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From the center to the edge: How data migration shapes infrastructure evolution

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From the center to the edge: How data migration shapes infrastructure evolution

By Borko Drljaca, Product Marketing Writer at phoenixNAP

Data fosters development

As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow and diversify, edge computing is revolutionizing the IT world as we know it. This ecosystem triggers an evolution in computing, creating a demand to bring data processing as close to the actual data source as possible.

The ongoing global 5G network deployment is about to further power the edge, increasing data transfer speed at the very birthplace of data – the high-density IoT. Telecommunications are pushing this new frontier and Gartner predicts that in 2023 about 50% of handsets in Western Europe will be 5G-capable, with an even greater growth expected in North America.

As the data moves closer to the edge, data centers are not being left behind. Instead, this migration reshapes and transforms them, modernizing their services and adapting them to the new normal.

“Hey Google, what is edge computing?”

The edge is defined as a high-performance platform located on premises, providing compute, storage, and data processing resources close to the actual IoT devices generating the data. Being physically close, edge devices collect and process data with minimal latency, significantly reducing the decision-making time of an application.

For example, read the question from the heading above to the voice assistant on your phone and your device will leverage edge computing. In return, it will reply in as few milliseconds as possible instead of waiting for the information to travel to the cloud and back.

This benefits industries and applications reliant on fast data processing such as digital factories, autonomous vehicles, video surveillance systems, facial recognition applications, and voice assistants, to name a few.

The edge and the cloud — complement, not competition

Contrary to popular belief, edge computing is not here to replace cloud computing. Instead, the two architectures complement one another and pave the way to the future of our data-centric lives.

Edge computing has secured its position in the industry through:

– Decreased latency
– Cost-effectiveness
– Security
– Consistency

However, even though scaling through IoT devices or local servers can be cheaper, setting up and maintaining edge computing infrastructure is quite costly. In addition to IoT devices, edge computing requires gateways, servers, and other local hardware to work. So, while being cost-effective on the bandwidth side, edge computing is still an investment on the hardware and software side.

Also, while decentralizing your infrastructure keeps it safer from threats, it increases the overall attack surface of your network. Similarly, relying on a distributed system and not depending on a single provider helps to maintain a stable user experience but at the cost of high maintenance.

On the other hand, cloud computing provides the following:

– Robust infrastructure – high availability space and power with expert staff support
– Highly secure solutions – DDoS protection and Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS)
– Reliability – infrastructure maintained and optimized by the provider
– Flexibility – workload-optimized solutions that can be scaled fast

To sum it up, edge computing has low-latency data processing as its undeniable advantage, but it is only as good as its upstream infrastructure. There is no rivalry between cloud and edge computing. Instead, both should be leveraged together as a comprehensive and future-proof infrastructure solution.

Aim at the edge, shoot for the cloud

Entering a new era of computing calls for expansion, not exclusion. Understanding this, enterprise data centers are increasingly embracing new business models and solutions.

Edge data centers are one example of this. Smaller and more versatile, these facilities are rapidly sprouting throughout urban areas providing edge services directly to local markets. Another example is the development of edge-friendly infrastructure solutions and services.

PhoenixNAP embraces the edge by constantly expanding its footprint and currently has 17 data centers distributed around the five continents. Its Bare Metal Cloud (BMC) can be deployed worldwide in minutes through API, CLI, or Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tools. Powered by all-flash storage and cutting-edge, scalable CPUs, BMC is optimized for data-centric workloads. With up to 50 Gbps network capacity and hardware and software-based security, it enables protected, high-speed data transfer between the edge and the cloud tier.

In short: the edge beckons and data centers follow.

Conclusion: the future is hybrid

Data centers, cloud, IoT, and edge computing are here to stay, grow, and evolve, adapting to the ever-increasing demands of the digital world. With data stored and processed on multiple tiers, there is no permanent migration to a single solution. The future of computing lies in finding a pervasive, hybrid platform. Data centers will surely continue adapting to it, being there to support the edge wherever it takes them.

About the author

Borko Drljaca is a Product Marketing Writer at phoenixNAP, a global IT services provider offering progressive IaaS solutions delivered from strategic edge locations worldwide. Its cloud, dedicated servers, hardware leasing and colocation options are built to support growth and innovation in businesses of any size, enabling their digital transformation.

DISCLAIMER: Guest posts are submitted content. The views expressed in this blog are that of the author, and don’t necessarily reflect the views of Edge Industry Review (

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