IoT, cloud, and edge computing technologies have been creating new opportunities for many in the last few years, and we are beginning to see the entire industries from finance to healthcare transform. Increased speeds in mobile connectivity are enabling more immersive, higher-speed experiences that are demanding, ultra-low latency, and call for real-time requirements, namely 5G. Microsoft (News - Alert) launches Azure Edge Zones allowing for Azure users to bring their applications to companies edge locations with a focus on enabling real-time, low-latency 5G applications and additionally, Private Edge Zones for those who choose to deploy private 5G/LTE (News - Alert) networks in combination with Azure Stack Edge.
North Carolina-based NetFoundry has announced a new embedded networking solution for Microsoft Azure Edge Zones. This new development simplifies IoT edge compute and private 5G for businesses and leads to a much more streamlined and satisfying experience for businesses.
As one of the leaders in "Zero Trust" networking, NetFoundry have enabled companies to leverage industrial IoT, video surveillance, and analytics. Now partnered with Microsoft, the solution enables businesses to easily integrate Azure Stack Edge into their network without the necessity for extra network gear; this alleviates the burden at edge sites that lack space and power. The NetFoundry solution, available for all applications, can be used to connect to a zero trust, high performance network immediately. The seamless incorporation of Microsoft's Azure Edge Zones enables application workloads to span edges and clouds with collective Azure experience, APIs, and security.
NetFoundry CEO and Founder Galeal Zino stated,"Application developers, solution providers, and businesses will leverage the low-latency compute and seamless experience of Azure Private Edge to remove the complexity from edge and IoT deployments. We are excited that Microsoft chose NetFoundry amongst this group of leading 5G, security, and networking providers to help enable this ecosystem".
"We look forward to leveraging low latency compute services from Microsoft Azure Stack Edge, NetFoundry and partners," stated Devi Malladi, CEO of EnLume. "we are excited to leverage Azure Edge Zones with embedded NetFoundry networking enabling us to meet our business goals for delivering 5G ready mobile point of sale (mPOS) applications, next-gen interactive customer success platforms, and Autonomous Vehicle solutions." Continued Devi.
"NetFoundry's addition to our Azure Edge Zones ecosystem is one of the ways we're ensuring businesses can build solutions with secure, private 5G between their devices and the edge while leveraging end-to-end secure and performant networking," said Yousef Khalidi, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Azure Networking, Microsoft Corp.
"Industry 4.0 type businesses will use Azure Edge Zones with private 5G and embedded NetFoundry networking to improve device power consumption, latency and security, stated Sree Sarva, Head of Products at NetFoundry. She continued, "we also see greenfield interest from sectors like manufacturing, warehouse automation, and connected supply chains because previous options did not meet their requirements for local connectivity and edge processing."
We had the chance to sit down with Galeal Zino to ask him a few questions about the new solution as well as asked him to share a few use cases.
In what Industry sectors will this solution have the most impact, and why?
These would be sectors that need to implement IoT and edge networking solutions such as video surveillance, asset management, and analytics. The improved performance and control of 5G are critical for them. With embedded NetFoundry, they eliminate the costs, time, and complexity of trying to securely connect the private 5G network to the rest of the world.
What would this mean in the context of manufacturing, warehousing, or retail?
The use of robotics and automated supply chains (leading to just in time manufacturing) is vital for warehousing and manufacturing. Many robotics use cases require the low-latency, high-performance capabilities of 5G. In retail, we have seen use cases such as inventory management (with video inferencing) and voice recognition systems. Often a blocker to these deployments is connecting the private 5G instance to a legacy corporate network. NetFoundry eliminates that blocker, providing embedded, direct, zero-trust networking to anywhere.
Are there industrial or healthcare use cases?
Asset management is critical in healthcare, and more advanced use cases for VR training for surgeons. Remote healthcare such as patient monitoring and telemedicine can be helped - for example, a private 5G kiosk type site which can provide basic healthcare services. Connected factories, fleets, ports, and cities are rapidly emerging - all of which can involve industrial IoT.
Is this solution sold via the channel, and how does this work?
Most NetFoundry sales are through cloud integrators, SIs, VARs, MSPs, distributors, and resellers. This will give them the ability to enable their customers to easily (one-click type experience) order the service and have it delivered via the cloud.
Which other partners are involved in the solution, and when will they be announced? Is NetFoundry unique in its offering to Microsoft?
Only one networking partner other than NetFoundry will be named for Azure Private Edge Zones (the solution NF enables), and Azure PEZ will only announce seven other partners total (other partners providing additional services like 5G backplane). MSFT will also announce Carrier Edge Zones with partners like AT&T (News - Alert) - those are cases where AT&T, etc. are hosting Azure instances in their private data centers.
Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.
Edited by Maurice Nagle