Edge Executive Interview: Dave Shacochis, VP, Lumen Technologies
In the lead up to Edge Computing World, we’re taking some time to speak to some of our Keynote Speakers. Today we’re talking to David Shacochis, Vice President and Field CTO for Enterprise Technology at Lumen.
CenturyLink recently launched as Lumen – congratulations! With this move, Lumen is making the 4th industrial revolution a major focus. What is the opportunity that you see?
At Lumen, we are guided by our belief that humanity is at its best when technology advances the way we live and work. With approximately 450,000 route miles of service-enabled fiber, customers in more than 60 countries, we deliver the fastest, most secure global platform for applications and data.
It’s becoming increasingly rare for our conversations about customer networks to not include an examination of their workloads and applications – both now and in the future. As we start to explore these topics with our customers, one topic comes up time and again – the convergence of information technology and operational technology across the built environment.
In many of these use cases, we see an increasing demand for computing capabilities at the edge of the network, where workloads can move closer to digital interactions between people, things and business models; and where latency, bandwidth and locality are critical considerations.
The combined power of the global public cloud with well-connected edge computing resources will help digital designers overcome past restrictions around latency, bandwidth, privacy and reliability.
What is the Lumen platform and what does it enable?
Our core Lumen Platform is built on a strong foundation of a world-class fiber network. The Lumen Platform extends this foundation with a flexible digital model:
- High Performance Dynamic Connections – able to reach hundreds of thousands of enterprise locations, multi-tenant data centers and public cloud gateways around the world;
- Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure – giving our customers choice across a range of execution venues that meet the latency and bandwidth needs of their business logic; and
- Service Orchestration – enabling us to deploy, manage and secure software workloads anywhere our network can reach.
With the Lumen platform, distributed edge applications can be deployed with single-digit latencies to hundreds of thousands of edge markets around the world.
We believe that when the entire world is a ‘motherboard’ for next-generation business applications, a service-enabled network becomes vital for making that system perform.
Why is edge computing such a significant element with the Lumen platform?
We’re excited about the edge-oriented workloads of the 4th Industrial Revolution because we see them inside our network every day:
- Acquiring data from thousands of network infrastructure elements
- Analyzing risk patterns and health metrics with a range of machine learning models
- Acting upon service endpoints in various data processing locations around the world
We’ve only scratched the surface of what distributed computing can do for digital businesses around the world – but it all comes down to how fast you spin this acquire-analyze-act cycle. With edge computing, you can:
- Acquire data from more devices and locations
- Analyze metrics for actionable insight in closer to real-time, and
- Act upon innovations in locations that were never before thought of as execution venues
For these reasons, we’re aligning the company against edge computing use cases that will work in tandem with a range of wireless and wireline networks to deliver solutions which build enterprise business value around exciting new applications like retail robotics, adaptive manufacturing, AI-fueled video analytics and low-latency transactions.
We are deploying more than 100 edge compute locations across the U.S., to enable a range of hybrid cloud solutions and managed services nearly anywhere our network can reach. This enables customers to advance their next-gen digital initiatives with technology that integrates with nearly any cloud-ready software development pipeline they might use to build high performance, low-latency workloads that extend from cloud service provider platforms to distributed edge locations.
How do you see edge computing and distributed architectures evolving with the 4th Industrial Revolution?
While many customers are still in the early days of digitizing their business and expanding the velocity of their acquire-analyze-act cycle, we’re already seeing customers starting to benefit from the ways the Lumen Platform moves workloads closer to digital interactions:
- Gaming industry companies dynamically scaling servers in regions where they see increased demand
- Financial services firms building low-latency trading networks which connect to sources of liquidity and counterparty transactions
- Transportation and logistics companies driving productivity out of their asset-intensive business models
- Smart venues and manufacturing facilities performing machine-learning and realtime analytics on production environments
What are you looking forward to most about your involvement in Edge Computing World?
We’re mostly excited to re-introduce ourselves to the market! Our name may be new, but our history is not. Lumen is already at work inside of some of the largest digital businesses in the world. Years of investment have been poured into our software-defined platform to help business leaders choose the right network locations, computing venues and management model for their applications.
We’re also excited to listen to other companies in the Edge Computing community share some of their next-generation use cases and deployment models. We’re looking for partnering opportunities for companies that know how to deliver value around asset-intensive or interaction-intensive digital interactions. As the edge computing landscape expands, history has shown us that a commitment to open and interoperable technology integration can lead to revolutionary things.
Edge compute is something that is now becoming very much a reality for many businesses. I think that the recent events of the pandemic have also showed us that technology adoption is critical for success now – not just in the future. It is really an exciting time to be part of this conversation on how we will continue to use edge compute technology.