Flip the Script: Get Ready to Ask “What Won’t Be at the Edge?”

Oct 29, 2018
by Josh Anderson

DENVER, CO – The Edge is changing before our eyes – in location, architecture, technology, and also the approach that data center providers take to capitalize on this exciting but evolving opportunity. CapRE makes it a priority to understand where the Edge is headed next, and how it will get there, so at our Second Annual Greater Denver Data Center Summit in August, we convened a panel of regional insiders for a deep dive into this topic.

data center summit“Do any of you have any specific information on how the Edge will drive change for the architectures of the Cloud, data centers, server farms, public and private Cloud, given that statistics right now are saying that 50% of the data in the future is expected to go to the Edge?” asked Alda Licis, Consultant at Licis Consulting.

Robert D. McClary, VP of Operational Standards, Iron Mountain Data Centers replied first. “It’s been a long time since we’ve heard the phrase, oh yeah, when I get home, I’ll work on that,” he mused. “Because it’s happening now. It’s when you’re walking down the street and you’re just looking at your phone…it started moving to that five or six years ago, and that’s really causing this whole move to the Edge. I don’t think it slows down. I think you’re going to find other things that are actually going to accelerate it.”

“One of the things I’ve seen with using Uber and Lyft to get around here is, with all of those enabled applications, it would be nice to at some point coordinator those applications to solve traffic issues in metropolitan areas,” he continued. “It’s reactive right now….I think we’re going to see a coordination of applications at some point to solve infrastructure problems in various locales and metropolitan areas.”

Rabin Mahanty, Director of Sales, H5 Data Centers

“You know, you see a lot of interesting statistics – the Edge is going to be this, or the Edge is going to be some percentage. But I think that it’s going to move to, what isn’t the Edge? Everything will be at the Edge,” predicted Rabin Mahanty, Director of Sales at H5 Data Centers next. “Unless you’re some giant like Google or the Government or Amazon out in Utah or Iowa. Everything is going to your Edge. The Edge will just be synonymous with everything we have in our daily lives and then we’ll just have these gigantic buildings in the middle of nowhere. And those will be the odd ones.”

Finally, Jeremy Meyers, Director of Real Estate at EdgeCore Internet Real Estate offered his take. “I think one of the interesting things about the Edge, talking about how Rob gave the example of coordinating everything or delivering these applications that are a very specific use-case to the Edge to be mobilized, well if you look at the traditional enterprises right now, it’s a huge task just to manage their data center network portfolio between their own stuff and colo,” he remarked.

“So if you’re talking about farming things to a hyper-localized level, you’re talking about the management of more resources,” added Meyers. “So I think that the players that will be at the Edge will be more like Cloud-type companies and more content distribution companies that offer that as a service. And if you think about the Edge and the way that we exchange data, it’s kind of like a supply chain if you will. Trucking companies or distribution companies exist because it doesn’t make sense for the mom and pop to build out a supply chain around the U.S.”

“I think you’ll see a similar type of move for the companies that are truly operating or performing at the Edge,” Meyers concluded. “It’s not to say that some enterprises won’t have physical infrastructure set up, but it’s a lot to manage and orchestrate, so it’s probably better off in the Cloud or service provider market.”

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