services can be spun up, real-time applications for things like edge and IoT, in retail, even in smart cities and government. I mean, think about what’s going on with COVID right now. Look at how AI technology could be used to use an infrared video sensor to detect someone who’s got an elevated body temperature.

It’s like maybe that’s just one application that a lot of people are starting to wrap their arms around. But look, if everybody wants to get back to normal, whatever normal is, or get to this new normal, the fastest way we’re going to get there is leveraging technology. Whether that’s tracing technology, which again, would be powered heavily at the edge because you would need all those edge systems to be pinging devices and then anonymizing most of the data, hopefully.

Because I say that. I say, “If it’s anonymized, it’s really not even new. We’ve all been getting our data anonymized all this time.” So obviously, if you are the person who has significant symptoms, that’s where that anonymity would have to be broken so they could actually get you quarantined.

But I was just thinking about the application. I’m like, “Well, if people could get on board with this and we could move quickly, these are the paths.” So going to your point, this is all going to be capable, high power, rapidly scalable, modify new service deployments in a short order, and old networks would never do that, right? I mean-

Jeni Panhorst: Yeah, if you look at historical networks, it really… You’ve got a common requirement for networks around the world, is that there’s an expectation that when you make a call, that call’s going to go through and it’s not going to drop.

And likewise, we’ve come to expect that level of reliability from the data transactions that we drive on our devices and all of our different computing equipment. And so that need for the network to be reliable is definitely there, and that’s something that telecommunications networks have done very well for a long period of time.

But what you’re talking about is more agility and more flexibility, and so that level of programmability is made possible now because of the high degree of virtualization you talked about, significant use of server-based networking technology that is available, that because you’re using general purpose computing technology, you now have an ability to do more and more computing closer to the data, you’ve got an ability to add AI and machine learning enabled services much closer to where those devices exist, and you have an ability to innovate all these use cases. You talked about a couple. Smart cities and various surveillance types of use cases.

Just look at something like telemedicine, right? This is an area that’s been kind of in its nascency for a while or kind of limited deployments of that capability, and now it’s happening every day, I think.

I know dozens of people already who just, in the course of the past two months or so, have participated in telemedicine to some degree, even if it’s something just as perhaps basic as we would consider right now, is a Zoom call with their doctor. We’re going to see a far greater acceleration, I believe, of use cases like that.

I talked about factory reconfiguration, right? Being able to build more and more into industrial automation. That’s enabled by private wireless networks in a factory or aggregation of insights coming from multiple different factory locations, the ability to reconfigure that equipment to deal with changing demand and maybe needing to be able to produce different types of supplies and different types of goods.

And so this is where it’s interesting, these types of inflection points that we experience in our world. And of course, none of us would have ever wished what is happening to the world right now. But our task now, our mission now, is to come out on the other side of it with a better outcome. And Intel’s job, Intel’s goal, is to be that technology innovation platform to enable that to occur.

Daniel Newman: I think a lot of what you said resonates. I did my first Teladoc, and I’m a total tech geek and I just never thought to do it. And it’s funny, I came back. I mentioned Mobile World. Well, I didn’t go to Mobile World, but I ended up having some appointments. I’d already booked a flight and it was non-refundable. This was before you knew if you could…

So I actually went over to Europe and had a few meetings and flew back. And I came back, and I don’t think I had COVID. I guess I’ll have to take the antibody test, but I came back and I was pretty sick. I had a horrible, just… It was, like I said, none of the other symptoms, so maybe I was one of those asymptomatic ones. I don’t even know.

But point is, is I had, I thought it was a sinus infection. I think it was a sinus infection. I don’t want to go to a doctor’s office right now. I don’t want to go anywhere.

Jeni Panhorst: Right now. Yeah, exactly. Don’t want to increase the risk.

Daniel Newman: So I used a Teladoc service and it was awesome. I think in the future, you’re going to see scale of those kinds of applications, and you’re going to see instantaneousness, and you’re going to want to be able to do it on your mobile device, and you’re going to want to be able to get face-to-face.

And you’re going to need to do it securely and it’s going to need to be in an application that meets all the compliance of HIPAA and all that stuff that pliers that software edge to be able to deal with everything from encryption of data in all different stages at rest, in flight, and everywhere in between.

Just to being able to quickly be able to isolate where you are, get you connected to the right person, right place, right time, because the idea of that kind of service should be to provide serviceability around the clock because we have a global economy, not a local economy. Otherwise, just go see your local doctor. But those are some great points.

So talk to me a little bit about Intel’s specific role. I mentioned MWC a few times. I think some of what you’re going to tell me about would be maybe stuff we would have heard about, but that kind of got delayed in the wake of COVID-19. But talk a little bit about Intel’s specific role in sort of enabling this next generation of 5G edge.

Jeni Panhorst: Yeah. MWC didn’t happen physically, but of course, we’ve had a lot of conversations that have resulted even without that event, including some pretty pivotal product launches for 5G network infrastructure. And I think we’ll still look back and 2020 will be an important year for 5G, for the rollout and ramping of new 5G-enabled capacity.

