My latest podcast show focused on the power of digitisation & automation and the sheer excitement that transformation is causing among network engineers who are building an incredible infrastructure that is already enabling amazing things has just been published.
My featured guest for this topic is Dan Rodriguez, Vice President in Intel’s Data Centre Group and the General Manager of Intel’s Network Compute division. He’s a fellow who, as he puts it, is “accountable” to Intel for driving network transformation in collaboration with their partners. That covers everything from wireless networks to enterprise and it’s one of the fastest growing business units at Intel.
And it really is a collaboration with some of the world’s leading telecommunication service providers. As you know from my other shows, telcos are dead centre in the middle of digital transformation and now here we are talking about the same thing from the other side of the partnership. I loved hearing the similarities in the journey – it gives me enormous faith in the strength of the collaboration, because partnership is *everything* these days (can you say “open source”?).
Still, it’s easy to get swept up in the future of what a fully automated, cloud-based digital network will be able to accomplish and brush past the hard work it takes to get there. After all, in a lot of places, we’re still operating cell towers and physical, purpose-built networks. It’ll be a hybrid environment for some time to come.
But, as Dan says, the shift has happened. “The world does believe that this [software defined infrastructures] can be done, and it is already starting to roll out.” The market for virtualised network services is apparently growing at 20%, according to Dan.
What is Open Source Innovation
Intel, of course, are big drivers of open source and The Linux Foundation. One example out of numerous open source contributions is their Data Plan Development Kit that is designed to move data packets very fast on general purpose servers.
The larger plan is to enable customers to more easily transform and to lend strength to the industry wide digital transformation movement. Keep it as feasible as possible, keep costs down, and of course, bring speeds up.
As per usual, the excitement is greatest when it comes to edge computing. Yes, there are lots of glitzy applications for 5G but edge computing is where the power is.
Dan has this view of thousands upon thousands of customer premises and network central offices, each with their own edge computing operation leveraging the power of digitised networks to an infinite array of real time services. And then – what happens to that data? Do we pull through the key bits to the centre or do we bring the intelligence to the edge?
The answer (for now at least) is it depends on the requirements of the use case, but Dan had some great insights to share about the new generation of central offices jointly operated by Intel and it’s partners – have a listen to the podcast to hear the full story.
It was a little dizzying thinking across the incredible ecosystem that Intel brings to the table and how they leverage that both very broadly and very narrowly depending on industry, in both urban and rural spaces, at tiny and enormous scales.
I love that Intel is so much more than a CPU company (such a nostalgic term!), that they are so respected and have so much to offer the entire community.
My thanks to both Dan and Intel for bringing him on the show. I strongly recommend a full listen to our conversation and a side trip into these other descriptions of what Intel is doing in network computing.
- Tune into my full podcast featuring Dan Rodriguez
- 5G Infrastructure readiness
- Intel Social Hub: Modernising Communications Networks
- Intel, Nokia & Telia Industry 4.0 + 5G trial in Finland
- Intel Social Hub: Network Cloudification Requires a Village, not a Vacuum
- Intel Social Hub: 5G Mobile Core Transformation