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Supporting enterprises and service providers with their edge computing goals

By Mike Hoy, Infrastructure & Cloud Operations Director

At Pulsant, we are already supporting enterprises and service providers with their edge computing goals. Existing services such as hybrid cloud, colocation, backup, disaster recovery and desktop as a service are enabling them to address latency, cost and data sovereignty and security.

However, in response to increased demand, we have invested £8m in our national network, creating the UK Edge computing platform. This combines our network of interconnected regional data centres with access to hybrid cloud services, enabling application providers and developers to connect with enterprises in a single low-latency ecosystem.

This important evolution will see us grow our network considerably from 10Gbps to 100Gbps, ensuring we and our clients have sufficient high capacity to meet bandwidth demands today and in the future.

To address latency, we have formed a partnership with Zayo, which will also see our 10 data centres across the UK connected via Zayo’s high-performance fibre network to build a unique digital ecosystem. This will allow clients to access and benefit from connections to the edge, no matter where they are located or where their business takes place. Essentially, this high-capacity, low-latency and agile network will put our data centres within 5-10 milliseconds reach of our clients and will provide coverage to over 95% of the UK population.

Providing uninterrupted availability

As part of the network upgrade, our hardware refresh will ensure that our network routers have the latest generation of hardware to support 100Gbps connectivity and maintain availability.

Alongside this, we are also improving availability by ensuring our network has full route diversity around the UK. Our partnership with Zayo implements a 100Gbps network ring around the whole of the UK and this is significant because it will protect clients against any major fibre outages. If an outage were to happen on the east coast, for example, the ring would enable us to route traffic through our west coast connections to avoid any downtime.

A multi-cloud ecosystem

Whether clients are connected to our network through the internet, our Metro Connect direct point-to-point solution or, in the near future, SD-WAN, we are making sure we can link them to all of their services both privately and securely.

In addition, through our partnership with cloud interconnectivity provider Megaport, businesses can connect their infrastructure to points of presence housed within our regional data centres across the UK to access a multi-cloud ecosystem. This allows any client connecting into our data centres to take advantage of this ecosystem from all around the world. For regional businesses, being able to hop on to a high speed, low-latency network at any location is enabling them to connect to the cloud much quicker.

The future of hybrid cloud

To further address the need to reduce complexity of cloud deployments, we are also investing in our Next Generation Enterprise Cloud Platform. This includes the introduction of support for containers to improve the way clients can host and access different applications.

Businesses adopting a hybrid or multi-cloud approach will likely be using distributed applications using microservices, where different parts of those applications, such as the back-end software which contains the main processing capability, and the front-end software that end users interact with directly, are stored in disparate locations. Containers will help remove the complexity of moving and managing these different elements in each application.

The platform will also include a “single pane of glass” to provides a central view of all resources across private and public infrastructures. This will not only enable a business to unify their cloud portfolio but will also enable them to optimise it.

Enabling businesses to reach their potential

We are rolling out our network upgrade and the Pulsant Edge Computing Platform in a phased approach, with all 10 sites on schedule to be connected by the close of Q1 2022. All this is creating a fast, powerful and highly-connected ecosystem that will unlock the opportunities of edge computing for providers of Telcoms, cloud SaaS and managed services .

By providing access to secure and scalable hybrid cloud and colocation solutions, our platform will enable any UK businesses in every region of the UK to realise their potential.

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