IT Pro

Decentralised data centres ‘could edge out cloud’

By Rene Millman

April 7, 2017

IT architecture must evolve into a more hybrid ecosystem to keep up with demand from more bandwidth-intensive content and the Internet of Things.

This is according to Rob McKernan, senior vice president at Schneider Electric, who used his keynote speech at the Data center World conference in London to say that not too long ago the industry believed that all computing would eventually centralize to the cloud.

In North America, he said, the cloud was quite well built out, with Europe not too far behind and Asia bringing up the rear.

“The cloud was created for the needs of the day but those needs have changed,” he said. “The pendulum is shifting back to decentralization.”

McKernan said that this decentralization was driving innovation faster than ever before and was triggered by an explosion of content and IoT.

“This is putting pressure on bandwidth and the demand on data is growing tremendously,” said McKernan.

By 2020 there would be 30 billion connected objects, four billion connected people and nine zettabytes of IP traffic, he predicted. To digest this data the industry would need 45.6 million square meters of data center space and 57.9GW of power.

A hybrid ecosystem composed of three types of data center would be needed to satisfy these needs, he argued.

As well as a centralized cloud data center, there would be a need for regional data centers as well as more localized micro data centers.

These smaller data centers closer to the edge would make up for a shortfall of cloud data centers. McKernan said that financial institutions would require this to overcome latency problems with transactions.

Regional data centers would be necessary, especially as more regulation will require data to stay within particular jurisdictions, such as government departments.

“Edge solutions address these issues by putting applications and services closer to users and things,” McKernan said. “This ensure companies meet their goals.”

He added that IoT can also benefit from edge data centers closer to these types of devices and that IoT would also help in managing such infrastructure.

“IoT and analytics will enable a more effective way to manage and maintain these data centers,” he said.

“The future is moving to a cloud architecture of centralized, regional, and localized edge data center. This will address speed, scaling, and cost.” 


This article was written by Rene Millman from IT Pro and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to