The edge is at the forefront of nearly every internet infrastructure conversation and defining it has set off some powerful oppositions. It would be convenient if we could turn to Webster for a cut-and-dried answer to precisely define the edge, but the answer would likely be insufficient. One reason the edge is so hard to define is that it is intangible. Additionally, the edge is not a place, nor does it look the same to every player in the digital ecosystem.
The way I see it, and how we define it at DartPoints, is that the edge is a vision.
Although it is always evolving, DartPoints’ edge vision has been crystal clear from the beginning. It has been the foundation for everything we stand for and what we deliver to our customers: a next-generation, cost-effective interconnection ecosystem that serves communities of all sizes, because we believe everyone deserves state-of-the-art internet access. Our edge definition originated more than 20 years ago, with the genesis of what we call the “first ring of the digital highway.”
In the late 90s, as the demand for internet connectivity grew, the first ring of the digital highway was developed. Data centers were established in well-developed markets such as New York, Dallas, the Bay Area, and Chicago. The new data centers made these cities desirable destinations for up-and-coming businesses, and those looking to expand — thus, bolstering their economic strength.
Rapid data center proliferation continued over the next several years, cultivating the second ring of the digital highway. Cities such as Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Atlanta comprised this second-tier market segment, and they also experienced the economic benefits that come with greater connectivity.
Fast forward another five to ten years, and this is where DartPoints’ edge vision manifests itself: the third ring of the digital highway. These smaller mid-size markets drive us to push our capabilities out further to the edge than other players in this space. We own, deploy, and operate edge colocation data centers that bring interconnection and peering into mid-size markets. Our mission is to empower these markets by delivering a solution that gives them the ability to harness major market opportunities.
The core digital infrastructure that has been established over the past 25 years has been pivotal for economic output in densely populated, well-connected communities. However, networks driven by a few centralized hyperscale locations aren’t opening doors for smaller markets, nor will this type of architecture meet future digital traffic requirements from 5G applications such as AI, autonomous vehicles, telehealth, and more.
Just like hyperscalers have done in top-tier markets, DartPoints is delivering, cultivating, and enabling neutral interconnection points within mid-size markets. We are interconnecting our facilities and creating a peering ecosystem to help these markets solve challenges associated with data traffic. In turn, DartPoints is building a firm foundation that enhances the ability to deliver real-time data and supports the rapidly evolving demands for content and applications at the edge.
The ability to reach content, applications and cloud services with the best performance is just as important for a business in Columbus, Ohio as it is for a business in New York. Additionally, performance is predicated upon latency, so latency-sensitive applications must be accessed as close to the end-user as possible.
DartPoints enables locally generated data to be processed, executed, stored and managed at the point of demand while maintaining the ability to connect globally. We are creating a peering ecosystem where the customers can come in and connect to the rest of the world. By providing a vendor-neutral and scalable peering infrastructure that creates and encourages partnership opportunities for all participants, we are strengthening our market’s internet connectivity ecosystem, and by extension, their economy as a whole.
Hyperscalers operate in markets containing substantial infrastructure within a few locations housing massive, multiple-megawatt facilities. That is not our goal, nor does it fit into our vision of the edge. DartPoints deploys the same capabilities as the big players, but in mid-size markets with right-sized data centers. We aren’t going to deploy several hundred thousand square feet or 75 megawatts of power in a market that simply doesn’t require it. Instead of having a set size or power standard for each location, we approach each market strategically. We analyze the market to understand its specific needs and then determine the best solution.
In many cases, the best solution requires enterprise-type solutions, and we deliver those services to previously mid-size markets as part of our holistic digital infrastructure approach. DartPoints’ private cloud is ideal for these markets when they are seeking large-scale computing capabilities. Our cloud solutions are built and customized to meet the specific requirements of our customers.
No matter where an organization operates — whether it is in the first ring of the internet highway or the third – security and uptime are critical to their bottom line. Our team works with each customer to develop comprehensive, scalable security, data recovery, and backup solutions to protect their data and business operations. We advocate for our customer’s best interests and meet their exact storage and security specifications. Those bigger players don’t often provide that type of partnership, and we’re proud that it is an integral component of our edge vision.
We understand that DartPoints is not doing something brand new, but we are providing services in a unique way, with a very specific mission. After all, recreating an existing business model, verbatim, is not how you achieve success in the data center space. Digital infrastructure has always been built on reliability, security, scalability, and longevity. We are simply taking a model that has been proven in well-connected larger markets and enabling it in mid-size markets. We are executing a similar model to what the bigger players deliver on — but doing so in a smaller footprint.
DartPoints delivers proactive, purpose-built critical infrastructure solutions to developing U.S. markets that are not addressed by traditional providers or are served by component providers who do not deliver end-to-end enterprise solutions. We cut our teeth providing enterprise-grade services to mid-size markets. We have served and will continue to target the “third ring of the internet” to ensure every community has equal access to world-class interconnectivity.
Organizations need a trusted provider in or near their physical locations, and DartPoints is that partner. We have been in business for over 15 years and since our inception, our vision of the edge and commitment to our customers has remained absolute: To extend connectivity farther than ever before and facilitate equal access to life-changing technology for every person, business, and community.
Discover how DartPoints’ state-of-the-art edge interconnection data centers can bring your business data closer to you and help you confidently deploy at the edge.
DartPoints | edge data center | edge ecosystem | hyperscaler | interconnection | networking | real estate