In recent years, the internet’s industry landscape has been uniquely evolving to meet the burgeoning demands of its end users, with physical infrastructure methods shifting to cater to higher volumes of content and faster delivery requirements. As internet traffic increases and reliance on seamlessly provisioned content grows, the industry is looking towards the edge to build efficient, capable infrastructure systems that can deliver.
The NEDAS 2018 NYC Summit featured a keynote presentation, given by Josh Snowhorn, which discussed how the team at EdgeMicro was tackling the industry’s largest infrastructure issues to meet the needs of their customers. Snowhorn, Chief Strategy Officer at EdgeMicro, acknowledges that in the face of the internet’s “24-hour business” model, designing physical sites and technologies to keep up can be a challenge. Standard methods with large, central data centers have served the industry well for some time, but with rapidly increasing demands and the onset of 5G being close at hand, Snowhorn anticipates the need for a large-scale infrastructure adjustment. Content and providers can no longer afford the cost or latency of moving data through remote data centers, RAN tower hubs, MTSOs, and ultimately an IX or cloud site. Instead, the industry must revolutionize their approach to top-tier content provision through edge solutions.
EdgeMicro, an edge colocation company launched in 2017, is leveraging their edge technologies to facilitate a faster, more reliable internet for end users. To spearhead the exodus to the edge, EdgeMicro is planning to implement 10,000 micro data center locations across North America with the ultimate goal of facilitating a paradigm shift for how the internet is distributed.
EdgeMicro’s approach leverages base-layer infrastructure, like Nextel huts or RAN type head-ins, to take core components and push them out to the edge, effectively creating containerized data centers in a local environment. With the first being implemented in Greenspoint, Texas, these micro edge data centers utilize a software component that sits on existing hardware, which allows a one to multi peering environment at the edge. These smaller sites will house all the same hardware that can be found in any standard data center, but micro encapsulated. This infrastructure approach allows mobile providers to connect to content that sits locally in any EdgeMicro site.
These micro data centers located at the edge allow for a multitude of advantages that uniquely cater to the evolving internet landscape. Snowhorn cites space, or real estate, as the largest issue currently plaguing the industry. With standard-sized data centers, it can be difficult to deploy the equipment required to reach the necessary markets in areas like Houston, which have sprawling infrastructures. Even if companies can find space to locate a concrete, core data center, further permitting and eventual expansions are often necessary. Micro edge data centers, due to their size and geographical advantage, solve all of these real estate issues with added benefits. In the EdgeMicro approach, the data moves between cell tower radios, through common switching and routing equipment, into their modular data centers, without transmitting data back to a fixed data center. These facilities are compact enough to even be deployed in areas like parking lots, making internet and data provisioning easier than ever before.
Small facilities, such as the ones created and developed by EdgeMicro, provide the opportunity to geolocate around the market, enabling precision load balancing for customers and clients. In addition, this method also opens up doors for tailored content provision and ad distribution based on local populations. Ultimately, this revolutionized local peering approach provides ultra-low latency, optimized end-user experience, reduced backhaul expense and reduced customer churn, making it the best solution for a growing industry. Compact, micro centers are at the forefront of an augmented edge. Once implemented, this optimized edge has the capacity to create a completely transformed internet market, making the “24-hour business” faster, more adaptable and more streamlined than ever before.