Intelligent Data Centres Issue 45 | Page 45


Edge data centres are increasingly pivotal to successful Edge Computing deployments . These are regionally located and serve as the latency-busting missing links between centralised data centres and the network edge – the place where your target business users , consumers , machines and devices actually reside .

Enterprise users and modern software now demand increasingly fast response times , driven by cloud and Software-asa-Service utilities as well as e-commerce . This requires low latency which is also seen as essential in delivering future 5G and IoT-enabled technologies and applications : from driverless vehicles to remote surgery and automated factories . With this , mission-critical applications are securely contained within private Edge cloud environments with only data that is non-time critical sent back to the public cloud – for further analysis or archiving .
Strategic locations
Out of necessity – to minimise latencyinduced lag times – Edge facilities must be highly connected and located in proximity to large conurbations and densely populated cities . The more strategic these are in terms of location , the better for carriers , ISPs and new application providers looking for opportunities to connect and target new customers .
In a country the size of the UK , it may sound relatively straightforward to pinpoint the optimal locations as the physical distances involved between large cities are relatively small compared to say , the US . However , away from the



London metro area – easily the most densely populated area with around 9.4 million – there are some 57 million people , many of which are dispersed somewhat unevenly .
For example , the large conurbations of Greater Manchester and the Birmingham area have around 2.5 million people apiece . But the east coast and south-west populations are considerably smaller by comparison – and spread more thinly . Scotland has a much smaller population than England but there are anomalies with very large populations around big cities such as Glasgow – there ’ s no onesize-fits-all data centre solution .
Additionally , consideration must be given to the number of hops and where on the network an Edge colocation site will be situated – these factors will impact on its suitability to meet specific latency use cases . Access to local Internet exchanges and public cloud infrastructure via gateways are further factors .
Not surprising , many cloud service providers , CDNs , mobile operators and enterprise organisations are now leaving Edge location to the regional Edge colocation experts . These specialist operators make it their business to work closely with network providers in identifying where fibre and Edge data centres are needed .
Follow the fibre
The Liverpool city region is a useful practical example of how targeted regional fibre network infrastructure can combine with strategic colocation data centres . There is a population of 1.5 million and over 37,000 active businesses which need access to computing , applications and IT services hosted locally .
A resilient 212 km fibre backhaul network is being built by ITS , connecting three transatlantic cables and major economic clusters in each of the six local authority areas . Once completed , the network will enable carriers and ISPs to provision gigabit-capable broadband services to the local authorities , businesses and consumers . With this , Proximity Data Centres ’ Edge colocation facilities in Liverpool and Chester will serve as
John Hall , Managing Director – Colocation , Proximity Data Centres
strategic Points of Presence ( PoP ) for providers such as Zayo , helping to reduce latency and data transit costs for thousands of businesses .
In the West Midlands , Glide Group has recently directly connected Proximity ’ s Edge data centre in central Birmingham to its 30 km fibre ring spanning the city . This puts the data centre in easy reach of all the major fibre networks traversing the UK for the benefit of nationwide hyperscalers , CDNs and gaming providers while also allowing low latency for local businesses , retail parks and education campuses .
Colocation approach
Not only do Edge data centres address network latency , bandwidth congestion and data transit concerns , adopting a colocation Edge strategy will remove the financial burden of operating onpremise facilities . Businesses avoid major Capital Expenditure ( CapEx ) by funding immediate and future IT requirements from Operating Expenditure ( OpEx ), effectively renting space for housing racks along with the critical infrastructure to run it such as power , cooling and network connectivity . This can be scaled up or down depending on computing and cloud needs , rather than being stuck with an in-house data centre which is either too small or too large .
However , while top priorities , the ‘ need for speed ’ in terms of achieving low latency connectivity should not distract from the other fundamentals of colocation : continuous 24 / 7 data and www . intelligentdatacentres . com