Infrastructure and Security Challenges That Should Inform Your Multi-Cloud and Edge Strategy


With the 5G era commencing, each service provider must ensure that its infrastructure has the cloud-native, containerized, service-based architecture necessary to capitalize on the opportunities 5G presents. To outperform competitors, a service provider will need the right security, visibility, and control to protect its 5G network and customers, and to enable the adaptive applications that will underly the future of 5G. 

As service providers migrate to 5G, they must continuously transform to accommodate new innovations and opportunities. In preparing for 5G and edge computing deployments, it’s not possible to simply upgrade existing monolithic, appliance-based network architectures. You need to redesign your mobile network and IT architectures from the ground up, leveraging horizontal IT architectures.  

Cloud computing resources can now be deployed in distributed data centers at the edge of the network, providing a platform for modern applications and services. This opportunity has led service providers to embark on a digital transformation journey to implement a cloud-native infrastructure, allowing them to transition from their existing networks to hybrid, multi-cloud, and distributed networks that are designed for agility and that enable edge cloud services to run at tremendous scale. 

Figure 1: The convergence of telco, IT, and B2B systems creates differentiated business services in a hybrid, multi-cloud and distributed ecosystem.

The new technological infrastructure required for 5G is a result of the convergence of telco, IT and B2B systems. This creates transformative business services for industry verticals in a hybrid multi-cloud distributed ecosystem. 5G and edge computing are critical drivers for enterprise applications. The convergence of IT and telco cloud infrastructure enables telco cloud expansion into the enterprise edge. This combination of 5G, edge computing, and hybrid multi-cloud represents a new computing model capable of transforming a wide range of industries.

Technological advances always bring new security concerns. F5 commissioned Propeller Insights to conduct a survey amongst 400 CIOs, CTOs, enterprise architects, directors and vice presidents of IT and engineering, and DevOps professionals. Research was conducted throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Let’s examine some critical security challenges that threaten multi-cloud and edge deployments as service providers gear up to enable greater business agility with the convergence of telco, IT and B2B systems.




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70% of IT leaders think it’s very important to have a consistent operational experience between the edge and public and private clouds

Infrastructure and Security Challenges

Distributing workloads across multiple clouds has strong benefits. Respondents to this survey identified these key benefits:

63% — Maximizes availability and reliability

47% — Fulfills regulatory and compliance requirements

42% — Leverages best-of-breed services from each provider

However, there are still challenges to managing workloads across multiple providers. These were our respondents’ top three concerns:

60% — Secure and reliable connectivity between providers

54% — Different support and consulting processes

53% — Different platform services

of IT leaders plan to distribute workloads
across two or more clouds.


TIC 3.0 removes many former barriers to federal agency cloud adoption. It lets you adopt a more flexible approach to securing data and moving to the cloud.

Deploying Apps at the Edge: Challenges

While technology executives say deploying apps at the edge supports IoT (57%), manufacturing (52%), and content delivery (46%), business concerns and technical challenges are prominent issues.

Among our respondents:

  • 69% are worried about the difficulty of integrating cloud-native workflows like automation, CI/CD, and performance management
  • 67% expressed concern about trouble installing a full set of application infrastructure
  • 44% report difficulty in managing apps across multiple edge locations
  • 38% are concerned about an inability to accommodate the IT infrastructure needed to host and operate at the edge

5G Enterprise Opportunities Outweigh Challenges

The challenges highlighted by our survey respondents suggest that successful multi-cloud and edge 5G deployments will require a thorough and thoughtful digital transformation strategy. This strategy must incorporate lessons learned from telco, IT, and B2B, and include security throughout the architecture.