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Supporting IoT's Push to the Edge


According to Gartner, almost 20 percent of organizations recently surveyed witnessed one or more IoT-based attacks over the last three years

Edge computing is being driven by three factors: the need to process data closer to the end user to avoid latency, operators’ demand to densify their networks, and virtualization, which lowers costs and promotes shared infrastructure.

Edge vs. Cloud

When you start to discuss the edge, one question inevitably comes up: what does it mean for cloud computing? Will the edge eat the cloud? Are they competing architectures? And when industry players continue to tout the benefits of a centralized cloud model, why are some of us saying to distribute the network?

Roger Pink of IEEE contemplates this in a recent article, “The cloud has introduced significant efficiencies and has steadily reduced costs. Thus it is understandable if a trend towards decentralization in storage and processing seems counterintuitive. However, given the bandwidth limitations of networks and the huge amount of data the IoT is going to produce, it makes sense that the IoT shouldn’t necessarily work out of the cloud.”

We’re simply in a different place now, with new and more complex data to work with. There’s room for traditional cloud computing and shifting workloads to the edge—and a big appetite for hybrid approaches—but IoT simply doesn’t work without a faster, more distributed network.

The Security Question

Another question mark in everyone’s mind is security, one of the biggest concerns regarding distributed IoT networks. Depending on who you talk to, edge computing can fall in different places on the security spectrum. While data is more private by definition if it’s processed and stored on a device versus the internet, edge infrastructure also adds exponentially more endpoints that could potentially be susceptible to attack.

According to Gartner, almost 20 percent of organizations recently surveyed witnessed one or more IoT-based attacks over the last three years. The firm predicts that IoT security spending will reach $1.8 billion this year, which is 28 percent more than 2017.  

Tackling IoT security is more of a challenge than traditional IT security for several reasons, as this IEEE article points out. The consequences are more serious, the adversaries are different than ever before and the devices are often a vulnerable patchwork of software, hardware and firmware built by various companies.

What Now?

We still have a lot to work through when it comes to IoT, whether it’s the supporting architecture or the growing security concerns. And we’re seeing many new market players emerge and existing organizations adjust strategy to address those pain points.

At 365 Data Centers, we have been laser-focused on hybrid, edge data center solutions that support high performance, low latency, intensely secure requirements, because we see that as the way the market is heading. We’re proud to provide hybrid data center solutions in eight key U.S. edge markets—Boca Raton, Buffalo, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Indianapolis, Nashville, Philadelphia and Tampa—plus additional connectivity through our Chicago and New York data centers and 15 other network points of presence nationwide. Our customers, from enterprises to carriers, and content and cloud providers, are demanding the expansion of fast and reliable edge networks.

We’re confident that 365 Data Centers and other service providers will continue to address the opportunities and challenges that IoT presents with the appropriate technical and business acumen. Collectively, we will provision and maintain the next generation of edge networks.



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