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Three Data Center Steps to Edge Computing

July 7, 2015  |  Written by Digital Realty

Data Centers are Moving to the Edge

“Edge computing” is, in part, the concept that implementing a fleet of smaller data centers closer to end users can improve speed and performance, compared to having one centralized data center. In arecent article published by TechTarget, Digital Realty’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Matt Miszewski was quoted extensively. Excerpts of the article are below.

The push to the edge has three steps, with step one being data center density in “NFL cities,” driven by “proximity to the people who own the data centers,” according to Matt Miszewski, senior vice president at Digital Realty Trust Inc., a San Francisco-based colocation and data center provider. He was also CIO for Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle and served as a general manager at Microsoft Corp.
Step two is a move into Tier 2 cities and step three is the “final frontier,” with a highly distributed network of devices – “ubiquitous computing” – where a network deployed anywhere can be connected to a data center. Right now, the move to edge computing is at step 1.8, Miszewski said.
The continued move to the edge will consist of a split between networking and data center improvements, he said. Miszewski also expects a fragmented data center industry in Tier 2 cities to consolidate. “It will be interesting to see who deploys capital for stage 3,” he said.
To take full advantage of edge computing, there is still a need for more cooperation between data center operators and network providers and a better management layer for the IoT in Tier 2 cities, Miszewski said. For example, 1,000 IoT devices need to work together as one unit before reporting back to the data center. Right now, that’s something that has the focus of research and development departments at major companies and investors.
The IoT will require significant capital expense and a different way to go to market on the edge, Miszewski said.

The article concludes with by pointing to two main ways to achieve an “edge computing” approach: “Either an agile deployment where a shell is built for the multiple needs of clients or a ‘more radical’ option where a small data center-in-a-box provides a lights out platform.”

Jeff Baumgarten, Vice President of Global Marketing (@JB_Tricendent)