Bob Gill, vice president and agenda manager in Gartner’s Infrastructure Strategies group, recently released an update to his “Edge Manifesto,” which calls for the placement of content, compute and data center resources on the edge of the network, closer to concentrations of users. According to Gill, augmenting the traditional centralized data center model in this way ensures the better user experience demanded by digital business.
Gill’s perspective focused on the need to distribute content, compute, and data center resources closer to the edge of the network, nearer the greatest concentration of users.
Some of the reasons for this shift are simple. The amount of content being shared and disseminated has been increasing exponentially and will continue to do so. The nature of the content we share – once limited to text files, web pages, and emails – has changed to become much more dynamic: images, gifs, videos, and ads.
Other reasons are a little tougher to reconcile. First, there is a growing trend of placing data center locations in areas like the Pacific Northwest and Mountain states in the U.S., or Scandinavia and Iceland in Europe. While this is great for efficiency, cooling, and cost for the company, it does not provide an ideal environment for delivering latency-sensitive content to the end user.
Finally, there are the end users themselves. In the last five years, we’ve been inundated with stats like “If your website experiences latency increases of xx milliseconds, online sales will decrease by zz%.” The people using our infrastructure, and that of our customers, have become incredibly sensitive to latency changes, and will not hesitate to leave your site for a competitor’s if you make them wait.
Gill’s solutions are simple: deploy assets where they meet the least number of roadblocks between the content and the consumer and “push it to the edge.”
We’ve been saying this for years. Latency matters – and enterprises focusing on their edge services are going to be a game-changer. The things your customers are going to reach first – DNS, a CDN, security and monitoring services, email – these are the parts of the infrastructure that are going to have the most critical impact on the performance of the business.
Gartner clients: To read Gill’s full piece, head over to Gartner.com and check it out there!