According to Gartner, edge computing can be defined as:
"A part of a distributed computing topology in which information processing is located close to the edge – where things and people produce or consume that information."
The data centers of today need to keep pace with big data and cloud-based businesses. Shifting computing resources nearer to the data generation point leads to the processing power being moved closer to the source, thus resulting in increased efficiency of data procession.
Instead of being centralized, this concept will support a distributed and multilayered data infrastructure. In the edge infrastructure, the goal is to reduce needless traffic and latency and to develop a hub that links peers and decreases computational loads. In the case of an edge data center, therefore, the computing power is localized and becomes more widely distributed.
The edge computing model moves data transfer, applications, services, and storage closer to the network edge. This results in lower latency, lowered transmission costs, greater privacy, and improved user experience.
According to Frank Cittadino, Forbes Councils Member, "the edge is the new cloud," which is why 2018 saw an increased interest in edge computing.
Cloud computing is considered as the biggest modern disruption today in technology. It has completely revolutionized the data center's architecture, the security frameworks, and the expectations of end-users from data access and manipulation.
Edge computing is pretty much the same. High latency, low bandwidth, and poor application performance are unacceptable to users today. To combat these issues, edge computing will move content collection and delivery and information processing closer to the sources of information to reduce latency and needless traffic.
The new edge data centers will have greater availability and will also account for decentralized management and control. Organizations will increasingly look for reliability, scalability, resiliency, and efficiency while making sure that their data remains secure. Ease of configuration will also be an important asset for edge data centers. Enterprises will find value in customized and preconfigured packages from managed service providers (MSPs) that allow speedy deployment and easy relocation. This capability will accelerate and streamline the planning, designing, and building process of these centers.
As managed service providers mature, enterprises will see a more expansive range of services. These service intensities can also be customized to organizations' unique needs, along with additional services.
A 2019 Forrester Technographics Mobility Survey reported that 57% of mobility decision-makers see edge computing as a priority for their organizations, with 55% already claiming to be at the initial deployment stages.
Traditional data centers have been transforming for quite some time now. The adoption of cloud has grown to a point where every business today has some portion of their workloads already on the cloud. With edge computing slated to be the new frontier in cloud adoption, edge adoption has seen a marked rise as well, with its market predicted to reach US$7 billion by 2025.
Moreover, with intelligent applications becoming more prevalent, fast computing has become the need of the hour. Additionally, IDC says that the amount of digital data generated by users on the internet is only going to increase, with it estimated to grow to 175 zettabytes by 2025, which will further escalate cloud computing loads.
This development is going to call for intermediary servers. And as the physical distance between data centers and connected devices continues to increase, a load of this magnitude is going to demand lower latency and higher bandwidth.
Which brings us to edge computing. Edge computing is gaining momentum because it helps organizations tackle various IT challenges arising from data-centric workloads. It sustains sensitive data on-premise and reduces unnecessary data flow to and from data centers. Its development is predicted to impact data centers in more ways than one, chief of which are:
By utilizing edge computing, application modernization, and other innovations in IT, organizations can gain a competitive advantage in a fast-paced, hyper-competitive economy. These digital transformation efforts not only facilitate organizational growth, but also build business agility that is essential for long-term scalability.
One of the most efficient ways to fuel this digital transformation journey is by turning to managed cloud service providers (MCSPs) as they possess the technical expertise to leverage a company’s technology investments to power business momentum. They enable end-to-end cloud services while ensuring your cloud security, storage, network operations. and vendors are effectively managed.
According to IDC, working with MCSP harbors many benefits as:
“Cloud service providers have resources, scale, security, and performance that few enterprises can match. Their global reach enables businesses to provide services to global geographies, and their centralized access enables company resources to tap into all of a company's data to drive analytics today and artificial intelligence in the future.”
Cloud managed service providers are equipped with extensive knowledge on the latest cloud technologies. And with edge computing pegged to be the next evolutionary step for managed cloud services, MCSPs are more than up to the task supporting, securing, and managing the edge data centers of clients.
The right MCSP will work as an extension of your IT team and will support your expansion to new locations by doing away with the inconveniences and complications of initial infrastructure setup and maintenance. Collaborating with the ideal MCSP is also important for your enterprise if you don’t have the required resources to manage edge data centers. A trusted MCSP will help you achieve this while providing you with a specific combination of resource management, bandwidth upgrades, and equipment management.
Gartner shared a report that featured tips on how to choose managed cloud service providers. The report provided a clear comparison of various MCSPs and recommended scoring each vendor on the comprehensiveness of their services, solution architecture and workload migration capabilities, and the breadth, quality, and differentiation of their product.
Another study by Crisp research reported improved business outcomes for organizations using managed cloud services. The study, which provided cloud computing vendor and service provider comparison, also shared an evaluation criteria that involved asking a few questions as part of the managed cloud service provider assessment process.
Staying abreast of the pace of innovation in the managed cloud services space is very important.
CenturyLink's diverse portfolio of flexible cloud solutions equips businesses with the necessary cloud expertise to enhance infrastructure efficiency with the help of an enterprise-ready cloud. From scalable applications to on-demand services to network security, CenturyLink provides organizations with all the required solutions that put the advantages of the cloud at their disposal.