Edge Data Centers – Why They Matter for Managed Service Providers
Edge Data Centers
In the colocation world, for several years, many have been talking about Edge Data Centers. Indeed, companies operating in the space have often selected brand names using plays on the network “edge” and network “core” dynamics. However, much of the eye-popping growth recently has been driven by hyper-scale cloud deployments with a few major wholesale providers. Naturally, most of the media attention has been focused on these multi-megawatt deals. That said, the data centers providing network edge services have also grown, whether they be in downtown network hotels, or suburban facilities housing interconnection. Now, however, much of the attention in the industry has moved to processing at cell towers and processing in remote locations. As an MSP operating across multiple data centers with customers delivering broad ranges of services, it is important to understand how technology is evolving to allow us tools to deliver greater value to our customers.
What Is An Edge Data Center
With all that said, what exactly is an Edge Data Center? Is it about the network edge or a remote geographic location? The truth is, it depends who you ask… To many, an “edge” data center is defined by the simple fact that multiple networks interconnect at that facility. The reason that matters is due to latency concerns when delivering applications. If you have applications that are able to interconnect with multiple networks in one location, you will gain efficiencies in routing from both a performance and cost perspective. However, within other groups of the data center industry, Edge Data Centers are defined simply as homes for compute in remote/distributed locations. To this group, interconnection doesn’t matter at all. Even more confusing, to some Edge Data Centers need to be both geographically remote AND interconnected. The reality is, it’s all important to understand, but they are very different things and should probably have different names. My suggestion would be to use “distributed data centers” for those where interconnection is not the critical application. In any event, let’s let’s sift through it to see what matters.
The truth is, the network interconnection matters today, but the remote locations matter to us “tomorrow.” It is now broadly recognized that the availability of network services and interconnection is critical to end users’ overall experiences. Historically, only content delivery networks (CDNs) needed to worry about network edges, but today, the ability to connect to multiple clouds, networks and service providers can be the difference between a “patchwork” feeling and a smoothly running IT ecosystem. End users are relying on a mix of services ranging from hyperscale cloud, private cloud, colocation, and on-premise compute today. “Tomorrow,” they will be adding more distributed compute, whether that is in carrier hotels, ruggedized shipping containers, boxes on telephone poles, or otherwise. But, save that for tomorrow. As an MSP today what you can do today is ensure that you have access to next-generation network services in your data center, or find a data center with a philosophy of supporting customers critical applications with network edge services. Ensure that your data center partner invests in their services to offer your customers more and grow your managed ecosystem.
So, with all that, we believe that MSPs should embrace both network edge data centers AND geographically distributed data centers, but today, it’s the network that matters to build your core. MSPs today must build their compute at interconnected facilities to support their customers increasingly hybrid IT environments and the future distributed applications they will run. We believe that MSPs should carefully examine data center providers based not only on the facility itself and power density, but also the richness of its ecosystem and interconnection services as well as its willingness to support emerging technology services.
About New Continuum Data Centers
New Continuum Data Centers is a state-of-the-art colocation facility that provides flexible and scalable data center solutions, innovative technology, excellent service and a team to support you with years of expertise.
We are strategically located due west of Chicago, in a fiber-rich area known as a technology hub. Our impressive facility offers clients unparalleled infrastructure and a personalized level of service based on your application requirements. We are capable of delivering varying levels of power redundancy and can cool the highest density racks all in an effort to support the dynamic needs of our customers.
Our edge capabilities allow customers to instantaneously communicate with multiple networks over direct connections or through layer 2 private connections. These unique capabilities can support business applications requiring low-latency performance or those looking to avoid public IP transit.