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What is an Edge Data Center?

Edge data centers are a type of data center infrastructure that is positioned at the edge of the network, closer to end-users and devices. This is in contrast to traditional data centers, which are often located in centralized locations and connected to end-users and devices through a network.

Edge data centers are designed to bring data processing, storage, and networking capabilities closer to the devices and users that need them, reducing latency and increasing the speed of data processing.

Why Consider Relocating To A Data Center At The Network's Edge?

There are numerous reasons why a company may consider relocating their resources to a data center that is positioned closer to end-users. A primary factor is the reduction of latency, or the time required for data to travel from a device to a data center and back. This is especially critical for applications and services that require real-time performance, such as online gaming, virtual reality experiences, and autonomous vehicles.

Another reason for considering a move to an edge data center is the improvement of data processing speed and efficiency. These data centers aim to bring data processing, storage, and networking capabilities nearer to the devices and users that require them, which can decrease the time taken to process and analyze data. This is particularly crucial for organizations that require quick data processing, such as financial service companies, healthcare institutions, and government entities.

Characteristics Of Edge Data Centers

Edge data centers are characterized by several key features, including:
  • Decentralized location: They can be located at the network edge, in remote or underserved areas, or at the site of a factory or a retail outlet.
  • Low latency: They aim to reduce latency by processing data closer to the end-user, which is crucial for applications that require real-time processing and decision making.
  • Scalability: These facilities must be flexible and scalable to adapt to changes in data processing requirements, especially in fast-growing areas or applications.
  • Energy efficiency: They are typically small in size with unique cooling and power distribution needs and must be designed to be highly energy-efficient and have minimal environmental impact.
  • Reliability: These facilities must be reliable and always available, even in the face of power outages, network disruptions, or other challenges.
  • Security: They are critical infrastructure that must be protected from cyber threats and physical attacks, and must implement robust security measures, including encryption and access control, to ensure the privacy and integrity of the data being processed.
  • Cost-effectiveness: These facilities must be cost-effective and provide a good return on investment, especially for organizations that operate in remote or underserved areas.
Overall, edge data centers are designed to provide a fast, secure, and efficient data processing environment that can support the growing demands of next-generation applications that require low-latency processing.

Types Of Edge Data Centers

There are several different types of edge data centers, each designed to meet the specific needs of different types of organizations and applications. Two of the most common types of edge data centers include:
  • Micro Data Centers: Micro data centers are small, modular data centers that are designed to be positioned at the edge of the network, close to end-users and devices. These data centers are typically used for edge computing applications, such as real-time gaming, virtual reality, and autonomous vehicles.
  • Colocation Data Centers: Colocation data centers are data centers that are shared by multiple organizations, each with its own dedicated server and storage space. These data centers are typically used by organizations that require high-speed data processing, but do not have the resources or expertise to build and manage their own data center

What Are The Factors Contributing To The Expansion Of Edge Computing Infrastructure?

The growth of edge data centers is driven by several key trends in the technology industry, including:
  • The growth of connected devices - With more and more connected devices being used, there's a growing need for infrastructure close to users that can handle the large amount of data generated by these devices.
  • 5G networks and mobile data - The rollout of 5G networks is creating a demand for edge computing infrastructure, as it allows for low latency, fast data processing for mobile devices.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning - As companies look to apply AI and machine learning to real-time applications, the need for edge computing infrastructure is growing, as it provides fast and efficient data processing.
  • Cloud gaming and virtual reality - The rise of cloud gaming and virtual reality applications is driving the need for edge computing infrastructure, as these applications demand low latency and high-speed data processing.
  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution - The shift towards Industry 4.0 is driving the demand for edge computing infrastructure, as it plays a critical role in the digitization of manufacturing and other industrial processes.
  • Data privacy and security - Edge computing infrastructure offers improved data privacy and security, as it stores data closer to the source and reduces the amount of data that has to be transmitted over long distances.
In summary, the need for low latency, high-speed data processing, and the growing number of connected devices are driving the growth of edge computing infrastructure. As these trends continue to develop, it's likely that we will see continued expansion in the use of edge data center infrastructure.

How Can Evocative Help?

Leveraging our data center facilities for cloud, colocation, interconnectivity, or managed services means you can access our large global footprint across a network of 19 interconnected data centers with 33 points of presence. Our data centers are carrier and cloud-neutral, with several top-tier network providers in 18 strategically located global edge markets. Leveraging our global network backbone, you can minimize latency and speed up data transfer around the globe.
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