Using the Edge to Reach the Cloud: 3 Key Benefits

March 12, 2021
The Edge is a key pathway to the Cloud. Phillip Marangella of EdgeConneX discusses three essential benefits of using the Edge to reach the Cloud, including overcoming Cloud sticker shock.

In this edition of Voices of the Industry, Phillip Marangella, CMO of EdgeConneX, discusses three essential benefits of using the Edge to reach the Cloud, including overcoming Cloud sticker shock.

Phillip Marangella, CMO for EdgeConneX

The promise of Cloud services has always had three key elements. Companies could scale IT and data infrastructure as their business demanded it. They could expand quickly into new markets. And they could enjoy a type of elasticity in their storage, their security, their networks, and their workloads, responding to seasonal needs or sudden leaps in customer demand. And a lot of this was predicated on the idea that just-in-time infrastructure would deliver significant, material cost savings far into the future.

But now, businesses are finding that, counter-intuitively, those savings actually come at a cost. It’s not just that the bills are complex or that different parts of a business are using cloud services in ways that are not economical or even that the cloud providers simply don’t deliver the savings that were once assumed to be at the core of their value proposition.

“In many cases businesses see their costs spiraling without realizing that it’s happening for reasons that are actually within their own span of control. In those cases, they usually just need to see that solutions are closer than they think – at the Edge.” Phillip Marangella, EdgeConnex

Originally, the Cloud was theoretically ubiquitous but physically and practically it was limited to a small number of availability zones. To use the Cloud a business needed to go where the Cloud was physically located. Adding availability zones helped make the Cloud more accessible in some markets, but as companies pushed more workloads, logic, and data into the Cloud they saw network costs rise steeply. And as they learned that no single Cloud provider could deliver all the services and applications they needed, businesses realized they needed a new kind of expertise to devise a multicloud strategy, using the right providers for the right services in the right locations.

So, how does the Edge help bring these costs under control while also helping to simplify the multicloud strategy? Let’s look at three key benefits of an Edge cloud strategy:

  1. Lower transport costs. For some customers, the cost of connectivity and transport to and from the Cloud provider can add up to over half of the total cost of using Cloud Services. Connecting to an Edge Data Center for direct Cloud access with major CSPs or using an SDN Cloud access provider can reduce those transport costs considerably.
  2. Choice, simplified. A multicloud strategy can help customers ensure that they’re using the best Cloud Service Provider for each of their workloads. An Edge Data Center can serve as a hub to simplify the process of connecting to the Cloud, and it can provide additional layers of choice with SDN-based Cloud access solutions that offer direct connectivity to all major Cloud providers. Add to this the option for a Hybrid Multicloud strategy, including private and public cloud deployments, and it’s easy to see how an Edge-oriented approach can deliver choice, simplified.
  3. Performance from anywhere. With their expanded reach and presence in Tier-2 and Tier-3 markets, Edge Data Centers offer closer proximity to more businesses around the globe. This proximity translates into faster connectivity, better reliability, and accelerated performance for Cloud services from virtually any location compared to the risks and delays encountered when companies rely exclusively on the public Internet to reach their Cloud providers.

The Edge has long offered proximity, performance, and value for service providers delivering cloud, content, compute, and connectivity. The benefits of this approach were seen both by the service providers with a presence at the Edge as well as their customers and end users. Lower latency, higher reliability, and the economics of the Edge all combined to deliver a better user experience at every point along the delivery path.

And for a long time, the Cloud and the Edge seemed to be somewhat at odds with each other, one offering a centralized service platform and the other delivering a distributed platform based on proximity and performance.

Today, the Cloud is moving toward the Edge in an effort to be closer to the cloud customers and the Edge is accelerating access to the Cloud from anywhere, with more choice, more value, and more reliability. Recent reports about the sticker shock experienced by many Cloud customers illustrates the need for businesses to take a comprehensive approach to their Cloud strategy, incorporating the Edge wherever it can improve the Cloud experience.

Because many businesses do not have access to seasoned in-house Cloud strategy expertise, it may help to look to managed service providers (MSPs) to help design an optimal hybrid multicloud deployment. Chances are, for most businesses in most places, in 2021 and beyond, the Edge will be a key component in that strategy and will deliver dividends, especially as the Edge and the Cloud evolve into a cohesive infrastructure, for many years to come.

Phillip Marangella is CMO for EdgeConneX. Check out the new EdgeBook, “The Cloud Is Better At The Edge”.

About the Author

Voices of the Industry

Our Voice of the Industry feature showcases guest articles on thought leadership from sponsors of Data Center Frontier. For more information, see our Voices of the Industry description and guidelines.

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