DCN September 2017 - Page 32

Colocation & Outsourcing Edgey Steve Whatling, MD at Keysource, explains why the growing demand for edge data centres led by Internet of Things, smart cities, and content distribution, presents a number of challenges that data centre operators will need to be prepared for. T he data centre landscape is fundamentally changing. As businesses and the public sector continue to invest in the possibilities of always-on connectivity, the creation of a fully-connected smart city is no longer a pipedream. From Barcelona – where public transport, parking and street lights are internet-enabled – to Bristol, which has invested in projects to monitor traffic and 32 | September 2017 the environment, real-world pilot projects are gaining momentum. This will result in a realignment in the market towards edge data centres, or fog compute, in the coming years to support this growing need for greater connectivity and data availability. This presents a huge opportunity for professional data centre operators but one that is not without its challenges. Whilst the decentralised data centre model has been around in various guises for some time, it fell out of favour for a lot of businesses as they sought to exploit the efficiencies of operating fewer, larger data centres. The emergence of the IoT will undoubtedly lead to a resurgence in its popularity. Only edge networks can provide the high connectivity and low latency required by the IoT and meet customers growing expectation for instant content and services. Whilst the data centre has often been seen as an afterthought