What is Intelligent Edge?
“Living on the edge is the only way for digital technology to flourish. In short, the Intelligent Edge is a key component of any digital consciousness,” says Sven Blom, Head of Sales at Teraco. Encouragingly, South Africa is largely on track with the ongoing evolution of the Intelligent Edge which has existed for close on a decade already, having grown from its early days as a network aggregation hub, then as a content hub, then as an application aggregation hub, and more recently as a cloud/AI/IoT/security and interconnection hub.
The Edge and User Experience
“Intelligent Edge is an opportunity for all technologies to improve performance, as those that don’t will fail. The Edge is about improving the user experience by bringing technology closer to the user,” notes Blom. Just one topical example of the narrowing gap between people and technology is how COVID-19 has brought about a surge in telecommuting from home as users work remotely. “But the notion of ‘remotely’ is exactly where the problem lies as it suggests a problem of distance and lesser experience.”
To make the user experience a good one, you would want to connect directly to the telecommuting technology. Put another way: having the technology housed in a data centre in the USA would be a totally different experience to having it located in a local data centre. As with property, the three rules of location, location, location are key,” he adds.
Benefits of Intelligent Edge
A crucial benefit of Intelligent Edge is that it makes it possible for hybrid and multi-cloud environments to thrive. Blom predicts that South African and sub-Saharan African businesses will continue to move to the Edge to take advantage of the performance and user experience benefits. “A good measure of this is the amount of interconnection with data centre locations where the Intelligent Edge resides. Teraco currently has 18,000 interconnects within its facilities and is targeting over 24,000 connections in two years.
Interconnection density is directly proportional to the gravitational pull of the Edge. Interconnection density is so essential because it defines the ubiquitous availability of applications, networks and digital technologies to all who are located there. Says Blom, “A free and open marketplace is also key to the successful development of the Edge –
businesses want total freedom and choice to deploy whichever technology they want; independent of the service provider, network or application. The internet has brought immense freedom, and using that freedom to maximum effect should be part of every company’s digital innovation plans.”