This is the third post in an interconnection-focused series written by Flexential VP of Network, Tim Parker. Read the first post, "Dodging Dire Consequences in the Age of DDoS Attacks,” and the second post, “Why Geography Over Technology is the Most Effective Way to Reduce Network Latency”.

Bringing Your Business and Content to the Edge

Our On-Demand Culture Has No Time for a Slow Network and the Edge is the Answer

The internet has seen incredible growth in content and streaming media, application-run businesses, and emerging Internet of Things (IoT) devices, all of which are hypersensitive to latency. Issues with latency can’t be solved with technology alone, but rather through geography. The most impactful solution is to push more of your business and content to the edge of the network by deploying into edge data center facilities.

An edge data center is more than just convenient space and power in the right city. It’s all about being connectivity rich, carrier dense, and providing service offerings close to customers within respective regions. It delivers critical business services to customers over low latency networks, coupled with solid connectivity options and a quality data center experience that allows businesses to take advantage of local connectivity and improved data response time. Effective edge data centers deliver services, connected in five to seven miliseconds or less, to local businesses while maintaining connectivity to public cloud, SaaS, and security applications that are critical to today’s businesses.

Short-Term Solutions to Latency Introduce Long-Term Problems

Let’s not forget about social media and mobile gaming usage that’s also driving traffic consumption, intertwined with the day-to-day lives of our friends and families. Connectivity is important to our quality of life and provides satisfaction in an era of impatient and information-hungry users. Now, with the emergence of IoT devices and technology like self-driving cars, the demand for low latency, high availability connectivity can only be delivered through a local presence.

The goal is to keep the heaviest and most latency-sensitive traffic at the network edge, where processing is quick and responsive. While this has been accomplished through the Content Delivery Network providers, the technology has been mainly outbound, from content host to consumer, and isn’t suited for the amount of bidirectional traffic that is emerging in today’s internet ecosystems. With content and streaming media continuing to get richer, including 3D content, the desire for fast delivery will also continue to drive content to the edges.

Placing these types of services in large, low-cost data centers only compounds the problem and challenges faced by latency-sensitive applications. Many gaming, social media, and cloud providers have already discovered that they need to be closer to the edge, augmenting their central data center solutions with edge deployments closer to users. However, business applications and SaaS delivery still seem to rely on central mega deployments. This hesitance to evolve only causes inefficiencies and ultimately, a poor customer experience.

Looking for low-cost space and power isn’t the only answer. Hidden costs can quickly consume an IT budget and impede the ability to compete. Often times, other critical services get overlooked and can be costly both in terms of dollars and customer experience. A practical approach would be to find a data center operator that can provide great space and power in a metro or region your business needs that can provide easy access to multiple carriers, public clouds, quality managed bandwidth, security services, and direct connectivity to other critical services. All of these aspects will improve and enhance your business while removing the burden of acquiring these services on your own.

Resolving Latency with a Combination of Geography and Edge Computing: 3 Quick Tips

Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce latency and satisfy your customers.

  1. First, deploy closer to your customers, where geography can overcome the challenges of latency and get close to your users.
  2. Second, push a distributed model to the edge. Take lessons from large content providers and apply best practices to your business applications or other services.
  3. Most importantly, partner with a trustworthy data center provider, such as Flexential. We offer a rich set of data center assets with 41 locations throughout the U.S., connected through a 100G backbone. Quality IP bandwidth, DDoS scrubbing, compliant colocation solutions, and connectivity to a host of services, including public and private clouds, storage, and managed services, are all available and backed with a 100% uptime guarantee.

Your business is your livelihood, and you shouldn’t settle for less than the best. Interested in taking advantage of the edge? We can help you succeed. Visit www.flexential.com or call (877) 448-9378 to speak to a network solutions expert today.

Tim Parker

Vice President of Network Strategy
Tim Parker, Vice President of Network Strategy

Tim is the vice president of network strategy at Flexential, where he is responsible for guiding the company's interconnection ecosystem and developing network strategies and architectures for Flexential's HybridEdge Strategy. Tim has more than 25 years of experience in delivering high-performance customer service in the IT and Telecommunication sector.