As our personal, professional, and social lives become more deeply entrenched in the digital ecosystem, there is a continuous increase in the demand for data. This has created nationwide data delivery obstacles, exposing the massive need to provide low latency connectivity for network service operators, cloud providers, content providers, content delivery networks, and enterprises. Additionally, the global data deluge prioritizes the quest to facilitate data access regardless of where it — and the user — are located.
That user location, according to DartPoints, is the exact definition of “the edge,” and this is the point at which customer’s needs can best be met. Edge as a buzzword means different things to different people; nearly every edge-related panel at any industry conference starts with the question, “So, how do you define edge?” But what can be universally agreed on is that edge and edge data centers are ever evolving and have developed into something much more than what we could have foreseen.
The growing Edge computing movement “will complement cloud computing for nearly every enterprise by 2025,” according to Gartner’s June 2021 “Understanding Edge Computing” infographic. Gartner has predicted that three-fourths of all enterprise data will be created and processed at the edge by 2025, up from 10 percent in 2018.
Demystifying Edge Data Centers
A common misconception about edge is that it is its own entity. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Edge computing platforms are an important part of the greater data ecosystem, tackling specific customer demands that traditional models could not address. Edge data centers are transforming the way data traffic is managed, processed, and fulfilled within local markets. The primary functions of an edge data center is to enable businesses to be more agile, enter new markets more quickly, and deliver services closer to the customer.
Carrier-neutral, interconnected data centers allow network service operators, cloud providers, content providers, and content delivery networks to seamlessly connect and exchange traffic, enabling data storage, processing, and execution at the edge. When customers can connect directly to networks and cloud providers in their own colocation environment, it lowers costs, reduces latency, and increases performance. Edge data centers provide a platform for content and cloud service providers to access and enter new markets and launch new applications quickly and cost-effectively.
Tier 1 markets are heavily populated, with a dense infrastructure that enables businesses to thrive in the digital world. Tier 2-and-higher markets lack the fiber, connectivity, and interconnection points as compared to traditional data centers found in Tier 1 markets like Chicago, New York, and Atlanta. The level of interconnection and peering that is needed to transform many of these Tier 2, 3, and 4 markets requires purpose-built, carrier-neutral data centers with efficient connectivity. Digital infrastructure providers such as DartPoints are placing facilities and infrastructure where they currently don’t exist —at the edge— in ways that are easily usable for content providers and carriers.
Will the Edge Kill the Core?
Another edge misapprehension is that the rise of edge data centers means the fall of conventional data centers. This assumption is simply not valid. Believing this is like believing residential streets are going to end the need for highways. Edge, micro, and traditional data centers are complementary, and each plays an important part in growing the nation’s data infrastructure. The edge handles more of the interconnectivity of applications, rather than the critical physical infrastructure, which supports applications in core data centers. Edge computing platforms will not replace the need for centralized servers and cloud computing. Instead, the edge will work in conjunction with those elements to build a more hyperconnected world.
Yet for cloud service providers, content delivery networks, and network service operators, they will only deliver on the promise of edge computing if they form the right partnerships with the right edge computing platform providers. They must ensure those partnerships provide low latency, high connectivity, and unparalleled support.
Discover how DartPoints’ state-of-the-art edge interconnection data centers are designed to help providers and operators confidently and affordably deploy at the edge.