In yet another permutation of the edge, Dell Technologies, FedEx and Switch are pulling their collective resources to develop technology hubs across the U.S.
The three companies are focusing on bringing multi-cloud resources and exascale compute power closer to the edge where customers run their businesses. Putting data and applications at the edge enables low latency for services such as 5G, IoT, virtual reality and augmented reality.
Utilizing edge compute also means that data doesn't need to traverse networks back to other data centers. It also enables organizations to make real-time decisions by using technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and, eventually, 5G.
In order to better serve their enterprise customers, Lumen, AT&T, Verizon, Telstra, and Telefónica, among others, are in various stages of building out edge compute zones, or nodes, by working with cloud providers, such as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, and vendors, including IBM and Ericsson.
The partnership with Dell, FedEx and Switch is taking a different tack. The companies plan to build an unnamed number of technology hubs across the U.S. that are capable of supporting multiple cloud environments with Switch's edge data centers and Dell's cloud infrastructure.
The hubs will be located in strategic and secure FedEx facilities with the first already underway in Memphis, Tennessee. If real estate is truly all about "location, location, location," the FedEx facilities will give the three companies a foot in the door in prime spots across the U.S.
FedEx is moving data processing to the edge in order to support the automation and the technology required to move more than 16 million packages every day.
In addition to the real estate, FedEx will also provide a portion of the construction and infrastructure costs. As the first consumer of the edge services, FedEx will provide enterprise end-user technical expertise as the basis for end-state product offerings. These deployments will provide low latency access to high density compute from FedEx's locations.
In order to insure 100% uptime at edge, Switch will provide its Class 4 EDGE data center, the Switch MOD 15, which is interconnected with Switch’s four PRIME data center campus locations.
The data centers’ infrastructure will include Dell Technologies servers, hyperconverged infrastructure, storage and networking products. Dell will also deliver the cloud solutions and services to support operations.
“The increasing pace of business is creating a growing reliance on near real-time connectivity to data that resides on the edge,” said Dell's John Roese, global chief technology officer, in a statement. “In working with FedEx and Switch, we can create a more local cloud-based environment, offering customers faster access to their workloads and data for greater flexibility and speed.”