A Dynamic Ecosystem: Data Center, Interconnection and the Edge
The roles of the edge, interconnection and the data center are well known to IT experts. All three have specific use cases for supporting various business needs. Combine the three and you have a tremendous ecosystem that can serve a large community as we move forward in edge deployments and continued growth in internet-based applications and use.
How did we get here and why is this so important? Let’s break down the roles they play.
We’ll start with the data center. We all know how the data center evolved and the growth of compute and internet as well as the numerous applications we all use every day. Data centers stand at the core of our businesses and everyday life. They provide highly reliable space and power, coupled with security and support essential to the needs of company compute platforms and the public clouds.
Interconnection started as an optional service with many variables. However, as companies needed an internet presence, the need to connect to other services across multiple locations including international, and the move of applications in the public clouds, connectivity, interconnection services became just as critical as power. This made interconnection part of the data center ecosystem that customers need.
Today, the edge is the new hot topic. Edge is crucial as we move into a world of AI/IoT and the need for low latency for content or AI decisions. We see the need to move from the typical large metro locations to those outlying smaller metros where we can reach more customers with lower latency. With the new work/school from home culture, emphasized by the COVID-19 pandemic, edge computing is becoming more critical to the future development of the ecosystem.
Edge computing solves many future requirements for the massive amounts of data that will be pushed and received in markets that, until now, have not seen the same attention as Tier I cities in the past. Multiple segments are using AI and IoT technologies for their businesses or applications that are not located in traditional Tier I cities. To support this, we need to move the compute closer to them – to the edge.
Data center, interconnection and the edge have taken their own paths to get to where they are now. Edge, while relatively new to the ecosystem, seems to have the most attention and explosive growth. IDC estimates that there will be 7 million edge computing locations in the coming three years. Gartner predicts that by the end of 2021, 50% of enterprises will have at least one edge deployment. The need for edge computing is significant, and like DC and interconnection, there is a rush to be the leader in deploying edge data centers.
Now is the time for all three components to develop the proper ecosystem that will meet customer needs. One service alone will not satisfy the demands of technology and businesses. It will require a strategy and solution with all three as part of the success of the application and delivery of services. Companies that support enterprises deploying to the edge faster will need edge locations connected to data centers with a highly diverse interconnection offering. Together, these services are the ecosystem that will drive those future seven million edge locations to support enterprise efforts to deploy to the edge.
Why this is critical and why this is needed is simple. Future applications and content, coupled with 5G, will continue to increase the customer demand for more data, faster, and with a sub-second response. Businesses will compete for consumers and the key to success is ensuring the best consumer experience possible.
Edge deployments and technologies such as sensors, visual AI and immersive experiences will demand sub-five milliseconds latency while consumers will want the sub-second response. Along with the edge, though, comes the need to manage and analyze the data, development of the applications, and the push of content from core or cloud deployments, which in turn requires large data centers and diverse interconnection capabilities.
To make that happen, we need the ecosystem of edge, data center and interconnection.
At Flexential, partnerships with service providers and American Tower creates the ideal ecosystem for enterprises deploying to the edge.