Today we announced $20 million in new funding and a U.S. expansion in partnership with Equinix, a global interconnection and data center company with 200 International Business Exchange™ IBX® data centers on five continents. The funding and the partnership will drive advancement and opportunity for our customers, further realizing our vision to deliver on-demand primary storage with built-in offsite backup and DR as a service. To get there, we couldn’t rely on the cloud alone, which is why we built a hybrid infrastructure powered by edge computing.
Industry reports and analysts agree. Gartner, in a report aptly named “The Edge Will Eat the Cloud,” noted the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and a move toward interactive user interfaces “will flip the center of gravity of data production and computing away from central data centers and out to the edge.” The amount of data being produced, the need to interact locally, and the requirements for real-time analysis will push computing and data closer to the edge, Gartner said.
Why Equinix? Because our paths and vision are aligned. Steve Steinhilber, vice president of global business development at Equinix, said, “Equinix’s global platform will help enable ClearSky to provide enterprises with a data fabric that lets companies manage data the best way that works for them. Customers get a fully-managed service that provides self-protecting primary storage with better performance, additional functionality, and costs that are just half that of traditional storage solutions.”
The edge computing boom
The technical driver behind the edge computing boom is performance. Applications, workloads and datasets that require instantaneous response and user interactivity generally don’t function as well when they are located far away from the users who are working with them.
Why? Because any time you send data to the cloud for analysis and then bring it back to act on locally, you’re going to experience high latency. That means unwanted delays that could ultimately lead to poor customer experience, decreased availability and other ill effects.
Moving data distances takes time. Humans can detect as little as 10 milliseconds of latency, and immediate access and performance is what’s expected by applications and users that are used to accessing resources locally. What’s more, the issue of latency takes on even greater significance in light of the rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). In IoT, all sorts of connected products and devices are sending data from locations that might be nowhere near the users who need to work with that data. Additionally, many apps never interact with people before executing a command. Whether it’s sensors in a utility or a connected car, real-time analysis is required, and sending data to a far-off cloud won’t cut it when milliseconds matter.
When we launched ClearSky years ago we were predicting that the next generation of infrastructure would need to be based on network concepts that address these latency and performance issues for primary and secondary storage. As much as people would like to believe otherwise, the speed of light is always going to be a problem that needs to be addressed. Our customer growth and forward momentum has validated this strategy.
Regardless from where it is accessed, the sheer volume of data out there creates other problems that need to be solved. IDC projects a worldwide tenfold data increase by 2025. CIOs will need the cloud to achieve operational efficiencies and meet data growth demands. Today’s companies need a hybrid approach in which IT uses the edge to extend the cloud, so data and apps can be consumed as if local. This delivers the cost-efficiencies of the cloud, but without an increase in latency. More importantly, with the right technology, neither performance, functionality or availability need to be sacrificed to get the right economics.
The advent of edge computing means IT management will need to make some important decisions. It’s clear that edge computing is a critical component of a successful hybrid cloud strategy. As both data and its importance continues to grow, organizations need to begin building their edge computing strategies or risk missing out on the opportunities IoT and the cloud have to offer.
As it turns out, life on the edge can be a lot more stable and rewarding. Join us. We’re waiting for you.