In this month's Infrastructure Insights column (here) we provide some highlights of a recently published research study on the market for modular data centers. In its analysis, Beige Market Intelligence explains, "Edge data centers have proved to be quite beneficial in addressing latency issues. Edge data centers are small centers in a locality which addresses 50 to 75 percent traffic of local users. Moreover, edge data centers provide low TCO, and reduce the data traffic in the cor network. Hence, demand for edge data centers has been increasing among enterprises. Data center and colocation providers are also expanding their edge network of the data center."
In a blog post from late February, CommScope's Frank Yang says that a market driver for edge data centers "is the mobile data explosion. According to the Cisco VNI [Visual Networking Index] Study 2015, global mobile data will grow from 4 percent of total IP traffic in 2014 to 14 percent in 2019. The explosion of mobile devices and applications is moving data to the edge." Yang adds the Internet of Things (IoT) to the list of edge-data-center drivers. "Data collected from IoT devices needs to be processed in a timely fashion to preserve its value. This need requires processing equipment to be close to the edge."
Yang's post is titled "Taking a Modular Approach to Edge Data Centers," and he says that edge data centers typically are relatively small in size with medium-to-low power density. Yang says that these characteristics, along with an edge data center's general requirement for scalability and flexibility "make prefabricated, modular data centers an attractive approach to build edge data center facilities."
It is no surprise that a blog post from CommScope addresses the attributes of modular data centers; the company's Data Center On Demand, launched a little more than two years ago, is a rising player among modular data centers. Beige said that CommScope, as well as modular data center provider BladeRoom, "are completely focused on" modular data centers. Beige also opined that among the most interesting questions in that market segment is: "Will CommScope and BladeRoom go head-on with biggies like IBM, HP, Dell and Huawei?" As a partial answer to that question, Beige says CommScope's biggest strength is "cross-selling opportunities with existing DCIM users."
Edge data centers will be "where the action is" for years to come. We will continue to follow the business and technical aspects of these environments.