Edge data centres are vital to avoid network congestion in the UK.
Akamai, one of the leading CDNs recently announced a record breaking 250 Tbps of web traffic being delivered over its network. This was up from 100 Tbps in October 2019. To get an idea of context, this is the same as a user downloading every feature film ever made in 37 seconds! Key drivers for this huge increase in traffic are high profile sporting occasions and video gaming.
But Akamai and most other CDNs aren’t the only ones seeing huge increases in web traffic. The Metaverse, most of all. It’s forecast to create gigantuan demands on networks. Demands that today’s networks just cannot support when it comes to the new services and possibilities being imagined.
The question is who is going to pay for the backbone infrastructure necessary to support these new services?
Will the consumer be prepared to pay for increased bandwidth? Will advertising pay for the services? Will the service provider pay for the new networks? Moreover, what’s the business model for supporting the exponential bandwidth requirements necessary for delivering content in the blink of an eye? For example, from the South East of the UK to homes across the North West?
The main challenge is the centralisation of networks to a limited number of data centres in arguably the most expensive hosting and colocation facilities in the UK typically in the South East.
It’s a bit like building a four-lane motorway to these data centres and before long then having to expand it to a six, eight or 10-lane motorway as traffic demand grows and grows.
Furthermore, as fibre to the premises (FTTP) becomes increasingly common, the bottleneck moves up the network towards these highly congested and expensive centralised locations.
At Proximity we believe in a more de-centralised model which provides a better and future proof service. We see the requirement for the most active content to be delivered by local data centres while less popular content can still be accessed from centralised locations.
This approach provides better security, lower latency and reduces the demand in building larger and larger bandwidth networks connecting to a small number of very expensive data centres. These are immediately put at a disadvantage by being many, many miles away from the consumers or business users expecting highly responsive services.
John Hall – Managing Director, Colocation at Proximity Data Centres