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NTT annonce un concept de « Edge-computing » et un prototype de « plate-forme Web accélérée par le Edge » pour améliorer le temps de réponse des applications sur le cloud

TOKYO, 4 février 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT ; TSE : 9432, NYSE : NTT) a dévoilé le 4 février un concept de « Edge-computing » en mesure de réduire d'un facteur 100, au plus, le temps de réponse des applications sur le cloud et a fait la démonstration du premier résultat de ses recherches, le prototype de « plateforme Web accélérée par le Edge ». Les travaux de recherche et de développement qui ont permis d'aboutir à cette annonce ont été menés dans le cadre du plan stratégique « Renforcer l'innovation et la collaboration pour passer à l'étape supérieure » (*1) de la société et devraient ouvrir la voie à une nouvelle génération d'applications adaptées à une « vie professionnelle et privée intelligente ».

(Image ; figure 1 : http://prw.kyodonews.jp/opn/release/201402037996/)

Bien que les services sur le cloud et l'utilisation de ces services par des dispositifs tels que les smartphones se soient aujourd'hui généralisés, ils n'en butent pas moins contre des problèmes de manque d'évolutivité et de lenteur des temps de réponse du fait de leur dépendance vis-à-vis des seuls serveurs distants, des serveurs parfois situés très loin, de l'autre côté de l'océan, voire de la planète. Compte tenu de la vitesse de propagation finie de la lumière, il faut plusieurs centaines de millisecondes pour qu'une communication transite, par exemple, par l'océan Pacifique. Ces problèmes empêchent le déploiement à grande échelle des applications les plus prometteuses, pour ne citer que les systèmes de transport intelligents (STI) et les jeux qui exigent des délais de réponse en temps réel, et des services M2M qui vont faire peser sur les centres de données d'énormes volumes de flux de données.

La plate-forme d'edge-computing résout ces problèmes grâce à la simple installation de petits serveurs, appelés serveurs Edge ou périphériques, à proximité des utilisateurs et des dispositifs et au transfert, vers ces serveurs, d'une partie du volume de données traité par les serveurs centraux et/ou les appareils des utilisateurs. Cette plate-forme devrait présenter les avantages suivants :

  • Elle exécute des applications temps réel qui exigent des délais de réponse très courts sur des serveurs périphériques plus proches qui répondront à l'exigence stricte de traitement en temps réel. Elle réduit les délais de communication de plusieurs centaines de millisecondes à quelques millisecondes.
  • Elle limite le traitement des données régionales des applications big data/M2M, qui génèrent un vaste flux de données, aux serveurs périphériques et réduit la bande passante du réseau.
  • Elle fait basculer une partie du traitement exigeant des appareils des utilisateurs la réalisation de nombreux calculs vers les serveurs périphériques et rend l'exécution des applications moins dépendantes des capacités des dispositifs. Les applications s'exécutent plus rapidement et le confort d'utilisation s'en trouve amélioré.

La plate-forme d'edge computing permet, de ce fait, la mise en place d'applications nouvelles et intéressantes qui impliquent, pour certaines, des délais de réponse en temps réel et, pour d'autres, des échanges régionaux de big data/M2M.

(Image ; figure 2 : http://prw.kyodonews.jp/opn/release/201402037996/)

Au nombre des premières figurent les STI et la RA et au nombre des dernières les maisons/bâtiments intelligents et la gestion des villes.

(Image ; figure 3 : http://prw.kyodonews.jp/opn/release/201402037996/)

La diffusion de la plateforme d'edge computing nous permettra de renforcer notre collaboration avec nos partenaires TIC et vise à préparer le marché à de nouvelles applications.

Première société à donner corps au concept d'edge-computing, nous avons élaboré une « plateforme Web accélérée par le edge » (edge-accelerated Web platform ou EAWP) qui permet d'exécuter des applications Web sur des serveurs périphériques. L'EAWP offre un cadre pour l'exécution d'applications Web qui tire pleinement parti des fonctionnalités de l'edge computing. Cette plate-forme évite aux appareils des utilisateurs d'avoir à exécuter toute l'application Web en transférant une partie de la charge de travail aux serveurs périphériques situés à proximité des utilisateurs et des dispositifs. Dans un contexte d'essor rapide des applications Web et de leurs éditeurs, nous avons mis au point cette plateforme pour permettre aux éditeurs d'applications de Edge-computing d'élaborer des normes HTML grâce auxquelles ils pourront développer des applications hautement performantes.

Les caractéristiques clés de l'EAWP sont les suivantes

(Image ; figure 4 : http://prw.kyodonews.jp/opn/release/201402037996/)

  • L'exécution de processus Web lourds, comme l'appréciation et la restitution de contenus Web, sont répartis entre les serveurs périphériques et l'appareil de l'utilisateur. Cette répartition permet d'accélérer la vitesse d'exécution des applications Web dont les performances dépendent alors moins des capacités de l'appareil de l'utilisateur.
  • Les méthodes de transfert de données et de répartition sont optimisées en fonction de l'environnement de l'utilisateur : capacités de son appareil, accès à un réseau fixe ou mobile, etc. Le traitement d'objets, tels que sons et images, est ainsi attribué de manière dynamique aux appareils ou aux serveurs périphériques en fonction de l'environnement dans lequel se trouve l'utilisateur. La résolution et la fréquence de trame sont adaptées à l'environnement réseau.
  • L'EAWP offre un cadre pour l'exécution d'applications comparable à d'autres moteurs Web conformes aux normes HTML. Les applications Web existantes peuvent de ce fait être exécutées sur cette plate-forme Web basée sur la répartition des tâches sans avoir à être réécrites.

Afin de concrétiser notre vision, nous visons un développement commercial à compter de 2014 au Japon. Nous envisagerons par ailleurs de nouvelles applications et élargirons notre plateforme d'edge-computing. Parallèlement, nous créerons un marché de l'edge-computing à l'échelle mondiale en concluant des alliances avec des opérateurs de réseau, des fournisseurs de contenu, des entreprises spécialisées dans le cloud, etc.

Notre activité est présentée à l'adresse http://labolib3.aecl.ntt.co.jp/cec_en/index.html.

À propos de Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation :
Siège : Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Président-directeur général : Hiroo Unoura,

Contact :
Shigemi Mori
Service des relations publiques
NTT Science and Core Technology Laboratory Group
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone
Tél. : +81-46-240-5157
E-mail : a-info@lab.ntt.co.jp

 

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