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Cloudflare edges its bets, signs EdgeMicro as third edge colocation vendor

Cloudflare edges its bets, signs EdgeMicro as third edge colocation vendor

Global cloud services firm Cloudflare has signed on as an anchor tenant in dozens of EdgeMicro colocation sites across the nation, the companies have announced. Cloudflare provides content delivery services as well as edge computing services.

This decision is expected to cut Cloudflare’s latency to the ultra-low range in Austin, TX, Tampa, FLA, and Raleigh, NC and later to the over 30 sites that EdgeMicro will deploy its those areas by moving computing and storage services closer to subscribers. Centralized cloud services suffer in comparison because with distance comes delays in moving data back and forth.

Colocation strategies can be attractive to IT departments unhappy with the latency of centralized cloud computing but who are reluctant to pay to build their own edge systems.

EdgeMicro data centers are carrier-neutral. They are turnkey units, and can be sited on cell towers, rooftops, parking lots or any other fiber-aggregation point.

Cloudflare appears to appreciate diversification strategies in its business model, too.

The company was spotlighted last month in news about venture funding for another co-location vendor. Vapor IO, maker of Kinetic Edge modular co-location data centers, closed a $90 million series-C round of funding. Company executives have said they will put the latest investment to use, in part, rolling out cloud services in 36 U.S. markets over the next two years. Cloudflare, a customer of Vapor IO as well, plans to expand into the same 36 markets.

Vapor IO’s Kinetic Edge is differentiated from other edge colocation vendors with the unusual cylindrical layout of its rack system, which allows for the place of 150kW of information-technology load in six rack wedges. Waste heat rise through what essentially becomes a chimney, and a software-controlled fan forces the hot air out.

At the same time, CloudFlare is also a customer of EdgeConnex, another edge data-center service firm. To get a sense of CloudFlare’s overall bandwidth and colocation spending, the company has equipment placed in 155 datacenters around the world. The company reported last year that it had $36m in spending commitments in place as of Q3 2019.

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