Private next-generation cellular networks deliver broader coverage and faster connection speeds than ever before. In fact, IDC forecasts that the private Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and 5G infrastructure market will reach $5.7 billion by 2024.1 This opens the door to advanced IoT capabilities in factories, retail locations, healthcare facilities, educational institutions, smart cities, and more.
The software-defined edge platform Intel® Smart Edge speeds up and simplifies private LTE and 5G network deployment. By using Intel Smart Edge to quickly collect and process data from previously untapped edge sources, all types of businesses can uncover new revenue assets and glean new insights.
What Is Intel Smart Edge Commercial Software?
This software uses private LTE and 5G network assets to deliver low-latency enterprise cloud services at the edge. With simplified application deployment, this commercial offering empowers all types of enterprise businesses to automate operations, create better user experiences, improve app responsiveness, and analyze data in real time.
See a platform overview and more information in Documentation.
Cloud-like Agility across Any Network
Intel Smart Edge commercial software can connect all on-premises devices and applications to local compute and storage over private LTE and 5G wireless networks. This turnkey software also enables and governs far cloud resources and public-carrier services.
The following figure shows a sample Intel Smart Edge commercial software solution for an industrial use case.
Key high-level benefits of the Intel Smart Edge commercial offering include:
- Secured operational environment
- Higher-performing compute and storage
- Ease of network deployment and use
- Faster application responses and lower latencies
A comprehensive edge compute solution comprises both software and world-class silicon. Intel Smart Edge provides complete application lifecycle services for the network edge. This enables ready-to-deploy applications as well as the zero-trust security in the unified Intel® architecture required to onboard devices and help protect resources from unauthorized access.
Through an extensive set of deployment and management tools, this software enables any enterprise to set up a private, on-site LTE network. Only identified devices associated with the factory have access to these facilities, thereby better ensuring performance and security. Local hosting of applications provides submillisecond access to compute and storage by authorized devices located within the premises.
To further enhance your edge capabilities, servers based on the Intel® Xeon® processor provide embedded technologies for operationalizing and securing the network and compute edge. As an example, Intel® Secure Device Onboard (Intel® SDO) ensures automated deployment of endpoint devices, enabling a chain of trust between these devices and other resources.
Faster Insights with Faster Connections
Because edge solutions must be responsive to be effective, ultrafast networking is a must-have. Standard wireless networks and traditional carrier services use a structured networking approach that can introduce latency, which has a negative impact on both the user experience and the pace of business. Network downtime is also a risk with consumer-grade wireless technologies. They don't provide the consistency nor the control necessary for an enterprise deployment.
However, carrier-class wireless technologies such as LTE and 5G are ideal for the edge. Through a comprehensive set of deployment and management tools, Intel Smart Edge commercial software enables IT staff to set up private LTE and 5G networks. (If LTE and 5G don't match your organization networking needs, use Citizens Broadband Radio Service [CBRS], which has different licensing requirements.)
Only identified devices associated with the factory have access to these private networks, thereby helping to ensure tight security. By hosting applications locally, organizations gain submillisecond access to on-premises compute and storage.
With a private high-speed network and Intel Smart Edge, enterprises can bring applications to market faster, provide real-time and custom services, deliver better user experiences, and act on insights from ever-growing amounts of data.
Keep Private Networks Private
Despite the many benefits that edge computing brings to industrial organizations, it has one potential downside: increasing the “attack surface,” which creates the need to make security a priority.
One way that Intel Smart Edge prioritizes security is with asymmetric cryptography and strict mutual authentication for control interfaces. This restricts software access to permitted users. It also uses policy-driven operation together with centrally controlled permissions to prohibit any illegitimate traffic flow between applications and devices.
When onboarding devices enabled by Intel Smart Edge software, Intel SDO lets IT staff set up endpoints to communicate securely with the Intel Smart Edge controller. This eliminates "man-in-the-middle" attacks. By creating a trust relationship between Intel Smart Edge commercial software and other IoT devices on the network, Intel SDO helps prevent malicious actors from hijacking devices in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
Another layer of protection comes from implementing Intel Smart Edge Software on servers based on the Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor. Intel® Software Guard Extensions create secure enclaves with the Intel Xeon processor, which can enhance application code and data security, offering stronger protection from disclosure or modification. Organizations can use this portfolio of Intel® technologies to implement a more secure, high-performance edge compute framework.
Security, Flexibility, and Innovation
Together with private LTE and 5G networks, Intel Smart Edge commercial software delivers speed, flexibility, and intelligence to the edge. Your organization can get reliable and speedy wireless connections between applications and devices, and IT and security teams can easily and more securely onboard and manage applications and network functions across any type of network. These advances could:
- Speed automation at factories and warehouses
- Enable communications in retail and healthcare facilities
- Empower advanced analytics in educational institutions, sports arenas, smart cities, and more