AWS, Verizon aim to collaborate on 5G, cloud, edge computing use cases

For Verizon, the win with the AWS partnership is more enterprise 5G clients. AWS gets a network partner for edge computing services.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Amazon Web Services and Verizon are collaborating to bring 5G to edge computing in a service that aims to bring more machine learning to applications and cut latency.

At AWS re:Invent 2019, CEO Andy Jassy and Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg, outlined AWS Wavelength, a platform that aims to bring compute and storage to edge compute facilities. The idea is that AWS' army of developers and customers can bring applications and new use cases to 5G.

5G is seen as a big enabler to edge computing and bringing analytics to the last mile. There's also a real estate play in that infrastructure will increasingly move compute to more disparate areas. Edge computing is likely to decentralize a lot of what cloud centralized. Those moving parts make the AWS and Verizon partnership interesting. AWS can now leverage Verizon's knowhow in building networks in various areas.

Jassy said that "there has been a lot of hype and misunderstanding about 5G," but there's a lot that can be leveraged for enterprises. Vestberg walked through the promise of 5G and ability slice the network for individuals, applications and enterprises for things like the Internet of things, analytics and autonomous vehicles.

The idea is that less latency will solve data issues from device to city aggregation points and the cloud.

Under the partnership, Verizon and AWS will integrate Wavelength with 5G Edge so developers can begin testing applications on ultra-low latency networks. The plan is to connect 5G applications to AWS cloud services without the hops. The two companies will bring compute and storage closer to 5G users.

Deployments are planned in Chicago for select customers in 2020 with additional locations added throughout the year.


Jassy (left) and Vestberg (right) talk 5G. 

For Verizon, the win with the AWS partnership is more enterprise 5G clients. AWS gets a network partner for edge computing services. Verizon is an initial partner for AWS, but Jassy noted that the cloud provider would have an abstraction layer that would enable more telcos to participate. Vodaphone is a Europe partner and KDDI and SK Telecom are South Korea partners.


In other news desiged to help customers run workloads where they need them, AWS announced a new type of infrastructure deployment called AWS Local Zones. A Local Zone brings select AWS services very close to a particular geographic area. It's launching Tuesday with the first Local Zone in Los Angeles. 

"We solved for workloads in certain geogrphaies where your end users need single millisecond latency but you don't want to have datacenters," Jassy said. 

AWS says it will  be of particular interest to highly-demanding applications that are particularly sensitive to latency, such as media and entertainment, ad tech and electronic design automation. 

AWS also announced the general availability of AWS Outposts, which lets customers run AWS infrastructure on premise, "for a truly consistent hybrid experience," Jassy said. Announced last year, AWS Outposts lets you run workloads on premise with the same AWS APIs, control plane, hardware and tools that allow you to connect with all your other AWS applications."

Outposts comes in two variants: For those who want to use AWS's APIs and control plane, Native AWS Outpost is available today. For those who still want to use the VMware control plane, the VMware Cloud on AWS variant is coming in 2020. 

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