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Scalability, flexibility and cost-effectiveness have solidified cloud computing as a platform of choice for both application development and delivery. However, much of the data generated by end-users and connected devices may never reach the cloud due to privacy requirements, latency constraints, and the high cost associated with pushing large amounts of data to the cloud.  IoT applications benefit from access to ‘local cloud services’ operating within close proximity to the connected By analyzing telemetry data at the cloud edge, latency is minimized for time-critical applications, ‘sensitive’ information is protected locally, and less data need be pushed to the cloud.

Interface Masters Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) Hardware Solutions

Interface Masters designed and manufactures many of the network edge appliances used in the North American banking systems.  Our United States designed and manufactured hardware includes integrated Trusted Platform Module (TPM) which enables the authentication of a device within a network.  Once the hardware is configured for TPM support – the device automatically ‘reaches out’ for authentication.  Once authenticated the hardware can then receive configuration and operate in it’s secure/authenticated network environment.

Interface Masters edge network edge appliances process data adjacent to where it is generated and used. This enables the network to deliver the ultra-low latency required by business-critical applications and to support interactive user experiences in busy venues. By processing data locally - MEC applications significantly reduce the quantity of data pushed to the cloud and thus significantly reduce the associated cloud storage and processing cost.

Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) alters 5G mobile communication networks into distributed cloud computing platforms that operate at the mobile access network edge. Located near both end-users and connected devices, MEC enables mobile operators to open their networks to new, differentiated services while providing application developers and content providers access to Edge Cloud benefits.

Crucial to the operation of MEC is support for the European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ETSI)  MEC Industry Specification Group (ISG) set of standardized APIs and Services for MEC. The standard is backed by a wide range of participants from leading mobile operators and leading computing industry vendors.

Use Cases

Interface Masters MEC hardware enables the deployment of services within the mobile networks to improve user experience and provides a capability that enables operators to better handle latency-sensitive services. To improve network efficiency, it helps adapt service delivery according to the load on edge networks and minimizes long distance transport requirements using local content caching and Internet breakout. There are a range of services that can profit from deployment in the distributed cloud close to customers and edge devices. For example, applications can adjust content delivery in real time to ensure a consistent UX (User eXperience). Some of the leading use cases are discussed in this section.

The Gartner group projects that by 2020 video will exceed 70 percent of all internet traffic. One of the top projected MEC use cases is providing bandwidth direction data to video servers. Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) networking may not be able to adapt fast enough to rapidly varying mobile network conditions, leading to a substandard user experience. In this use case, MEC technology can inform the video server of the ideal bit rate to use given the network conditions for a particular video stream or user.

Major public sites, such as stadiums, where local services are important, are also an important use case for MEC. In this case, video developed at a sports event or concert is made available to on-site customers from a MEC server located on the site location. This video content is locally stored, processed and streamed directly to users at the event without requiring backhaul to the centralized core mobile network.

In major enterprises, there is also the desire to process user requests locally rather than backhaul traffic to the centralized mobile core and only to send it back again. This could be for services as simple as access to a 4K corporate training video or more advanced services, such as security policy, location tracking and asset tracking services that can run as applications on local MEC servers.

This use case is associated with the deployment of enterprise small cell networks because organizations that would make use of MEC on-premises would also typically have dedicated “private” mobile networks deployed by an operator. This same operator may also provide enterprise virtual private network (VPN) services. An interesting deployment option is to run the MEC platform and services on the same customer premises equipment (CPE) device used to deliver the VPN and associated services.

MEC can also be used to process and aggregate traffic generated by IoT services before they reach the core mobile network. This will be important for scalability as the number of IoT increase, can increase the life of the IoT device and improve the business case for the service.

Interface Masters Technologies: Enabling MEC Performance and Innovation

Interface Masters Technologies is an innovator with an extensive portfolio of embedded appliances for telecom as well as enterprise edge data center deployments.  Interface Masters embedded networking appliance offerings can reduce power consumption, complexity and cost. These solutions enable telecom edge networks to be architected with simple, low-cost, low-power desktop or rack-mounted configurations which provide a building block for supporting the broad range networking features at 1/10/40/100GbE port speeds. Interface Masters appliances provide the flexibility, power, efficiency, and cost savings that are essential for success in today’s challenging telecom market, making them ideal for a range of MEC applications.

Interface Masters Technologies has for over 20 years been providing off-the-shelf innovative network security solutions with customization services to OEMs, Fortune 100 and startup companies. Our headquarters are located in San Jose, California in the heart of Silicon Valley where we are proud to design and manufacture all of our products.  Based on MIPS, ARM, PowerPC and x86 processors, Interface Masters appliance models enable OEMs to significantly reduce time-to-market with reliable, pre-tested and pre-integrated networking solutions that can meet the most challenging security requirements.