We live in an impatient, demand-driven world where everyone wants immediate access to information and services, fast response times in gaming, or the ability to post to social media as near real-time as possible. If a website is slow to respond, we hit refresh, complain, or seek a different site. This response speed is even more important if it happens to be part of a critical service, such as point of sale, security, or managing autonomous functions.
We are embracing a world where we want to work, shop, live, and have services delivered from anywhere at anytime. As a result, the need for everything as a service is critical for our new way of life. People have moved, and increasingly continue to move, away from larger centers of population to more rural, emerging markets where they now work remotely online, shop online, get entertained online, and even obtain healthcare online. That remote access means our network and compute profiles are changing to address more needs at the Edge and to support these emerging markets.
But that connection can’t be slow. We need speed.
Edge computing, or bringing applications and data closer to the user, is critical to improving this access speed. This brings us to the definition of Edge. There are many definitions of Edge computing, but the most accepted Edge definitions include:
- User Edge where IoT, sensors, smart devices, and local onboard compute exists at a manufacturer site, within a vehicle, in smart cities, or at the point of sale.
- Local Edge where access to local networks, small Edge data centers, aggregation points for data collection/delivery, and Edge compute decisions should happen within the local metro.
- Service Provider Edge where local regional data centers open up access to great connectivity, highly reliable space/power, and fast connections to public clouds and large core compute.
- Continental Edge where we drive subsea connectivity between continents and build ecosystems of partners to support and enhance international connections.