This interview with Haseeb Budhani, CEO and Co-Founder of Rafay Systems, was conducted by the Edge AI Summit in advance of their December 11, 2018 conference in San Francisco.
At the Edge AI Summit next month, you will be presenting a presentation titled ‘What is an Edge and what does it look like?’ – could you provide a preview of what we are to expect?
In addition to describing the edges that we deploy for Rafay’s Programmable Edge Network, I’ll be sharing some really interesting learnings based on Rafay’s initial customer experiences. There are a lot of ‘not so obvious’ aspects that we have encountered. For example, how will you securely deploy an application image to every edge in your network and run them as needed? Or, how will you remotely manage a large number of compute clusters, assuming each edge is some container specific environment? Many customers may not have the deep pockets, resources or time to work through these issues. But with Rafay, developers can deploy their microservices based applications close to user and endpoints in just a matter of minutes without building an in-house platform or developing any specialized compute distribution capabilities.
Machine learning at the edge is all about scalability. What are some of the barriers to scaling and how might we overcome them?
The biggest impediment to scaling the edge is “scale” itself. Building a global network of edges is hard. To bring up hundreds or thousands of worldwide edge locations is not just a real estate problem, but a software infrastructure and management problem that is not simply addressed by throwing bodies and money at the problem. Recognizing this, Rafay took the approach of creating an eco-system of edge partners around the world. We have partnered with a number of service providers and CDNs who partner us to provide the hardware infrastructure for which we deploy our programmable edge platform in hundreds (and soon thousands) of locations. We think this makes tremendous sense as no one vendor has the deep pockets to deploy hyper-converged infrastructure in thousands of locations.
What are you looking forward to most at the Edge AI Summit in December?
I’m especially looking forward to meeting attendees to learn about their applications, as well as speaking with other vendors and seeing their product demonstrations. Customers who attend shows like the Edge AI Summit tend to be really smart and on the cutting edge. So, while I’m sure many will be interested in what Rafay is developing, we are equally interested to understand what others are doing and thinking.