Data is the lifeblood of any modern business, from a small bakery or a community bank to a giant streaming platform. What they all have in common is their reliance on data, irrespective of the size of their data pools.
However, in order for data to be useful, it’s not enough for it to simply exist. Your business needs to have easy, uninterrupted access to it. Today, when many people think about hosting, they think about cloud solutions.
But the cloud isn’t the be-all-end-all. Yes, cloud storage promises uninterrupted data access. But your data could be located on the other side of the world, traveling thousands of miles to get to you or your customers.
Cloud solutions have been talked about a lot, but they aren’t always living to the hype. Colocation is another data storage option that offers businesses many benefits.
Colocation offers uninterrupted and reliable access to your data, which helps achieve the next level of data storage offerings: edge computing.
What Is Edge Computing?
Edge computing is a type of IT infrastructure in which the data is processed at the “edge” of the network, as close to its origin point as possible. Edge computing is the modern answer to the increased amounts of data that every business relies on.
When it doesn’t make sense anymore to store all your data in a single central node, edge computing comes into play, allowing you to store it as close to where you need it as possible.
How Does Edge Computing Work?
The traditional way of processing data entails transmitting raw data to a central hub—a data center that handles analysis and processing. Edge computing cuts this “middle man” by doing all that work where the data is generated, or as close to that location as possible.
You can use edge computing for any type of business, from factories and plants to smart cities and digital agencies. Why make the switch to edge computing? Because it’s more efficient: with this architecture, only the result of edge data is sent to the main data center for additional processing—if needed.
Bringing those concepts together, an edge data center is close to the edge and capable of storing and processing data while communicating with other data centers, IoT devices, etc. For example, HTDC is an edge data center for the Midwest. We’re located in Jesup, Iowa, which is close to major metros in the heartland. Data hosted here is close to end users in the surrounding areas.
What Are the Benefits of Edge Computing?
If you ever wondered why companies big and small choose edge computing, you have come to the right place. Here’s what this technology brings to the table:
Meet the Speed of Light
Edge computing makes a huge difference in terms of speed. Think about it this way: computer A needs to access some information on computer B, which is happily blinking somewhere halfway across the world. The time it takes for computer B to answer is perceived by users as latency.
Granted, latency is typically a matter of milliseconds, not months. But in the era of speed, even 10 extra milliseconds can be felt by the astute user.
Edge computing removes this issue by bringing computers A and B closer together.
Better Data Streams
Similar to the point above, audio or video data streams can be delivered faster and with far fewer pauses with an edge-computing architecture. By removing as many of the routing points as possible, you can deliver data flawlessly everywhere.
Remember when long-distance calls were spottier than local ones? It’s the same principle at work in the case of data streams through edge computing.
Applications Work Better and Faster
CRMs, ERPs, and even large-scale proprietary manufacturing applications can benefit greatly from edge computing. The same goes for sensor data collecting applications, like IoT devices, which are typically distributed across wide distances.
The more routing points this data meets along the way, called hops, the longer it will take for the information to reach its destination.
Let’s say you use a cloud computing provider located in Iowa. This doesn’t mean that their data centers are also located within the state. Most likely, there is at least an ocean separating you from your data. Moreover, the data you try to access doesn’t always take the shortest route. It usually hops between several other data centers on various continents before it is displayed on your screen.
Yes, the speed is impressive given the distance your data has to travel. But you have to ask yourself: does it really need to travel those distances? HTDC keeps data located right in Iowa.
Easier and Cheaper Maintenance
When your data is conveniently located closer to you, you can dispatch a maintenance team to fix any issue. It’s cost-effective and fast. It can be even more so if you work with a local edge data center provider. No more sitting in long chat or phone ticketing lines with big cloud providers as your business is losing money and frustrating customers.
It’s not just you that benefits from having your data closer; the planet does, too! Edge computing is far more environmentally friendly because of the reduced distance data has to travel and, consequently, because of the reduced energy it consumes.
Easy Access, Even in Case of Unforeseen Calamities
Has there been a fire in a data center in France? Your business may be affected if you use cloud computing because you rarely know exactly where your data is stored.
Has there been a derecho in the Midwest? Yes, and it caused weeks-long power and internet outages. But with a local edge data center, you can always drive to the facility, collect your hard drives, and resume your business faster than any of your competitors.
Why Work with an Edge Data Center in Iowa?
There are countless benefits that your business can reap from working with a Midwest edge data center. But this doesn’t mean you should go for it just because it’s trendy.
At HDTC, we specialize in offering customized solutions—our goal is to help you find the option that works best for you, not for businesses in general. Request a free virtual tour of our facilities and we’d be happy to advise you on the ideal choice for your business needs.