When it comes to providing edge services, the emerging edge ecosystem is getting creative.
Case in point: this morning, we announced a partnership with Packet and SBA Communications to provide the data layer for a new edge data center at the base of an SBA Boston-area tower.
SBA operates thousands of wireless communication towers across the Americas, while Packet provides a bare metal automation platform. In November, SBA and Packet formed a partnership in which Packet would build an edge data center at one of SBA’s Boston-area towers. This edge data center combines Packet’s bare metal cloud platform with the SBA tower’s power, security, connectivity and access to nationwide wireless networks.
ClearSky is partnering with these companies to provide the data center with its data layer, delivering on-demand primary storage, backup and disaster recovery (DR) services. Customers will be able to quickly spin up compute with Packet, easily connect it to as many terabytes of our self-protecting storage as they require, and then take advantage of the tower’s high-speed wired and wireless connectivity.
These towers are in a perfect position to aggregate and process data at the edge, especially with wireless devices producing a rapidly growing chunk of global data.The 2019 Cisco Visual Networking Index found that mobile data traffic grew 17 times larger from 2012 to 2017, and by 2022, the report projects it will account for 20% of all IP traffic, reaching 1 zettabyte annually — that’s 1 billion terabytes of wireless data.
Of course, these towers are so heavily interconnected, they can aggregate data from any number of sources, not just wireless. And because they are ubiquitous in and around densely populated urban areas, leveraging the towers to create edge data centers gives organizations the ability to offload applications from their internal infrastructure without sacrificing performance. That’s something they can’t do with the cloud alone, because the great distances to their gigantic facilities introduce unavoidable and unacceptable latency.
Listen to Ellen Rubin on how the edge is transforming storage and the role of the CIO in this ActualTech podcast episode
CIOs are very eager to get away from managing on-premises infrastructure. As our CEO, Ellen Rubin, noted in a recent ActualTech podcast episode, “If you talk to CIOs and ask them how they feel about things like managing infrastructure, data storage, and dealing with their data centers, not one of them will tell you that that is strategic. Not one of them. Every single one of them will say, ‘...If I never touched another physical piece of infrastructure again, I'd be fine.’”
The rapid development of the edge is making that CIO dream of not managing infrastructure much closer to a reality, because when you combine the responsiveness of the edge with the essentially limitless storage and processing capabilities of the cloud, the enterprise gets the best of both worlds. In fact, it’s already a reality for enterprise storage. With ClearSky’s service CIOs can shrink their entire on-prem storage infrastructure to a single 2U device that we fully manage.
This is far from the only partnership we’ve entered to build out the edge, ClearSky recently joined the Kinetic Edge Alliance, a community founded by Vapor IO that brings together vendors from multiple industries with the goal of making it easy to design, deploy and operate edge computing. We also have partnerships with Equinix, the global data center and interconnection giant; Faction, a managed service provider for VMware Cloud on AWS; and MetroEDGE, which is building a nationwide network of edge-based micro-cloud data centers starting in Chicago.
The edge is maturing quickly, even faster than the cloud. And as it grows, ClearSky will be there, providing a data layer with the scalability, protection and performance that the enterprise needs to take full advantage of the edge’s potential.
Want to see for yourself how ClearSky can shrink your on-prem storage footprint and cut costs, all while providing stronger data protection and DR? Sign up for a demo today.