And 5G, you really can look at it as an end-to-end opportunity. I think we like to think a lot about the smartphone in our hands and whether it’s got a 5G icon on it connecting to a 5G radio access network. But really, 5G needs to be enabled in the radio access network. It needs to be enabled in the core networks as well. And there are implications on network capacity and flexibility really, end-to-end, across the infrastructure.

And so we had some exciting announcements with our Intel Xeon processors, but also a really exciting announcement of the Intel Atom P5900 product. This is a system on a chip, specifically focused in the radio access network. It is our first Intel architecture processor focused on base stations.

Basically, the base station sits at the base of a cell tower and is providing critical transport packet processing capabilities to connect your device, your 5G-enabled device, back to the rest of the network.

It was a critical product for us, where we’re already seeing significant partnerships with customers and building next generation 5G base stations based on this product, as well as a set of products across our portfolio, including our FPGA products, our ASIC products and our Intel Ethernet controllers, in order to have a complete solution that delivers on the needs of 5G processing.

And when you look at… the rollout of 5G over the course of the next couple years, there’s over 6 million base station deployments forecasted through 2024, and so this is definitely an opportune time to focus on partnering across the industry to ensure that they can actually deliver on the needs of these next generation networks.

And so we’re super excited to bring this product to the markets. It’s not only the power of Intel architecture, but also, we were able to integrate conductivity technology, specialized acceleration technology focused on network communications and security.

And technologies like our QuickAssist Technology increased our secure network communication performance over five X the other equivalent implementations, and 3.7 X more performance for packet processing with some of our acceleration technology, including our new Dynamic Load Balancer technology.

So it was really, for us, about creating… a portfolio of products that span what’s needed, not only at those base station locations in the new 5G radio access network, but also connecting those to the innovations that we’re driving in the core networks with our Xeon processor portfolio as well.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s interesting because it’s a little outside of maybe Intel’s normal, in the sense of building something that’s rugged-ized, that’s designed to be able to be in a physical, outdoor base station, not really the calm comfort of a data center or even a small edge data center inside of a PC or a phone.

I mean, these environments are a little different than the environments that typically are being worked in and out of. And this showed sort of the adaptability of Intel to sort of build something that really is scalable and serves the needs of those service providers that are going out and building these networks, because that’s what a lot of people don’t realize. This infrastructure doesn’t just happen on its own. You don’t flip a switch and have 5G. There is a ton of construction. It’s like a skyscraper for the world.

And also, that you were able to take some of your existing edge platform with Atom and build something that’s really capable of handling the throughput and latency requirements that people are going to need when using devices. And just ask anyone that wants to watch their favorite Netflix show, Tiger King or Ozark, that doesn’t want to see those long skips and delays. And I mean, that’s a microcosm of the reality of what the edge is for.

But I think it is the example of whether it’s a workload that you’re trying to do from running applications at the edge, that a retailer is tracking people’s whereabouts and habits and data in their store. Non-real time is non-really valuable, so the more valuable it is, is the closer that data becomes to the actual moment. That’s when companies are able to get the biggest return on data, and that’s what Intel’s doing.

So I got time for maybe one more topic with you. I’d love to have you kind of hit on the ecosystem for me a little bit because Intel, like I said, is building these. I remember I read about you envision having market-leading market share, kind of the Intel way, with this product in the next couple of years.

But this isn’t something that’s done by yourselves. This isn’t something Intel just decides. Intel has to go to the ecosystem, and that’s the comm service providers, the cloud service providers, the over-the-top technology providers that are going to basically be those that dictate whether or not these products take off.

So talk a little bit about what’s going on in the ecosystem that makes you feel so confident in this taking off.

Jeni Panhorst: Yeah. Just because of where Intel naturally sits in the value chain, we are a convener of ecosystems, that’s for sure. We are very heavily dependent upon those partnerships that we have across the entire value chain, whether it’s the equipment manufacturers, the software vendors, the system integrators, and then of course, those operators and end users who are deploying and using the technology.

And so everything that we do is with the ecosystem in mind, and with a strategy around ensuring that the ecosystem is there to be able to support and consume these next generation technologies. And so yes, it is about us building a diversity of products. You talked about a diversity of use cases. There’s a diversity of locations, cross network infrastructure, that need to be populated with these next generation silicon solutions.

But that has to be coupled with the right software innovation and the right system level innovation, in order to actually make it possible to support these next generation use cases.

So as we looked at some of the problems that… had started to kind of emerge as interesting business opportunities in edge computing, whether it’s edge computing that exists in an operator network at the, kind of what we call the network edge, or whether it’s in the on-premise edge in more of an enterprise environment across a number of different vertical industries, what we found was that there definitely was a need to offer greater visibility and programmability into underlying network infrastructure, but not every edge application developer really has network expertise, or really, frankly, needs to have network expertise.

