Telstra Purple to offer Azure-based Branch Offload edge compute as managed service

Edge compute solution gives the flexibility of public but allows it to be closer to where applications run, Telstra has said.

Telstra has spent much of 2021 working with Microsoft and Ericsson on its Branch Offload managed service that will be offered to businesses akin to IaaS.

Branch Offload will use Azure Stack Edge, be capable of using 5G and fixed line connectivity, and arrive with SD-WAN and service orchestration capability. The service is expected to be rolled out before the end of the 2022 fiscal year.

Head of Telstra Purple Chris Smith said the solution gives the flexibility of public, but allows it to be closer to where applications run.

"It's the performance of on-premises, without having to put anything on premise," he said.

Smith added that half of Purple customers were looking to the edge for cost benefits, and Branch Offload would allow for customers to increase resiliency by having real-time failover to an adjacent site or have workloads in multiple sites across Telstra's network.

"We think that over time applications will be rewritten so that a component of it runs in the cloud, there'll be a component written specifically to run at the edge, and it'll interwork together as well," Telstra executive of technology development and solutions Channa Seneviratne said.

Seneviratne said Telstra could easily deploy Edge Offload into its exchanges, but it would not do so without use cases and customers.

"We're not going to just deploy this willy-nilly," he said. "It's got to be somewhere where it makes sense."

Elsewhere on Wednesday, Telstra spoke about how it used AWS Snowball to help the AFL digitise its match library.

The telco said each match takes up 120GB of storage, and means over 1TB of data is created each week.

Telstra and AWS signed an edge computing agreement in January.

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