What are Edge Data Centers (and Why Are They the Future)?

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Thursday, January 19, 2023

Organizations are investing more and more in edge data centers, but what benefits do they offer and why are they so popular?

Article 4 Minutes
 What are Edge Data Centers (and Why Are They the Future)?

Do you want higher network speeds, better security and more privacy? These are the promises edge computing brings to the table, and it’s no surprise that just about every business is looking to build its edge data center.

So, what does edge computing mean and what is an edge data center? While this new application of technology may seem confusing at first, it’s quite simple. Essentially, it’s a challenger to cloud computing, but your processing power sits at the “edge” of your network.

Edge computing combines cloud technology with geographic distribution, which attempts to address latency issues by being physically closer to the data source you need. It uses fewer cloud processes and thanks to this, the market for edge data is predicted to surpass $13.5 billion by 2024.

To explore the new technology and see what makes it so popular, we’ve broken it down to help you decide if your business should walk toward the edge.

Why are edge data centers needed?

Edge data centers are smaller than their cloud and regional counterparts and located much closer to end users. They’ll be connected to the larger centers with fiber, but are often independent facilities.

Situating your data centers on the edge provides numerous benefits for businesses. For example, you’ll be able to improve your response times due to lower latency as a result of minimizing the distance you’re physically transmitting data.

Organizations with centers that process data locally can decrease the overall volume of traffic moving in and out of central servers. Consequently, overall network performance rises thanks to the additional bandwidth available.

Additionally, businesses utilizing edge data centers will experience reduced operating costs. This is due to a lessened requirement for expensive circuits, which would have been previously needed to facilitate a large amount of traffic coursing to and from central servers.

Key trends making edge data centers so popular

Like most new technologies, the popularity of edge data centers is being driven by certain trends and needs among businesses. Of course, they offer great benefits to any network, but other factors are increasing their appeal too. Here are a few of the most important ones:

  1. Implementing 5G
  2. Video streaming, augmented reality and virtual reality
  3. Widening data gap
  4. The Internet of Things (IoT)
  5. Software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV)

Due to the low latency offered by edge processing, organizations can offer improved support for areas with high device density and facilitate an ever-increasing volume of data, as well as provide high-performance streaming that consumers and businesses demand.

Moreover, the lower costs involved in edge computing greatly benefit attempts to close the gap between global data center traffic and usable data created by filtering information close to the source.

Where are edge data centers used?

Currently, about 10% of data is processed outside a centralized data center or cloud. However, Gartner predicts that by 2025, this figure will climb to 75%. Many businesses are implementing edge computing, so let’s look at some of the top use cases

1. Healthcare

Intricate processes such as robotic surgeries are dependent on ultra-low latency computing and constant network access, both of which are provided by edge computing. Additionally, healthcare providers can immediately access important patient information from personal devices.

2. Manufacturing

Organizations benefit from more efficient energy usage and increased predictive maintenance by adding computing capabilities and data storage to industrial IoT devices.

3. Agriculture

With billions of farm animals across the globe, agricultural analytics to manage infections and diseases are contributing to the data gap, which edge data centers can help to close.

4. Finance

Edge data centers facilitate super-fast network speeds with reduced latency, allowing asset managers and traders to execute algorithms faster and, potentially, increase profits.

5. Smart Cities

City officials are better placed to respond to any issues with edge data centers, with real-time collection and analysis of data on infrastructure, utilities and traffic.

6. Defense

Any military technologies that require a network connection are improved by edge data centers. For example, drones are more responsive, able to relay information faster and act quicker.

Are edge data centers right for your business?

If you’re considering implementing edge computing in your business, you should start by assessing your existing infrastructure and applications. Additionally, any company will need to think forward to future user requirements.

Making the right choice about how to involve edge data center technology can be overwhelming, but some of the questions you could think about include:

  1. How much will it cost to create, maintain and protect a network of edge data centers for my business?
  2. Do my competitors already use edge data centers, or could I take the lead?
  3. Are there any current market trends that could impact my line of business?
  4. How do new value chains complement my existing and future business models?

Edge data centers are great for providing your products and services to local clients. You can also use them to break into new markets and optimize your network performance. Overall, they make a lot of sense for many companies, especially those with various locations, the latest technologies and a smaller budget.

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