Dec 18, 2020

Edge computing will hit an inflection point in 2021

Data Centres
Joanna England
3 min
Experts from Forrester Research believe high demand, new technology and 5G will see the Edge computing industry expand rapidly
Experts from Forrester Research believe high demand, new technology and 5G will see the Edge computing industry expand rapidly...

A recent report by Forrester researchers predicts Edge computing will hit its inflection point in 2021. The US market analysis company that provides advice on the potential impact of technology to its clients and the public, predicts AI in edge computing will undergo a big shift in the coming year.

The company says that according to its gathered data, machine learning models will shift away from data centres and will begin to happen at the Edge. The technology is one of the most notably accelerated innovations to emerge in recent years and with hardware, software, and cloud tech vendors, having already adopted the solution.

The report goes on to forecast that in the next 12 months, new business models will emerge that facilitate the deployment of the edge in production. Cloud platforms will compete while AI and 5G will drive the rapid expansion of edge use cases.

The drive forward has been accelerated and motivated by the global pandemic, which has seen technology leaders rapidly create solutions to help industries adapt to new working practices. 

Glenn O'Donnell, vice president of research and director servicing I&O for Forrester explains, “The COVID-19 pandemic produced few net-new technology and business developments, but it certainly accelerated many technology trends already in motion. Edge computing is one of the most notable among these accelerated technologies. Every type of technology vendor — hardware, software, and cloud — has jumped on the edge bandwagon, crowding the market and confusing buyers.”

O’Donnell continues, “The coming year will prove to be the real inflection for edge computing. Practical applications are finally emerging where this architecture can bring real benefits.”

New marketplace

Edge computing provides data centre services as close to ‘the action’ as possible. O’Donnell describes this as either a factory floor, a North Sea oil rig or a hospital room. The benefit of Edge computing is the reduced latency it offers. The technology is also important because it creates new and improved ways for industrial and enterprise-level businesses to maximise operational efficiency, improve performance and safety, as well as automating core business processes.

Data centre marketplaces will emerge as a new edge hosting option, says O’Donnell, who describes the concept as innovative facilities that will enable customers to “think globally and act locally.” Edge computing won’t necessarily replace the public cloud, CDNs, or co-location services. Instead, they will lead to expanded capabilities that will become more visible in 2021. 

The role of 5G

The new levels of connectivity offered by 5G will further enhance the capabilities and adoption of Edge computing as the technology is superior to existing networking options. The Forrester report outlines the value of private 5G networks dedicated to specific businesses or locales such as warehouses, shipyards, or factories. 

Potentially, their report says, these networks could enhance the performance of robots and factory machine tools enabled by the IoT, which require local processing and low-latency networks. 

Data also suggests the public cloud market will experience a growth decline from 42% in 2018 to 24% in 2022. 

Though cloud services will continue to grow albeit more slowly, Edge computing will take off. Adoption of the technology will take time, says O’Donnell, but, he adds, “As edge computing becomes a "cool" new platform for business computing, it will siphon some of the money that would otherwise have gone to cloud expansion.”

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Jun 14, 2021

Inside the future of Ireland’s subsea cable landscape

4 min
Meet the industry experts sitting down to discuss subsea cabling, digital transformation, Data Gravity, and the fate of Ireland’s digital economy. 

On Tuesday, June 15, 2021, experts from Aqua Comms, GTT, euNetworks, the IDA, and European data centre leader Interxion will take part in a virtual panel to explore the evolving relationship between subsea cabling, digital transformation, Data Gravity and the future of Ireland’s digital economy. 

You can tune in to the event, which is taking place between 10:30 PM - 11:30 PM JST on Tuesday, here - or view it later on-demand. The hour-long panel will also conclude with a 20 minute Q&A session with the audience, moderated by Interxion’s Senior Director of Market Development, Mike Hollands

The Gateway to Europe

Since the first transatlantic cable was laid in 1858, briefly connecting Newfoundland and Valentia Island in County Kerry, Ireland has served as a critical gateway for North American organisations looking to gain access to Europe. 

