An edge data center is a decentralized and strategically positioned facility designed to process, store, and distribute data at the periphery of a network, as close as possible to the location where data is generated and consumed. Unlike traditional centralized data centers, which are often located in remote regions, edge data centers are placed in close proximity to end-users, devices, and critical data sources.
Edge colocation is edge computing implemented by using colocation. It is becoming increasingly popular with businesses for much the same reasons as regular colocation. In short, it combines privacy and customizability with convenience and cost-effectiveness. Here is a quick guide to what you need to know about edge colocation.
Edge computing is a form of distributed computing. It is carried out at the edge of a network. Conceptually, edge computing is the exact opposite of regular cloud computing. This involves centralizing resources at the hub of a network.
With that said, edge computing can be implemented using clouds. These are typically known as edge clouds. Edge computing resources can also be linked to centralized clouds. This increases businesses’ options for processing their data.
There are various options for implementing edge clouds. One of them is colocation. This is when a business uses a third-party data center to house its own equipment. The data-center facility manages all the general infrastructure. The business takes care of everything related to its own equipment.
Deciding if edge colocation is right for you is really two decisions in one. Firstly, you need to decide if edge computing is right for you. If you do, then you need to decide whether or not you want to implement it using edge colocation. Here is a quick guide to what you need to consider for both questions.
There are several reasons why edge computing is continually growing in popularity. With that said, it isn’t the right choice for every situation. In particular, if you want heavy-duty processing power, then using a centralized cloud will almost certainly be the better choice.
If, however, you can live without maximum power, then there is a lot to be said for edge computing. Here is a quick guide to its main benefits.
Using edge computing reduces the distance data has to travel. This results in faster data transfer speeds meaning lower latency. Using edge computing can also improve data transfer speeds/latency elsewhere in the network. Reducing the amount of traffic on a network tends to make the remaining traffic flow more quickly.
Centralized clouds generally have massive resources. At the end of the day, however, all centralized infrastructure is a single point of failure. Moving some resources out to the edge of a network spreads the risk. Using edge clouds is a way to leverage the benefits of distributed computing without massively increasing complexity.
Much the same comments apply to security. Centralized clouds are robustly protected but they need to be because they are such obvious and appealing targets. Edge clouds absolutely still need protection. It is, however, often easier to create a meaningful deterrent because the rewards of breaking into them are usually lower.
Moving traffic along a network carries a cost. At a minimum, there will be a cost in power. Depending on how your network is set up, there may be data charges as well. Processing data close to its source helps to reduce these charges. Reducing the need for power also helps to make businesses more sustainable.
In some contexts, edge computing can deliver a better user experience than centralized cloud computing. For example, edge computing is often an excellent choice for applications where speed is paramount. This includes many common business applications such as videocalling.
If you decide that edge computing is right for you, you then need to decide how to implement it. These days, the sheer volume of edge devices in use tends to make edge clouds the preferred implementation option.
If you decide that an edge cloud is the right option for you, then you have the usual array of choices for implementing it. At one end there is the public cloud. At the other end, there is a fully-private data center. There are several options in between.
Edge colocation leans very much to the private side. In fact, it’s as private as you can go without actually running your own data center. It, therefore, has the highest management burden. With edge colocation, you are entirely responsible for your own equipment. On the other hand, you are not responsible for anything to do with the data-center facilities.
This last point is a significant one because running a data center is generally extremely complicated. It can therefore use up a lot of staff resources that could be better deployed elsewhere. This is exactly why colocation has become so popular.
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