The persistence of the coronavirus pandemic and the decentralization of network environments required to serve millions of work-from-home employees are creating new and stronger use cases for edge computing technologies, according to a new report from Data Center Frontier.

“The newly distributed workforce has accelerated the case for edge computing, which extends data processing and storage closer to the growing universe of devices and sensors at the edge of the network,” the report says.

The pandemic is driving edge computing use cases as its effects drive up demand for virtual private network services, cloud platforms, and video collaboration tools. That increased demand stemming from much more widely distributed user bases compared to typical pre-pandemic office environments, “has reinforced the importance of low-latency connectivity for a distributed world,” the report states.

“Trends driving the edge computing model include increased use of consumer mobile devices, especially consumption of video and virtual reality content, and the growth of sensors as part of the Internet of Things,” the report continues.

“By moving infrastructure closer to users, edge architecture allows the compute and content delivery process to happen within 10 milliseconds or less—ultra-low latency that will transform existing applications and lay the groundwork for new ones,” according to Data Center Frontier.

The report continues that edge infrastructure is also in demand to power emerging technologies like autonomous vehicles and distributed AI applications, as they require low latency and have to be in close proximity to users. “These technologies will shape the future of Internet infrastructure, and enterprises and service providers alike are positioning their organizations to take advantage of this shift,” Data Center Frontier said.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.