Choosing an enterprise data center solution is more complicated than it used to be. There is an overwhelming number of types of facilities and options. Cloud or non-cloud? Public or private cloud? What about colocation? Or maybe you should go with an edge data center?
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to data storage. This is why we always recommend learning about the pros and the cons of each solution. Let’s take a close look at edge data centers to learn what they are, who can benefit from them, and how they fit into a data storage strategy.
What Are Edge Data Centers?
Edge data centers are facilities located close to the population they serve, which makes them ideal for delivering data and content to end-users faster.
Why is location for a data center so important? Can’t you host anywhere in this digitally connected world? You can host anywhere, but proximity has benefits because it reduces latency and improves the customer experience altogether. More on that later.
The need for edge computing stems from a fairly recent problem: traditional cloud networks are highly centralized. Data is gathered at the outermost edges and then sent back to the main servers. Rinse, repeat, and finally deliver content to end-users.
This process requires massive processing power. The data path from the huge cloud data center to the user is far too long. The hyperscalers that dominate the public cloud (Microsoft, Google, and Amazon) carry the weight of the internet on their shoulders. This is why they (along with numerous other large enterprises) have started to rely on edge computing more and more.
Here’s why big data centers and large enterprises should look at a regional data center like HTDC in the Midwest for edge hosting.
Top Edge Data Centers Benefits
1. Better Speed through Reduced Latency
Speed is essential for every business, but there are some industries where speed is crucial. For instance, high-frequency trading algorithms in the financial industry—even a milliseconds delay can mean huge financial losses. Similarly, in the health industry, a fraction of a second makes the difference between life and death.
Even for enterprises that provide data-driven services, lags can be frustrating. Milliseconds gained may not mean a “life or death” difference, but speed is no longer nice-to-have. Customers expect it and they are willing to switch providers if their expectations are not met.
This is why the most significant benefit of edge computing is the ability to improve network performance by reducing latency. For instance, a Midwest data center added to your storage strategy can mean both a better user experience for your customers and less time wasted by your employees because of poor load times.
2. Better Security
Traditional cloud architecture is centralized, which makes it inherently vulnerable to DDoS attacks and frequent outages. On the other hand, edge computing uses a wide range of devices and data centers to distribute applications, processing, and storage. This makes it difficult for a single disruption to take down the entire network.
Furthermore, the increase in IoT devices used across industries raises a legitimate concern that they can be used as access entry points. In edge computing, though, this risk and its effects are mitigated because edge architecture makes it easy to seal off compromised portions without the need to shut down the entire network.
3. Increased Reliability
Edge data centers can significantly increase a company’s network reliability. Distributed traffic loads mean that no individual data center is pushed past its maximum capacity.
In the unlikely event that an edge data center fails, you can often redistribute the traffic to other data centers in your network. This is a key part of a multi-data-center strategy that eliminates the potential single point of failure.
For example, one of the things our customers rave about is the fact that Heartland Technology Data Center is a Tier 3 data center, which means that downtimes are extremely unlikely.
4. Cost-Effective Scalability
What happens when your company and/or data processing needs grow? You want your data storage facilities to grow along with it, right? But mere scalability is not enough—especially if it costs an arm and a leg.
The combined power of edge and cloud computing makes it easier and more affordable to scale up when needed. Storage, analytics, and computing capabilities can be bundled up into smaller devices/data centers that can be placed near the end-users. Through edge computing, you can expand your network’s reach and capabilities.
Is a Midwest Edge Data Center Right for You?
While edge data centers have increased in popularity, and the market is still estimated to grow exponentially, this doesn’t mean they are right for everyone. They do offer undeniable benefits, but only if implemented correctly and for the right purposes.
Not sure if a Midwest edge data center is right for you? We encourage you to find out before signing the deal. Request a free virtual tour of our facility or talk to our experts about your data center needs.
If a regional data center in the Midwest is not the right approach for you, we’ll recommend something that fits right into your strategy. We’re passionate about helping businesses of all sizes maximize their computing resources, whether that’s with us, one of our partners, or someone else.