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Clockwise: Switch, FedEx and Dell Technologies are partnering on edge computing services. 

Dell Technologies, FedEx and data center company Switch said they will team up to create a network of multi-cloud edge computing sites.

The move is one of the first concrete efforts highlighting how edge computing sites will be housed in existing real estate assets. I noted the possibilities in January and it’s no surprise Dell Technologies is involved given CTO John Roese highlighted the connection between edge compute and real estate.

Edge computing, as well as 5G, will acquire a more distributed network with various points of presence. These points are likely to be housed in existing real estate. When Amazon Web Services and Verizon outlined plans to partner on 5G, cloud, and edge computing use cases, it became one more data point in how the technology is also about real estate. 

Dell, FedEx and Switch said they will develop “exascale multi-cloud edge infrastructure services.” The partnership, which will be focused on artificial intelligence, machine learning and 5G, combines the strength of each player. In short:

  • Switch will contribute its edge data centers;
  • Dell Technologies will provide its cloud infrastructure;
  • FedEx will provide hubs for edge computing throughout its network of sites.

The first edge computing hub will be build in Memphis, TN and expand from there.

As for the architecture, Switch will provide the Switch MOD 15, a Class 4 EDGE data center, and connect it to its four prime data center locations. Dell Technologies servers, hyperconverged infrastructure, storage and networking gear will be used along with managed services. FedEx will provide real estate and cover a portion of construction and infrastructure costs.

FedEx plans to be the first consumer of the edge computing services and use them for low latency compute for its locations and supply chain.

Roese said that the trio is looking to create a “local cloud-based environment” and FedEx CIO Rob Carter said the partnership enables it to innovate “at the intersection of physical and digital worlds.”

Should the Dell-FedEx-Switch partnership work out, you can expect similar alliances as companies that specialize in data centers, 5G and cloud partner with enterprises with multiple real estate locations such as mall operators and logistics firms.  



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