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Colocation Trends: Edge Data Centers And Their Impact On Hybrid IT

Colocation Trends: Edge Data Centers And Their Impact On Hybrid IT

Colocation vendors pay close attention to colocation trends, especially ones that could enable them to have a greater hybrid IT impact. Observing colocation trends motivated them to support integration with multiple public clouds as standard. Now, it is motivating them to expand into edge data centers. Here is a quick guide to what you need to know.

Key colocation trends

Here are five key colocation trends and the drivers behind them.

Sustainability initiatives: Colocation providers are adopting eco-friendly practices, such as energy-efficient designs, use of renewable energy sources, and waste-reduction measures. These measures help both vendors and clients meet their sustainability goals while also benefiting from cost savings. Some of these measures also help to improve resilience.

Extension of managed services: Many colocation vendors already offer some level of managed services and/or ad-hoc technical support. It’s now becoming more common for colocation providers to offer managed security services. This puts them in a position to support most, if not all, of their clients’ IT service needs.

Increased focus on hybrid IT integration: Colocation providers are actively facilitating the integration of hybrid IT environments by providing the connectivity and infrastructure necessary for a cohesive hybrid IT strategy. All clients need to do is plug in and configure their own equipment.

Deployment of edge data centers: Colocation vendors are responding to the rise of edge computing by deploying edge data centers. This means they can offer an all-in-one solution for their clients’ real-world infrastructure needs.

Implementation of edge-to-cloud connectivity solutions: Colocation providers are now offering specialized solutions that enable efficient data transfer and processing right from the edge of a network to the cloud(s). These generally include high-speed, low-latency connectivity options, such as dedicated fiber connections and software-defined networking.

Why edge data centers have a major hybrid IT impact

Out of these five trends, three relate directly or indirectly to hybrid IT. Two relate, directly or indirectly, to the use of edge data centers and their hybrid IT impact. This reflects the growing importance of hybrid IT and the fact that edge data centers, specifically, have a major hybrid IT impact.

Here are five specific ways that edge data centers have an important hybrid IT impact.

Reduced latency: Edge data centers can provide real-time processing. This is not possible if data needs to travel between devices and centralized data centers.

Bandwidth optimization: Processing data at the edge of a network not only alleviates network congestion but also facilitates bandwidth optimization. Critical data is processed locally, while less time-sensitive and/or bulk data can be offloaded to centralized data centers.

Enhanced reliability: In the event of a connectivity issue with the central data center or cloud service, edge data centers can continue to operate autonomously, ensuring uninterrupted service.

Data sovereignty and compliance: Using edge data centers enables organizations to store and process sensitive data locally. This can make it much easier to comply with data sovereignty and compliance obligations.

Optimized cost structure and resource utilization: Edge data centers reduce the need for extensive network infrastructure and minimize data transfer costs. Additionally, the modular and scalable nature of edge data centers allows businesses to allocate resources more efficiently, adapting to changing workloads without overprovisioning centralized infrastructure.

Challenges of integrating edge data centers in a hybrid IT environment

Although edge data centers deliver many benefits, they also create some new challenges for network administrators. Here are three of the key challenges of integrating edge data centers in a hybrid IT environment.

Network complexity and connectivity

Integrating edge data centers requires organizations to manage and maintain a robust and low-latency connectivity infrastructure. The challenge lies in establishing reliable connections between the edge, central data centers, and cloud services. Ensuring seamless communication and minimizing latency demand careful planning, advanced networking solutions, and continuous monitoring to address potential bottlenecks and connectivity issues.

Management of decentralized resources

Organizations need to oversee and coordinate resources distributed across various edge locations, central data centers, and cloud platforms. Implementing unified management tools and protocols becomes crucial to streamlining operations, monitoring performance, and troubleshooting issues in real time across the entire hybrid infrastructure. Moreover, this infrastructure needs to be flexible enough to make seamless scalability a reality.

Integration with existing legacy systems

Many organizations operate with legacy systems that may not easily integrate with edge data centers. In this case, businesses need to find a solution (or solutions) to bridge the compatibility gap. Ideally, the legacy systems will be retrofitted and/or upgraded. Other options are to implement middleware solutions and/or to hybrid IT strategies specifically designed for this scenario.


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