Published 22 Jun 2023

Closer to the edge: what a locally national infrastructure can do for you

By, Pulsant

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Edge computing is defined by bringing compute resources out of remote, centralised facilities and putting them at the source of the data itself. Processing and analysis is done where the data is actually generated.

The performance and cost improvements that edge computing delivers are based on this proximity. By situating our data centres close to major populations, we have delivered these benefits to many UK businesses.

It is an inherently ‘local’ idea. But ‘local’ should not, and does not, mean ‘limited.’ There must always be room for businesses to grow.

So how does a business get the best of both worlds: local benefits AND global opportunities?

Local to national

Firstly, it is about making sure that the architecture, infrastructure, and platform that the business is assessing, is comprehensive. It must satisfy all the necessary elements to deliver the benefits of hybrid edge. That means data centre facilities, a robust and secure network, and a cloud platform.

To fulfil the demand of being local, data centres need to be near, or in, major population centres. But to offer national growth, there must be more than one of them. We currently have twelve. And they are all connected by a secure, high-performance network, that we own.

This is not just a technical issue. It is pointless having a ‘nationally local’ product if the service does not match. Our staff come from the cities that our infrastructure helps maintain and grow. We take the time and effort to get to know our clients.

And because we own the infrastructure (be it the facilities or the network) we can make changes immediately. This means businesses can seize opportunities quickly.

National to global

But we mentioned global opportunities, not just national. Just as a business needs to scale from local to national, it may then look to go international. Again, an edge architecture is no restriction. Pulsant has pioneered this expansion for many clients, with an ecosystem of more than 2,000 businesses, and a Megaport platform that opens clouds, international data centres and global networks.

Part of that innovation has been to recognise that expansion is not just a technical exercise. It must be as frictionless as possible in all aspects. Flexible contracting that enables a business to move their investment where it will have most impact on growth is an important consideration when embracing edge for growth.

Core considerations

Running throughout all of this growth must be the consideration of security. Edge computing enables businesses to control where their infrastructure applications live and reduce the attack surface because only essential data travels to the cloud.

Similarly, the physical security of facilities is critical – and it is a lot easier to ensure card and PIN entry or check the quality of the CCTV coverage, when a facility is local, compared to thousands of miles away.

Many businesses have begun to assess edge computing as an alternative to hyperscale cloud providers with remote data centres and unreliable Internet connectivity. The repatriation of data into regionally co-ordinated, national and international hybrid edge architectures is an intelligent, evolutionary response to the risks of modern commerce that enables businesses to focus and protect growth.

 Click below to find out more about the benefits of edge.