Networks Europe March/April 2019 - Page 13

EDGE COMPUTING "We estimate that only 10% of IoT applications and their supporting workloads require a physical presence at the edge. The remaining 90% can be sufficiently served from the existing metropolitan data centre and co-location facilities" By Val Walsh, Senior Vice President Portfolio and Commercial Management, Digital Realty Ensuring faster processing times with reduced latency in the age of 5G and the Internet of Things As the hype around the Internet of Things (IoT) starts to become a reality, 2019 looks set to be the year of ‘the edge’ for telecoms and data centre networks, as it makes its way into enterprise IT strategies. Industry talk points to several technological trends and developments driving this transition and adoption of the edge. One of these will be artificial intelligence (AI), which is gradually being adopted by businesses across the world and demands more compute with faster access, making edge an obvious solution. Additionally, 5G will become an operational reality towards the end of the year, further fuelling the need for rapid data transport and processing. As organisations continue to adopt IoT, it will require massive amounts of data to run its application – from the processing of vast quantities of sensors that are fed into machine learning (ML) and AI platforms for actionable intelligence. The general consensus is that all of the above will move compute closer to where it will ultimately be used so decisions can be made faster and from across the globe. Thinking local It’s true that these new technologies are creating new demands for how we process data. However, we believe that talk of completely re-engineering data infrastructure around new micro data centres at the edge underestimates both the intelligence of devices and the capabilities of our existing infrastructure. In fact, the future of these new technologies is split-second decision-making at the device itself – whether on a computer in Paris, a mobile phone in Berlin, or in a Tesla on the motorway to Newcastle – where there’s no risk from latency or interruption. 13