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Why edge computing holds the key to future innovation

By Rob Coupland, Chief Executive Officer

More and more companies are recognising the potential of edge computing to make the most of new technologies like 5G, Internet of Things and machine learning without overloading networks with vast quantities of data.

While organisations have focused on putting their computing power into centralised data centres or in the public cloud, they now understand the need to have at least some compute power out at the edge – in the regions where the data is being created and used by applications.

Equipping a factory with thousands of IoT sensors is great, but the last thing you want is for all of them to report back to a centrally-hosted application every five seconds. Instead it makes sense for the data processing and analysis to take place at the edge, with a data centre providing back-end processes, storage and business continuity.

Applications that benefit from this approach include AR and VR, autonomous vehicles, remote asset monitoring, smart grids, predictive maintenance in manufacturing facilities and in-hospital patient monitoring.

Computing power across the UK

At Pulsant, with our UK-wide network of 11 data centres, we are perfectly placed to support new applications that rely on compute power located at the edge of networks.

Our data centres offer 95% of the UK population less than 10ms of latency – something previously only available to firms located close to the major hubs of London, Manchester or Glasgow. And it means you can process the data where it is created – at the edge – for faster data analysis and decision making.

Pulsant provides the compute capabilities to get that analysis done, along with the high-quality and high-speed network to get the results of that analysis to where it’s needed.

Networking to the edge

As I explained in a recent video, we’ve made a big investment in our backbone national network. This 100 Gbps, low-latency network interconnects all of our sites to create a seamless platform.

That means bringing the richness and reliability of cloud-based applications to the very edge of the network – whether that is the factory floor, the blades of a wind turbine, handheld warehouse scanners or distributed point-of-sale devices. Or you might just need a better way to connect up your now widely-distributed workforce.

At Pulsant we expect that many early adopters of edge computing will be companies and organisations who’ve yet to reap the benefits of the technology revolution, such as logistics firms and healthcare providers, as well as those driving the development of smart buildings and cities.

Pulsant’s edge computing platform is uniquely placed to help firms deliver these next-generation applications and services to their clients.

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