In the wake of COVID-19, companies around the world are rethinking their remote working infrastructure - and many of them are embracing ‘edge’ computing. Edge computing - the practice of processing and storing data either where it’s created or close to where it’s generated, for example in a smartphone, a smart car or an internet-connected machine in a factory - has enormous potential in the age of AI and automation. Think augmented reality apps, wearable devices, and self-driving cars. These all require data processing in real time, and waiting for data to be transferred to the cloud or to a data center far away is just not an option.
“The potential for edge computing is extremely high: in five or ten years, the majority of enterprise data could bypass the centralized, hyper-scale cloud providers entirely,” said Javed Ali, co-founder of Intergrid, a server hosting and edge computing provider with data centers located in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth and Auckland. With a diverse network across multiple jurisdictions in Australia and New Zealand, all seven of Intergrid's data centres are interconnected with high-speed fibre links for high-availability content delivery to the edge.
“We are finding that, more and more, customers want their data hosted geographically proximate to their operations, be that their customers, branch offices or end users. We have laid out our centres accordingly across Australia and NZ, and we plan to launch additional locations soon,” Javed added.
While edge computing is still in its infancy, research firm Gartner predicts that by 2025, an impressive 75 percent of enterprise data will be generated and processed at “the edge.” In 2018, just 10 percent of enterprise data was processed at the edge.
“By bringing your data closer to end users, it improves network latency. This helps improve upload and download speeds, enables quicker decision-making, lower bandwidth expenses and faster data processing,” said Javed. In this data-rich world we now live in, a different type of cloud infrastructure is needed to deliver content to devices across Australia. Enter edge computing.”
Not only does Intergrid enable edge computing capacities for organizations, it also simplifies the entire data management process for SMEs and corporate clients. Operating in a regulatory environment that is becoming increasingly complex to navigate, given newly introduced data laws that affect businesses worldwide, Intergrid offers a full-service cloud platform coupled with legal compliance consultancy. Specializing in wholesale, education and healthcare markets, the team's technical and legal knowledge allows even the most highly regulated industries to move to the cloud.
Edge computing is an emerging technology; one that is rising in terms of maturity and importance. According to the Forrester Analytics Global Business Technographics® Mobility Survey 2019, 57 percent of mobility decision makers said they had edge computing on their roadmap for the next 12 months - something very significant when considering how recently edge computing was developed. This brings both opportunity and challenges to the vendor space. What edge computing firms and data centres should keep in mind into 2021 is that companies will prefer multi-vendor packaged solutions over single vendors, and the unique demands of storage, compute and networking will drive the development of custom form factors, starting from the processor level.