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The evolution of information technology is governed by how businesses adapt to ever-increasing amounts of data. Those businesses most able to exploit more data, win.
Terms such as ‘speed’ and ‘agility’ refer to how a business handles and uses this data. Given the 2.5 quintillion bytes created every day, there is a huge opportunity for businesses to create unassailable leadership.
Recent history has shown that the unstoppable force of this explosive volume has hit the immovable object of an Internet that cannot cope with such vast amounts of data.
Consequently, bandwidth limitations, latency issues and unpredictable network disruptions now threaten the traditional model of centralized data centres.
Edge computing is the evolutionary response to this problem.
What can edge do?
By processing data closer to where it is generated, a business can manage greater volumes. It can also handle them at greater speed.
This leads to better decisions because data is seen and turned into action, in real-time. The business can also realise reduced costs, increased security and greater resilience. This has already caused a small revolution in the repatriation of data.
A successful digital business will define its edge strategy by how it addresses these benefits.
The initial consideration must be performance.
Edge computing improves application performance in two ways. Firstly, data is processed locally, and only relevant, minimal data is sent to the cloud. Less data travels quicker.
Secondly, businesses can identify workloads that are latency sensitive and locate them in edge data centres, rather than public cloud. In other words, the most important stuff is kept closest.
This reduction in the latency between data source and compute, improves the speed of processing, delivering faster performance. It demands a portfolio of colocation facilities close to the businesses they serve, and robust, secure connection: we currently own twelve data centres, connected by our own network.
For our clients, these performance improvements yield valuable commercial advantages. Decisions can be made faster and with more insight.
Edge and growth
The next consideration is growth. It is pointless becoming so lean as a business that there is no capability to develop. This demands technical headroom – the capacity for systems to expand – across a combination of technologies.
In practical terms, this necessitates a complete platform combining colocation facilities, a private network and cloud. It involves considering how a business connects beyond initial, domestic markets, into global networks. Our ecosystem encompasses more than 2,000 businesses and a Megaport platform for international opportunities.
The next consideration is cost. One of the main drivers of edge computing has been a sustained increase in the long-term costs of cloud computing as businesses embrace video, high-resolution imagery, increased numbers of sensors and sophisticated analytics.
The cost of handling all this data has been compounded by the need to enable remote, hybrid workforces. Public cloud cost increases have met massively inflated network costs.
Against this huge increase in opex, the initial capex savings that drove so much interest and investment in cloud, have simply evaporated.
Edge computing offers a compelling set of savings in this new reality. Especially when combined with flexible contracting frameworks that enable spend to be shifted where it is going to have the biggest impact.
Edge computing is able to offer these benefits because – done correctly - it is a sophisticated hybrid that continually puts the right data in the right place, in the right way. This is a powerful combination of traits that positions a business for success as it is most able to adapt and evolve.
Click below to find out more about the benefits of edge.