10 Reasons to Consider Edge Computing for Future Data Center Designs

As data volumes continue to skyrocket and user expectations for speed and availability keep rising, many companies are finding their existing centralized infrastructure struggling to keep up. 

Edge computing presents a compelling alternative worth exploring. It refers to a distributed computing framework that brings computation and data storage closer to the sources of data generation. Rather than funneling all of your company’s data through a single centralized computer room, edge enables you to deploy smaller, localized data hubs at the network edge. 

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at 10 powerful reasons why making edge part of your long-term data center strategy is well worth your consideration.

1. Lower Latency for Enhanced User and Device Experiences

By locating processing and storage resources closer to end users and devices, edge computing eliminates the time-consuming round trips to distant centralized computer rooms. This allows for significantly faster response times across a wide range of applications. 

Whether it’s supporting real-time analytics for IoT devices, powering augmented reality experiences, or enabling low-latency remote control of industrial systems, edge shaves precious milliseconds off interactions to improve functionality and responsiveness.

2. Increased Resiliency Through Distributed Infrastructure

An edge computing architecture distributes your infrastructure across multiple localized nodes rather than centralizing it all in one computer room. This geographical distribution across various sites provides automatic redundancy.

  • If a localized disaster like flooding or a power outage impacts one location, other sites can pick up the workload to keep business operations running without interruption. A single, centralized data center does not have this built-in redundancy.
  • Edge’s distributed model also protects you from single points of failure. For example, if a critical component like a network router, switch or server fails at one site, the rest of the infrastructure across other sites remains unimpacted.
  • Through automated workload distribution and failover protocols, this ensures business-critical applications have no downtime, even if an entire edge computing site goes dark temporarily. Centralized infrastructure lacks this level of built-in fault tolerance capabilities.
  • Distributed infrastructure enhances resilience against large-scale outages as well. For instance, if a power grid failure or natural disaster knocks out an entire region, your other edge sites outside the affected zone can seamlessly take over operations.
  • Additionally, localized sites are generally smaller in scale than centralized computer rooms. This modularity means the impact of any single incident is reduced. For example, a small server room going down affects far fewer workloads than an entire multi-acre data center.
  • Edge’s ability to operate applications locally even during network outages due to its distributed storage and processing adds an extra layer of resilience. Centralized cloud has a single point of failure if the wide-area network connecting sites to the core computer room goes down.
  • Regular geographic distribution of sites as per your business needs helps achieve optimal resilience. Factors like population density, disaster risk profiles and connectivity options determine ideal placement across territories for automatic redundancy benefits.

Overlapping coverage between sites ensures continuous availability. For instance, if an incident disables one location, surrounding sites can instantly absorb its user base and device connections.

3. Reduced Network Backhaul Usage and Costs

By handling more processing and storage at the network, you drastically reduce the amount of data that needs to be transferred long distances over backhaul connections between edge computing sites and centralized computer rooms. This provides two major benefits: it eases congestion on your backhaul networks to ensure quality of service for critical traffic, and it lowers your bandwidth costs by minimizing unnecessary data movement.

4. Ability to Address Data Sovereignty and Regulatory Needs

For industries like healthcare, financial services and government that must adhere to strict data residency rules, it opens up possibilities that centralized infrastructure cannot provide. By locally storing and processing data within geographic boundaries, edge allows you to satisfy jurisdictional compliance requirements around privacy, security and sovereignty in a way that remote centralized data centers do not.

5. Support for Specialized Low-Latency Workloads

Certain latency-critical applications like autonomous vehicles, telemedicine, immersive entertainment and industrial robotics require responsiveness that centralized cloud infrastructure simply cannot match, no matter how much you optimize it. Edge’s proximity to end points enables entirely new categories of applications that demand single-digit millisecond responses to thrive.

6. Optimized Access to Internet of Things Data

As the volume of data generated by IoT devices continues to balloon, it is increasingly important for cost-effective and low-latency IoT deployments. By analyzing, aggregating and filtering IoT data at the edge before forwarding insights to centralized data centers, you can extract maximum value from real-time sensor readings while avoiding prohibitive backhaul fees.

7. Enhanced Security Through Data Segregation

An edge architecture inherently segments your data infrastructure into multiple smaller zones distributed across locations. This makes it far more difficult for malicious actors to acquire large caches of sensitive customer or operational data all at once through a single breach. It also enables localized access controls and network segmentation policies for added layers of protection.

8. Flexibility to Support Hybrid Cloud Strategies

With edge, your infrastructure is not tied exclusively to public or private clouds. You have the flexibility to run workloads both on-premises and in the cloud. It supports hybrid models where certain functions run locally but seamlessly integrate with centralized cloud services. This gives you optimal control and cost-efficiency.

9. Ability to Follow Customers and Assets Onto New Platforms

As digital experiences proliferate across new devices, operating systems and form factors, edge ensures your infrastructure can keep pace. Rather than being constrained by the limitations of fixed centralized computer rooms, it empowers you to deploy capabilities wherever your customers, partners and assets migrate.

10. Opportunity for New Revenue Streams Through Edge Services

This infrastructure opens the door for innovative new business models. You can potentially monetize your distributed edge computing resources by offering localized cloud, storage and analytics services to other companies in the same geographic areas. This can become an entire new line of business over time.

In Conclusion 

Edge computing presents a compelling strategic shift for computer rooms that promises lower costs, better performance and new opportunities compared to traditional centralized models. As you plan new infrastructure investments, taking a serious look at incorporating edge into your long-term roadmap could well prove one of the savviest decisions for your future technology needs.