Moving cloud resources to an ‘edge cloud center’ near you

Points of presence, simply put, are physical, public cloud data centers located all over the world, providing access and public cloud hosting services. We’ve seen these pop up on our cloud dashboards as we select regions to host public cloud compute or storage.

Typically, we go for the ones closest to the company’s location to reduce latency and provide more resiliency in case of network issues. For instance, Washington, D.C.-based businesses would typically select cloud centers in northern Virginia, whereas those in Los Angeles would pick centers nearby or in the Bay Area. A few things are driving the need to change this model.

First, since the pandemic, remote work has become more the norm rather than the exception. Although some people will return to the office at some point, businesses now understand that remote work means more productive employees, better employee retention, and reduced office overhead. It’s a win/win that means we’ll still be at our kitchen tables for some time, but out of our cars. 

Second, employees working remotely are not geographically constrained. Many are escaping the overheated metropolitan housing markets for the cheaper and slower life of the (almost) now 5G-connected rural America. This is even causing a shortage of houses for sale in rural housing markets.

Keep in mind that the resources of public cloud computing providers (compute and storage) are hosted in multiple locations worldwide. These locations are composed of regions and zones. A region, as mentioned above, is a specific geographic location where you can host your resources. Regions are broken down into zones. For example, the us-westX region on the West Coast of the United States may have three or more zones: us-westX-aw, us-westX-bw, and us-westX-cw.

Compute, storage, and other cloud resources that live in zones are known as zonal resources. Other resources, such as standing up a static IP address, are regional. They can only be utilized by resources within that region, and by any zone in that region. Zonal resources can only be leveraged by resources in the same zone.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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