The ‘Edge Effect’ on the Internet Ecosystem


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At NEDAS NYC last Thursday, Josh Snowhorn, Co-Founder + Chief Strategy Officer of EdgeMicro, an edge co-location company seeking to deliver on the promise of edge computing, discussed the future of the internet ecosystem.

“The idea is taking core physical infrastructure that internet infrastructure uses, something that Facebook, Amazon or Microsoft would use and pushing that all the way to the edge in an environment that they’re comfortable with.” The mobility industry will need to accept this, he said. Are they going to house their RANs and their head ends here, making this the true edge with an aggregation of towers handing off content and eyeball traffic locally? Or alternatively, do we continue down the same path, driving it back to core internet exchanges, back to the cloud and following the same ‘layer cake approach?’

EdgeMicro is deploying hundreds of network-neutral, modular data centers at towers and other locations that deliver the scale and flexibility required at the edge. It will blanket the U.S. with micro data center nodes over the next five years, followed closely by a global rollout including EMEA and LATAM. The biggest challenge is real estate. “If you think about it from an infrastructure perspective, you would assume cell towers make sense. It’s a good place, there’s mobility, there’s fiber.” Not as simple as it sounds, Snowhorn explains. Often that real estate is on a rooftop, on a corner of a building or the base sites are full. 

Discussing EdgeMicro’s end goal, Snowhorn said, “Think about it from the perspective of global infrastructure and how you move the needle for edge.” Where do you house it all? Referencing the image above, he said there will need to be thousands of data centers distributed. His dream is to have these built at a low cost, distributed on ships, dropped off on ports with the same trucking infrastructure, delivered out to the edge sites and deployed, creating a “a true paradigm shift in how the internet is distributed.”

Check out videos of all the presentations from NEDAS NYC here.

September 14, 2018