As enterprises seek greater productivity and efficiency, they are turning to transformation projects to deliver edge computing. As one of the hot trends in enterprise IT, edge computing brings the applications and computing power closer to the data. Gartner research shows that more than 50 per cent of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside of the data centre or cloud – i.e. at the edge, and IDC research shows that 40 per cent of organisations will leverage some degree of edge computing within their cloud deployments.
The reasons for the interest in edge computing are clear. As cited by VMware CEO, Pat Gelsinger, there are “three laws” to the cloud that need to be front-of-mind with any deployment:
- First is the law of physics, and the reality that data needs to travel when it exists in the cloud – if an application needs that data in real-time, how can the cloud effectively deliver it?
- Second law is that of economics, and the reality that bandwidth has a cost attached to it when operating in the cloud.
- Third law is “the law of the land” where governance issues, GDPR and other regulatory issues come into play with regards to where data is stored and how it travels.
Edge computing helps organisations work within these three laws to deliver better cost and performance outcomes, while maintaining transparency on where the data is being held and how it travels.
To enable edge computing, however, organisations need to first transition their environment and applications to the cloud. Unfortunately, it remains true that many transformation projects fail to deliver on the vision behind them. Zettagrid, as a VMware Principle Partner – Cloud Provider, is helping MSPs navigate successful transformation projects by structuring leading cloud environments and providing advanced tools to help make the transition of customers applications and processes to the cloud seamless and secure.
Understanding the challenges of the edge
For all the benefits of edge computing there are also challenges that organisations need to manage:
- Connectivity: Connecting edge computing applications to the network in an efficient and secure manner is a potentially complex project, particularly given that the end goal of such deployments is seamless and rapid access to data across the network.
- Management: An edge computing environment is a complex one to manage, and many organisations would prefer to have a trusted MSP look after the environment, rather than dedicate the kinds of resources required to self manage.
- Security: Edge computing does potentially increase the surface area that an organisation needs to secure. On the plus side it does tend to localise security threats, but it nonetheless requires a new look at the security environment.
And this is on top of the challenge of managing a complex environment that blends cloud solutions with the movement of data and processes to the edge.
Zettagrid Virtual Data Centre (VDC) has been developed to assist channel organisations in delivering the best of all worlds – transition their environments to the cloud, maintain best-in-breed, secure, and innovative solutions such as technology by VMware, while also simplifying the environment and helping end customers arrive at edge computing more quickly.
The Zettagrid VDC is a cloud-based virtualisation platform that helps partners build, manage, and supply groups of virtual services while avoiding networking and security challenges. It enables MSPs to deploy private, public, or hybrid cloud environments as appropriate to the environment, and gives them and their customers access to advanced features powered by VMware vCloud Director.
All of this can be managed through a simple Web portal, and provides simple, predictable, and scalable billing, with fixed monthly charges.
Assisting customers with transformation
Edge computing is one of the end goals of transformation within many enterprises, where the IT infrastructure is restructured to enable greater agility and levels of innovation. For many organisations it means taking traditional on-premises infrastructure and moving it to the more agile cloud environments, but this provides a host of challenges, including:
- Data sovereignty: Depending on where the cloud servers are hosted, there might be issues with data moving through offshore datacentres or hosted outside of Australia.
- Costs: The costs of bandwidth for moving data into cloud environments, and then interacting with it there, can be significant.
To help address these challenges, VMware has launched VMware Cloud Director App Launchpad. As a plug-in for VMware Cloud Director, App Launchpad allows organisations to deploy a full stack of applications to VMware Cloud Director without the need to manage the underlying infrastructure.
It is both self-service (meaning that IT resources are not required for app deployment), and does not require infrastructure knowledge for developers to begin working with apps. For channel partners, it allows them to shift to the higher value-adds, and move from being an IaaS provider to a full and comprehensive PaaS solutions provider by enabling them to shift their customer’s application environment to the cloud, manage it there, and subsequently deliver edge services for maximum agility and efficiency.
Introducing the Zettagrid channel program
Australian organisations also benefit from Zettagrid’s guarantee that their data will be kept within Australian borders, delivering the benefits of cloud, VMware Cloud Director and App Launchpad, and edge computing without any data sovereignty regulatory issues.
MSPs that wish to assist their customers in shifting to the cloud can leverage Zettagrid VDC to deliver 99.995 per cent designed durability, and 15-minute provision timeframes. Zettagrid also offers partners 24/7 support and capacity to scale resources up and down a self-service portal, partner discounts and the ability to provision custom-sized VMs, allowing partners to be as dynamic and nimble with their enterprise customers as they need to be.
Benefits to partnering with Zettagrid for channel organisations include:
- Lead generation programs for active partners.
- Better margins and incentives.
- The ability to provide meaningful value-add as Zettagrid does not deliver managed services, meaning that the partner can make the relationship with the customer their own.
- Technical support in real time, including access to active Slack channels.
- Fixed monthly billing, and Zettagrid bills you directly, allowing you to maintain the billing relationship with the customer yourself.
- More zones in Australia to facilitate edge cloud services across the country.
- Ongoing development and enhancements to the channel program – portal and billing automation services to release soon, and Zettagrid is constantly investing in improvements to the program based on partner feedback.