Boost Your Edge Capacity Through a Managed Service Provider
By: Ernest Sampera on February 16, 2021
If you’ve ever been to a restaurant or worked with a company that’s short-staffed, you’ve likely noticed some service issues. Whether there have been significant delays or just substandard service, it likely impacted your experience with the business, perhaps even your willingness to visit or work with them again. In fact, poor customer service and experiences result in a loss of nearly $75 billion a year for businesses. Similarly, when it comes to the internet, eCommerce, and online business, slow speeds, outages, and poor service can have a long lasting effect.
For that reason, as more businesses rely on complicated network infrastructures, on data transfer and storage, and on more complex technologies, to ensure their businesses are not plagued by IT issues that can significantly impact their bottom lines, they’ll need the help of IT professionals. While some larger companies have the ability to “field” an IT team large enough to handle the nuances, for many, the solution will lie with managed service providers (MSPs).
A managed service provider (MSP) monitors and manages network, infrastructure, security, or application services for their customers regardless of the location of the client’s hardware. Client’s hardware may be located on-premises, hosted by the MSP, or hosted by an off-premise data center. Traditionally MSPs handle only one aspect of the technological needs, sometimes partnering with other providers to cover all the needs of a particular client.
What Do MSPs Do?
Depending on the MSP, they may offer a full suite of services or, as mentioned above, focus on a single technology. Regardless of their niche, they can and may contract to do any number of services including maintenance, updates, patches, deploying new hardware or software, infrastructure monitoring, cloud services, and staffing.
Essentially, they are outsourced IT service providers to assist companies with more efficient and effective IT management, typically saving costs. This, in turn, allows businesses to focus on their core mission, their strengths, while a qualified team manages their IT needs.
What is Edge Computing?
Edge computing relies on a distributed network, rather than a centralized server, that enables data to be handled closer to the point of origin thereby decreasing latency and improving reliability. In addition to those two advantages, edge computing also saves bandwidth as only data that needs to be stored is sent back to a centralized server. Other data is sent to the edge server where it is parsed and returned to the device.
Because of these data needs, edge computing utilizes lots of smaller data centers. These centers are typically located on the edge of densely populated areas where it can handle instant data, or data that relies on real-time response, sent to it from lots of smaller devices, like those connected to the Internet of Things (IoT).
How Will Edge Computing Impact MSPs?
The shift to edge computing means a need for specialized skills in a variety of technological arenas. More specifically, distributed services, across multiple data centers, quite possibly in a variety of locations means a large team. Further, not only will expertise be needed in operating systems, cloud platforms, database management, and development tools, but IT professionals well-versed in applications, security, monitoring, and repair will be vital.
Because many of these are highly specialized skills requiring a large team of IT professionals, many businesses either don’t have the staff or don’t have the skills. As a result, MSPs are uniquely and perfectly positioned to fill this gap. Essentially, it’s a win-win. Businesses in need of highly-specialized IT workers to support their networks and shift to edge computing have the role filled but without significantly increasing spending and, in turn, MSPs will be in high demand.
MSPs, Edge Computing, And IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) is poised to change the edge computing industry and, by extension, MSPs. That said, it’s a fairly symbiotic relationship. Edge computing exists, in part, because of the speeds required by the IoT, and the IoT exists because edge computing has made it possible.
Some brief background on this relationship. The IoT is a network of devices, think smart home devices, that function on real-time data so they can be responsive. In order for them to work effectively and efficiently, they need a responsive network. Edge computing, by locating data centers closer to densely populated areas, where these requirements are in demand, means that the data doesn’t have as far to travel. That’s the first part.
The second important aspect of how this works is that the processing of data is happening mostly between the device and the edge servers. The edge servers, located in edge data centers, parse the data, determine what needs to be saved, and then send it on to a centralized data center for storage. That only some data is stored is, in part, responsible for the speed that edge computing boasts.
In short, there’s quite a lot of “moving parts” involved in this type of infrastructure. In itself, the expansion of cloud infrastructure increased the demand for MSPs. The complex nature of cloud computing, the need for off-site data centers, and the increased demand and expectations, across nearly every industry for data security, has been brought to the forefront. As such, security and risk mitigation for managing what is, essentially, a distributed network infrastructure, is a full-time job in itself.
How Can MSPs Capitalize on Edge Growth?
As is likely clear at this point, many organizations hoping to harness not just the growth of the IoT, but edge computing as well, will be overwhelmed with the need for specialized IT professionals to assist with all facets of both technologies. Whether their teams lack the expertise or their businesses lack the funds to build out the team they’d need, MSPs should be prepared.
Managed Service Providers are uniquely positioned at this point, depending on their services, to step in and assist businesses as they deploy, manage, and monitor off-premise data centers or a combination of on-premise and colocation. That said, because this setup is new, standardized industry practices have yet to be established and many businesses are just learning exactly what this infrastructure means for their industry. As such, MSPs will need to be adaptable and agile as the situation remains fluid during this period of continued growth.
vXchnge and Its Data Centers are Ready for the Edge...Are You?
Being poised to take advantage of what the future holds for technology, for edge computing, and for the IoT, is crucial and should be part of any businesses’ strategy moving forward. It’s the future, and the future is getting much closer.
That’s why vXchnge’s data centers are located on the edge and are positioned in their markets to make the most of this infrastructure as it continues to expand and as more companies realize its potential. If you’re looking for a colocation partner to help you harness the power of the edge, get in touch with our team today and let’s talk about what we can do for you.
About Ernest Sampera
Ernie Sampera is the Chief Marketing Officer at vXchnge. Ernie is responsible for product marketing, external & corporate communications and business development.