Quantum ComputerSoftware

Dell predicts quantum, edge computing among top emerging tech trends

Dell Technologies’ (Dell) predictions f0r 2021 veer away from the familiar and focused more on technologies that are hardly given attention such as quantum and edge computing.

“There are technologies not talked about as much, but we think are as important — and maybe even more important than the obvious predictions such as artificial intelligence (AI),” said John Roese, global chief technology officer, Dell Technologies.

The buzz on quantum computing or technology has been going on for years but Roese said that while it is “absolutely real,” its viability for enterprise or commercial use is still many years away. However, the scale of quantum computing changing the world is undeniable.

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“As we look at quantum technology, what we now know is that it will emerge as an accelerant to conventional computing,” Roese said. “It is an end, not an order, which isn’t really obvious to everybody but to us (IT companies) it’s very clear now.”

In terms of customers on a global scale having to deal with quantum, Dell is helping them do this is to change their cryptography and to make sure that when a quantum computer of scale materializes, key management will not break.

“Last year, quantum computing was still a work-in-progress and most people had no access to it,” Roese said. “This year, we have enough quantum systems which are present in public clouds, industrial companies, and government labs. This will be the year that will enable broader software development ecosystems to experiment with quantum computing. This is the first year that a computer scientist with no prior access to quantum computing can go into a simulator and start to learn the language of quantum, several years before turning that into value.”

In the area of software development, Dell said the ecosystem will start to experiment with it and try to learn the programming languages. Roese is optimistic that even if mainstream use cases are not or will not be available yet, the fact the developers are able to work on it is already a good sign and something that the IT world needs to look forward to.

Edge

Telecommunications networks are aggressive in their 5G rollout which will now enable companies to leverage edge computing.

“In 2021, we will have true standalone 5G materialize and it will include advanced features. Enterprise use cases will dominate the technical landscape of 5G, for both public and private deployment models. The fundamental architecture of 5G will move away from the telco and shift to a cloud and IT architecture, which will be open and software-defined for the first time,” Roese said.

5G will allow hyper interconnectivity and will enable multi-cloud utilization that eventually leads to edge computing.

Edge architecture will evolve to discriminate between edge platforms (pools of shared capacity) and edge workloads (extensions of processing and data tasks).

“In 2021 and 2022, we will see the shift to building edge platforms that can run multiple edge experiences and software-defined services on them to solve the edge proliferation problem. Edge platforms will become major new areas of on-premise IT capacity delivered as both product and as-a-service,” he said.

Edge took off last year with companies like Google and Microsoft building their own edge. However, Roese said that the problem is, each of those edges, was an entirely self-contained ecosystem.

If companies wanted to deploy a particular vendor’s edge, they would need different or separate systems and infrastructures. It will then lead to independent siloed edges “which will be ridiculous if we’re talking about a store footprint or a factory footprint. You cannot have hundreds of infrastructures in there to accommodate your edge requirements.”

Dell is focused on building platforms that can run multiple edge workloads.

“We will see this shift to building edge platforms that can run multiple edge experiences as software-defined services,” Roese said. “That will solve this problem of edge proliferation making it agile and much more manageable. A much more effective and cost-effective architecture, and that will accelerate edge adoption.”

Roese also said that edge will start to be delivered both as platforms and extensions of cloud services more of the edge ecosystem will be delivered as a service.