They just need to know that they can get what they need from the network in a way that meets the needs of their particular use case. So I can go back to, say, an industrial automation type of use case that I was talking about before.

You mentioned real time, right? If a use case is going to demand real-time characteristics, then the network needs to be there to support that, but an industrial application developer may not be an expert in private wireless networks.

So one of the things that we’ve created as a way to foster innovation in the ecosystem is a software toolkit called OpenNESS, and it’s available in Open Source right now. You can go to openness.org. And really, what the purpose of OpenNESS is, is to abstract the complexity out of the network to developers of edge applications. Which really, at the end of the day, our cloud developers, they used to cloud computing paradigms, but they still want to make sure they know that they can get what they need out of the network.

But it also provides lifecycle management, onboarding management of applications, to land on top of an edge platform. And so as they’re landing their applications, they’re getting some visibility into the network and they’re able to guarantee some critical network capabilities, whether it’s access termination, traffic steering, support multi-tenant environments, support cloud-native environments.

And so the goal here then is to also build on top of consistent industry standard ways of approaching cloud-native architectures, like Kubernetes-based environments. And so that’s really what our mission for OpenNESS is, is to provide that combination of abstraction and visibility into the network, while providing a place for those next generation cloud-native edge applications to land.

And so we’re partnering across the industry to integrate OpenNESS, microservices and other capabilities into edge-based solutions. We’ve got couple great examples of early trials and deployments that are leveraging OpenNESS and other capabilities from Intel, that are critical for, again, providing that platform for innovation to invent these edge use cases of tomorrow.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, absolutely. OpenNESS is very interesting, in terms of its abstraction layer, and we all know Open Source is where it’s going. Just like the cloud in general, it’s not to say that people won’t be migrating at their own pace, but every enterprise has their own situation of what can be done open-source, what still needs to be handled on prime.

But we are seeing Open Source being sort of that… That’s allowing companies that want to take legacy technical debt, and move it and migrate it into a way that’s more malleable for the future. And so building frameworks like that are certainly what… And framework’s a fair way of kind of defining OpenNESS, right? It’s-

Jeni Panhorst: Toolkit as well. It’s a-

Daniel Newman: … a toolkit, it’s a framework.

Jeni Panhorst: … collection of microservices to provide those kinds of capabilities that I was talking about before.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, the scale of companies’ migration towards a faster ecosystem, much like what companies are trying to do with cloud native for their data centers and workloads in the cloud and the traditional cloud, not the…

And that’s a funny thing, but Jeni, I think it’s really important to point out for the listeners is, so much of what’s happening at the edge is a mirror of what’s happening in the data center. It’s seeing the best practices, it’s realizing the flexibility and scalability and it’s actually… I’ve said this for a while. It gets met with different responses, but it’s like it is a micro version of the data center, or of the hyperscale cloud, being done all over the place.

But the thing is with the edge is, it’s going to be done, not tens of times or dozens of times, but in many cases, for many organizations, especially for service buyers, it might be thousands and thousands of times.

Jeni Panhorst: Hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of times, yeah. Which is interesting because while you can leverage a lot of the innovation that’s been done but that’s been driven through kind of some more of those hyperscale cloud data center deployments, it introduces a new layer of complexity around management of distributed infrastructure, right?

And the only way you’re going to realize all these different benefits that you were talking about before is through a highly, highly automated, managed type of environment, all the way from, say, a centralized cloud deployment, out to the edge of either the network or to those on-premise edge locations.

So there’s a lot of challenges that still need to be addressed in order to ensure that you’ve got that orchestration and automation of that infrastructure to deliver all of the promise of next-generation edge computing. But it’s definitely something that Intel’s invested in and our partners are investing in, in order to create that next wave of innovation.

Daniel Newman: Absolutely. The cloud and the edge are not mutually exclusive in almost any way. So great way to end the show. Jeni Panhorst, Intel, thank you so much for joining me today on the Futurum Tech Podcast interview series.

Jeni Panhorst: Absolutely. Thanks, Daniel.

Daniel Newman: For everyone out there, go ahead and click on that subscribe button. Join me for future episodes here at Futurum Tech Podcast. Join our team. We do have our regular weekly show, the Futurum Tech Podcast, where we cover the biggest news and biggest faux pas and the most exciting things that are happening in the tech space.

Also, if you want to learn more about what Intel’s doing in 5G and edge innovation, hit the show notes. There are some links in there with some great information where you can learn more about it.

But for this show, for this episode, I got to say goodbye now. But everybody, stay home, stay safe. Hopefully, we’ll be back to life in some normalcy or hopefully, it’s so far in the future that we are back to normal and you’re listening back to this. But for now, I got to go. We’ll see you later. Bye, bye.

Disclaimer: The Futurum Tech Podcast is for information and entertainment purposes only. Over the course of this podcast, we may talk about companies that are publicly traded and we may even reference that fact and their equity share price, but please do not take anything that we say as a recommendation about what you should do with your investment dollars. We are not investment advisors and we do not ask that you treat us as such. 

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