Today, some of the largest firms in the world, like Pfizer, Janssen, Zurich, Metlife, Google and VmWare use Ireland for their European Headquarters. The combination of an English-speaking workforce (a boon made all the more important as Brexit makes the UK and the north of Ireland an increasingly complex environment that provides diminishing opportunities to access the rest of Europe), a cultural and regulatory landscape that welcomes foreign investment, and world-class connectivity makes the country an unparalleled choice for firms looking to establish a foothold in the EU. 

As a result, Ireland has become one of the world’s leading data centre hubs. And, thanks to the exponential growth of Data Gravity, and the increasingly essential nature of digital infrastructure, Ireland’s role as a launchpad into Europe is only likely to grow more prominent.  

The future of Ireland’s digital economy is, experts from Interxion argue, closely linked to its ability to provide connectivity between Europe and North America. The further development of the country’s subsea cable industry will form the keystone of the discussion being held on Tuesday, as experts from throughout the industry share their insights into the challenges and opportunities that face operators working towards a more connected future for Ireland. 

Meet the Experts 

On Tuesday, speakers from the IDA, Aqua Comms, GTT Communications, euNetworks, and Interxion will discuss key themes, including key facts about Ireland’s existing subsea infrastructure, plans for the future of the industry, the challenges that need to be overcome, the interaction between subsea and terrestrial networks, and the next steps in Ireland’s role as the gateway to Europe. 

Ciarán Delaney

Ciaran Delaney, VP of Operations and Optical Engineering, GTT
Ciaran Delaney, VP of Operations and Optical Engineering, GTT

Ciarán Delaney has served as the VP of Operations and Optical Engineering at GTT since 2017. With more than 10 years worth of experience in the telecoms industry, he’s a leading expert on transatlantic connectivity, with an in-depth knowledge of both submarine and terrestrial cable systems.  

Nigel Bayliff 

Nigel Bayliff, CEO, Aqua Comms
Nigel Bayliff, CEO, Aqua Comms

Currently serving as the CEO and Director of the Board at Irish submarine cable firm Aquacomms, Nigel Bayliff has more than 30 years of experience in the telecom infrastructure market. His past roles have granted him unique perspectives gained from buying, building and running international submarine cable networks as an operator as well as developing and implementing cables as a constructor. 

Toby Williams

Toby Williams, Head of Infrastructure Investment, euNetworks
Toby Williams, Head of Infrastructure Investment, euNetworks

As the Head of Infrastructure Investment at euNetworks, Toby Williams has spent over a decade developing digital infrastructure throughout Europe, Ireland, and the UK. He has also done extensive work developing dark fibre networks, which are a key component in providing the agility and capacity necessary for operators to overcome the challenges posed by Data gravity. 

Shane Nolan

Shane Nolan, Head of Technology and Emerging Business, IDA Ireland
Shane Nolan, Head of Technology and Emerging Business, IDA Ireland

The Irish Investment Development Agency (IDA) is one of the key drivers of overseas investment in the country, and is responsible for the attraction and development of foreign investment in Ireland. Shane Nolan has worked in various roles throughout the IDA for more than 18 years, and is currently serving as the organisation’s Head of Technology & Emerging Business. 

Mike Hollands 

Mike Hollands, Senior Director of Market Development, Interxion
Mike Hollands, Senior Director of Market Development, Interxion

Interxion: A Digital Realty Company, is one of Europe’s leading data centre operators and, as part of Digital Realty’s Platform DIGITAL, is taking a leading role in raising awareness of the threat posed by Data Gravity. Mike Hollands has served as Interxion’s Senior Director of Marketing Development & Strategy since 2017, and is a 15 year veteran of the industry. At Tuesday’s event, he will serve as moderator, guiding the discussion surrounding the evolution of Ireland’s role as a gateway to Europe and regional data centre and subsea cabling hub. 

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