Edge Computing and Network Automation: Revolutionizing Affordable and Secure Networking Capabilities for SMEs

In today’s fast-paced digital world, businesses require an agile, secure, and flexible network infrastructure to harness the power of digital transformation. However, small and medium enterprises/businesses (SMEs/SMBs) with 5-250 employees often struggle to access these capabilities due to the high costs associated with traditional networking solutions. Fortunately, edge computing and network automation are emerging as innovative solutions that can offer affordable, intelligent, and secure networking capabilities to the SME/SMB segment. In this article, we will explore the potential of edge computing and network automation for SMEs/SMBs and how they can revolutionize their network infrastructure.

SASE and SSE: Understanding the Differences

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a comprehensive networking solution that combines network security and cloud-based WAN capabilities to deliver a unified, secure, and efficient network infrastructure. However, more recently, a new approach called Secure Service Edge (SSE) has emerged which separates the primary security capabilities of SASE from WAN capabilities. This decoupling enables SMEs/SMBs to access affordable and secure networking capabilities without investing heavily in WAN infrastructure.

Edge Computing: Lowering Latency, Increasing Benefits

Edge computing is an IT architectural shift that aims to reduce the overall latency of time-critical applications by processing data and services as close to the end-user as possible. Edge computing brings computing resources closer to the edge of the network, enabling faster processing, quicker response times, and real-time decision-making. While edge computing reduces latency, it also maximizes the benefits of cloud computing by leveraging the economies of scale and computing resourcing benefits of the cloud.

Edge Computing for SMEs: Affordable yet Secure Networking Capabilities

One of the most promising use cases of edge computing is its ability to offer SMEs/SMBs affordable yet secure networking capabilities. Edge computing combined with network automation can deliver cost-effective, application-aware networking services tailored to the specific needs of SMEs/SMBs. With edge computing, ISPs and cloud service providers (CSPs) can deliver services from a shared system deployed at the network’s edge point of presence (PoP), covering the entire fixed and/or mobile network footprint.

The Drawback of Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) Costs

While edge computing offers many benefits to SMEs/SMBs, the cost of customer premise equipment (CPE) remains a significant obstacle for businesses. CPE adds costs to the network infrastructure, making it less feasible for SMEs/SMBs on tight budgets. Therefore, it is essential to devise innovative solutions that minimize CPE costs while providing secure and affordable networking capabilities.

Edge computing and Internet/Cloud On-Ramp Services

Edge computing enables the delivery of internet and cloud on-ramp services that can significantly change the dynamics of network services for SMEs/SMBs. With an edge computing platform deployed at the network’s edge Point of Presence (PoP), ISPs and CSPs can offer SD-WAN services that cover the entire network footprint, driving down service costs for individual businesses. This shared system approach achieves the economies of scale required to offer affordable yet advanced networking capabilities to the SME market.

Delivering SD-WAN Service with Edge Computing from a Shared System

Intelligent integration between carriers’ networks and edge computing platforms deployed at the edge PoPs is key to delivering SD-WAN services to the SME/SMB segment. With this integration, SMEs/SMBs can benefit from cost-effective networking services that reduce overall network complexity and offer enhanced security features. Edge computing’s ability to deliver SD-WAN services from a shared system helps SMEs/SMBs benefit from advanced networking capabilities without making substantial investments in infrastructure.

Intelligent Integration between Carriers and Edge Computing Platforms for Network Automation

The intelligent integration between carriers’ networks and edge computing platforms can significantly improve network automation for SMEs/SMBs. Edge computing platforms will enable network automation features such as zero-touch provisioning, policy-driven automation, and centralized management, which will help SMEs/SMBs manage their networks more efficiently. The integration of edge computing and network automation will empower SMEs/SMBs with intelligent network management capabilities that will help them stay competitive in today’s market.

Lowering Costs Significantly with Edge Computing for SMEs

Edge computing can significantly reduce the costs associated with traditional networking solutions, making advanced networking capabilities accessible to SMEs/SMBs. With edge computing, functions such as Security as a Service, SD-WAN, and network automation can be efficiently delivered, reducing hardware, software, and infrastructure costs. An edge computing platform deployed at the network’s edge Point of Presence (PoP) can deliver advanced networking services to a large number of businesses, bringing down costs significantly.

The Significance of Edge Computing for SMEs: No Business Left Behind

The potential of edge computing for network services for SMEs/SMBs is significant, and its implementation can ensure that no business is left behind. With its ability to deliver affordable yet secure, application-aware networking capabilities, edge computing can help SMEs/SMBs compete with larger enterprises without breaking their budgets. Furthermore, edge computing’s ability to offer real-time decision-making, faster processing, and quicker response times can help SMEs/SMBs stay agile and nimble, even in the face of rapidly changing market dynamics.

Edge computing and network automation can deliver affordable, intelligent, and secure networking capabilities to SMEs/SMBs. With its ability to reduce latency, minimize costs, and improve network automation, edge computing is transforming networking infrastructure for SMEs/SMBs. By leveraging the shared system approach and intelligent integration between carriers’ networks and edge computing platforms, SMEs/SMBs can access advanced networking services that enhance their overall business performance. The potential of edge computing for SMEs/SMBs is immense, and its implementation is essential for SME/SMB growth and success in today’s digital landscape.

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