By Laurie Samper, Technical Writer, iMiller Public Relations
The Internet has become a staple within our society as a highly sought-after and necessary commodity to enable many aspects of our daily lives, evidenced by our annual global IP traffic set to surpass the zettabyte threshold by the end of 2016. Industry leaders within the Internet and telecommunications sectors spend their days facilitating new ideas to make the Internet faster, simpler and more accessible as our needs continue to grow. With the proliferation of Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT), we expect to see 25 billion devices transferring more data across our networks than ever before. Along with this increased traffic come more challenges, as this network architecture was not built to support the mounting volume of traffic that traverses it today.
Many important tier 2 markets throughout the U.S. and the world are grossly underserved when it comes to Internet connectivity and content delivery, forcing local consumers to accept low-quality and low latency connections. Similarly, content, network, CDN and service providers have historically had to pay high transport costs in order to deliver content to these end-users. Data retrieval has traditionally been an intricate and expensive process that has required multiple hops to distant locations (large data centers in tier 1 markets) and resulted in low latency content delivery as well as poor service quality. To combat this issue, today’s forward-thinking data center providers are developing a new Edge of the Internet, storing data locally within tier 2 markets.
This development doesn’t make the Internet faster per se, but it is making it smarter. While others build data centers in tier 2 markets, companies like EdgeConneX® build Edge Data Centers®, creating a new Edge of the network and changing the Internet peering structure in a way that brings content closer to the user. True edge data centers enable local-market consumers to access Internet-based content faster from a closer proximity, eliminating latency and improving quality – all while reducing transport costs for the provider
One of the first Edge Data Centers was built in Houston, TX by EdgeConneX. Originally relying on service from Dallas data centers, those located in Houston and surrounding areas were forced to rely on accessing data stored more than 200 miles away. By getting Comcast to develop a neutral data center, EdgeConneX was able to work closely with the content providers in the area to enhance the Internet for Houston. Today, the company’s Edge Data Centers have expanded to more than 20 locations, with facilities covering 80,000 square feet powered by six to 10 MW of energy. The amount of traffic being localized and converted to video – which is highly bandwidth and latency-sensitive – is massive, so they are making every effort to develop the proper structures to house it, delivering 75% or more of the Internet where it’s needed most: nearest the end-user.
The promise of anytime, anywhere, anyhow connectivity has created massive opportunities for today’s edge data center providers. The rapid proliferation of video, cloud-based applications and gaming is driving a growing need for a new edge, and companies like EdgeConneX have taken the leadership position in delivering it.