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Change in information technology (IT) is good. It paves the way to innovation and invention. And the massive digital transformation that the world is now undergoing is changing the way we do business and how we will power the digital economy into the future.
For example, there are new global commerce and collaboration models where increasingly B2B companies and service providers are acquiring customers through blogs like this one, and providing customer support through social networks such as Facebook.
There are also new connectivity and data models to address the explosion of connected things and the data they produce. Much of this commerce, collaboration, connectivity and data needs to be interconnected at the digital edge, where it’s all happening.
What’s the digital edge?
The digital edge is where commerce, population centers and digital ecosystems meet. It is where the physical and virtual worlds come together, as mobile connected devices interact with cloud services, and business processes integrate with social media services, all transferring increasing amounts of latency-sensitive data.
Unlike the traditional edge where IT services were centralized, the digital edge takes the shape of a distributed set of hubs in strategic locations with hybrid cloud IT services co-located in proximity to the people, clouds and data exchanges that digital business requires. The are many reasons to put digital IT at the edge, but for now, we’ll just focus on the three that represent the greatest impact on the performance and security of today’s dynamic workloads.
1. Physics – Latency-sensitive workloads will always benefit from being closer to the people and things that need to access them, which is why localizing data traffic flow can greatly improve performance and user quality of experience (QoE). By reducing complexity and response time, direct, lower latency connectivity can deliver serious cost benefits.
2. Volumes – Increasing digital volume and variety as more and different types of data are being produced requires that people, locations, clouds and data intersect in vendor-neutral colocations where there are multi-party, multi-service data flows and exchanges. By overlaying integration services within vertical (e.g., financial services, health care, media and entertainment) or horizontal (e.g., network, cloud, IoT) industry ecosystem exchange points, you can shorten the distance between the participants and accelerate collaboration and innovation.
3. Regulations – Security and control are two big reasons why digital IT needs to be at the edge. Data residency and new and existing regulations are compelling factors to keep data in state or in country, regardless of industry. Overlaying a mesh of distributed security services within a colocation data center will help you
create a logical, impenetrable protection zone around your data.
Taking digital IT to the edge does not have to be a difficult journey when you take the following steps toward deploying network, security, data and application IT at the edge of your enterprise:
• Localize and optimize the traffic
• Establish multi-cloud connectivity
• Connect to digital ecosystems
• Establish boundary control
• Colocate identity and key management
• Deploy security analytics and logging
• Solve data cache placement
• Deploy edge analytics and streaming flows
• Enable data exchange and data integration
• Implement API management
• Deploy complex event processing
• Integrate predictive algorithmic services
By creating a tailored digital edge, you can control the flow of incoming and outgoing data and traffic between multiple clouds and users, inside and outside your firm. You can also connect back to your legacy environments and infrastructure while simultaneously building out ecosystems of digital partners and providers. Network, cloud and managed service providers can leverage “gravity” with other partners at the digital edge, and set up peering relationships within dense ecosystems. Proximate interconnection allows business partners to reduce latency between their services and deliver greater performance and an enhanced user experience to their customers.
Finally, deploying IT at the digital edge, will enable you toextend your digital platform globally