Laurie Samper, Technical Writer, iMiller Public Relations, says:

What’s in a name?  For edge data centers, it is the difference between being considered part of the edge or just another data center in a tier-2 market according to Network World’s Zeus Kerravala.

Edge data centers have created quite the buzz within the industry, especially during the recent surge of Cloud and Internet content.  These particular facilities are specifically designed to deliver content to the edge of the network.  However, as Mr. Kerravala points out in his article “7 Criteria for Defining Edge Data Centers,” simply having a facility in a tier-2 market does not an edge data center make, it merely creates the opportunity for enhanced and accelerated content brought to users outside of tier-1 cities.  And, just as I am noticing a slightly higher volume of Blackhawks jerseys in Chicago this time of the year, I am also seeing many data center providers similarly jumping aboard another bandwagon, the “expanded edge”.  Misleading the general public, these organizations may appear as though they have expanded their network reach to the edge, when in reality, they’ve just purchased additional facilities.

According to Mr. Kerravala’s article, in order for a facility to be considered part of the edge, it must meet seven key criteria:

  1. Edge data centers must serve more than half of local broadband users: it is not enough to have real estate at the edge, facilities must reach the majority of people throughout the region.
  2. Facilities must serve up at least 75% of the local Internet usage: the ultimate end goal of expanding the edge is to bring critical content closer to the end user. If the provider is not meeting at least three-quarters of this content, cloud services and sites, it’s simply not bringing enough to the table.
  3. Data centers must create a shift in peering traffic: to be considered an edge facility, data centers should automatically serve as their own peering point within the local market.
  4. The facility’s development should provide measurable cost and performance benefits: when the edge is expanded, performance and cost-effectiveness in turn follow suit.
  5. Facilities at the edge must deliver a richer media experience: by bringing content closer to the user, providers are able to deliver a high quality experience at a level that could not be achieved before.
  6. Network edge expansion improves security: isolation is key to content security, and with close proximity to peering points, the network is much safer from DDoS attacks.
  7. Edge data centers are Tier 3, N+1 facilities: being a tier 3 data center means it can guarantee 99.982% uptime, meeting the high standards of cable operators as well as the greater community alike.

Achieving each and every one of these standards within all 20 of its Edge Data Centers® (EDCs) nationwide (and growing), EdgeConneX has proven to be a leader in the space, aggressively expanding its network footprint to the true edge.  The company has created a new Edge of the Internet by designing and deploying facilities that are strategically positioned nearest to network provider aggregation points to ensure the lowest latency data delivery with improved Quality of Service (QoS).  Recently, EdgeConneX announced a partnership with FiberLight to deliver secure, scalable and reliable high-performance network connectivity to its Miami EDC.  The partnership provides end-users in local markets with access to world-class data center and connectivity solutions.

When it comes to trending topics and ideas, it’s important to educate yourself and stay sharp, as many who wish to jump on the fast-moving bandwagon may not have the foundation to back up their claims. Don’t let the smoke and mirrors fool you, while the potential for network expansion may be present, many providers are simply collecting data centers in tier-2 markets, creating a thinly veiled illusion.  A data center earns the privilege to be called an edge data center by moving rich content closer to the user in order to enhance the delivery experience of all parties involved.

For more information about EdgeConneX and its leading Edge of network infrastructure solutions for expanding and improving access to wireless and data communications, visit: or email