Data Centers
Expertise & Resources
Connect with us

How Digital Realty Supports Distributed Cloud Environments

Co-authored by:
Travis Ewert, Head of Global Platform Development, Digital Realty
Rutger ter Hoeven, Director Strategic Alliances & Platforms, Digital Realty

Enterprises across the globe are experiencing the value of distributed cloud environments. In particular, we’ve seen how Distributed Cloud provides a foundation for edge computing - running servers and applications closer to where data is created, solving the Data Gravity challenge of the rapid proliferation of data and the speed at which data is transmitted. Digital Realty’s PlatformDIGITAL® provides the ideal location to deploy distributed cloud across cloud, co-location and edge, as our data centers bring each of these environments together under a single umbrella, to interconnect seamlessly via our service orchestration platform, ServiceFabric™.

Why Distributed Cloud is On the Rise Today

We’ve seen many enterprises embrace a distributed cloud environment for a variety of reasons. Some of those use cases include:

  • Improved hybrid cloud/multi-cloud visibility and manageability: Distributed cloud can help organizations gain greater control over its hybrid multi-cloud infrastructure by providing visibility and management from one console, with a single set of tools.
  • More efficient and cost-effective scalability: It can be expensive and time-consuming to build out new data center locations in different geographies, which many enterprises need to do as they look to scale and expand workloads. With a distributed cloud environment, an organization can scale to existing infrastructure or edge locations without a physical build out. They can develop and deploy workloads anywhere in the environment quickly, using the same tools and personnel.
  • Support with localized regulatory compliance: Many data privacy regulations specify that a user's personal information (PI) cannot travel outside the user's country. Distributed cloud infrastructure can make it much easier for an organization to process PI in each user's country of residence. Processing data at its source can also simplify compliance with data privacy regulations, which is especially critical for highly regulated industries.
  • Support for IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning applications: Video surveillance, manufacturing, automation, self-driving cars, healthcare applications, smart buildings and other applications rely on real-time data analysis that can't wait for data to travel to a central cloud data center and back. Distributed cloud and edge computing deliver the low latency these applications demand because data is processed at its source.
  • Improved streaming experience: A content delivery network (CDN) deployed on a distributed cloud can improve streaming video content performance - and the user experience - by storing and delivering video content from locations closer to end-users.

The Right Collaboration and Technology to Make Distributed Cloud A Reality

Digital Realty's ServiceFabric™ platform facilitates physical interconnections between cloud services and on-site data center deployments. Digital Realty's PlatformDIGITAL® offers an optimal environment for deploying distributed cloud solutions seamlessly across cloud, co-location, and edge. Our state-of-the-art data centers serve as a unified hub, bringing together these diverse environments under one umbrella. This integration allows for seamless interconnection facilitated by our advanced service orchestration platform, ServiceFabric™.

Since 2015, Digital Realty has been working with IBM Cloud® to help enable optimized distributed cloud architectures, specifically supporting cloud connectivity and cloud adjacent co-location. In terms of cloud connectivity benefits, Digital Realty’s customers can use IBM Cloud Direct Link to connect their on-premises networks to IBM Cloud. The speed and reliability of IBM Cloud Direct Link makes it easy to extend an organization’s data center network and offers consistent, high-throughput connectivity - without touching the public internet. IBM Cloud Direct Link is an alternative to traditional site-to-site VPN, designed for clients that need more consistent, higher-throughput connectivity between a remote network and their IBM Cloud environments.

Digital Realty currently co-locates five IBM Cloud Direct Link cloud onramps in Ashburn, Dallas, Frankfurt, Madrid, and Singapore, allowing customers to establish private connections in these locations.

Learn more about the distributed cloud offerings of IBM Cloud and Digital Realty.

You can also learn more about IBM’s offerings