AWS Gets Closer to the “Edge” Than Ever


Jan 29, 2020

AWS delivers new innovations that will help businesses capitalize on the promise of “edge computing”

“Edge computing” is nothing more than the location of data in strategically placed servers near the “edges” of the cloud, i.e., physically closer to the end user. This proximity can be highly advantageous for users of cloud applications that depend on low latency – lag time – to provide optimal performance.

You might imagine, as the world’s top cloud-computing provider, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is no stranger to the edges of the cloud. With data centers around the world, the center of one user’s cloud is the edge of another’s. But AWS’s latest edge-computing push uses hyper-local data hosting and the latest leap in wireless technology to bring data closer to the user than ever.

This push to the edges of the AWS cloud also recognizes another emerging reality. As applications and users demand access to more data at ever-increasing speeds, today’s edge cases will soon become tomorrow’s typical data throughput requirements.

Local Zones: AWS moves into your neighborhood

AWS’s hyper-scale data centers are, by necessity, located in areas with plentiful access to bandwidth, electrical power, and – most importantly – land. This last need precludes establishing one of these in Midtown Manhattan or in the middle of Los Angeles. Enter AWS Local Zones.

AWS Local Zones brings the AWS cloud closer to users by locating AWS compute, storage, database, and other select services near large population centers. The goal is to attract IT and other industries that are not served by a currently available AWS Region. Local Zones are designed to help enterprises and other users that require single-digit-millisecond latencies.

An AWS Local Zone location extends the reach of an AWS Region, where organizations can run latency-sensitive applications. These applications can employ AWS services like Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud much closer to the end user. Services running on the AWS Local Zone have a secure, high-throughput connection between locally processed workloads and those running in the AWS Region, allowing the availability of all capabilities across the entire networked application as well as dynamic load balancing.

These features eliminate the need for most clients having to invest resources in localized datacenters or co-location arrangements. AWS Local Zones also bring this level of performance within the reach of more potential customers than ever.

AWS Wavelength gets data to mobile end users (and back from them) faster than ever

The advent of 5G wireless connectivity brings the possibility of even more data-hungry mobile apps. Use cases that have flourished at fixed data access points – game streaming is probably the example that comes most quickly to mind – now have a chance to grow exponentially on mobile platforms. However, game streaming also happens to be heavily reliant on low-latency connections, which is not the case with other popular types of streaming media. Making low-latency mobile apps perform is just one of the reasons Amazon developed AWS Wavelength.

Getting close to the edges of the mobile network means being at the access points: You have to be as close to the cellular towers as possible. So, AWS positions data and computational capacity inside cellular service access points (SAPs) that serve groups of cellular towers, allowing the serving of low-latency-dependent mobile data as close to the transmission point as possible. The accompanying computing power provides data processing at the network edge, empowering new capabilities in areas such as industrial automation, smart cities, Internet of Things (IoT), and autonomous vehicles.

AWS launched Wavelength late last year, with the first data center installation inside a Verizon SAP in Chicago. Wavelength will roll out over the rest of 2020 and beyond as the low-latency 5G network continues to grow worldwide. Current network partners beyond Verizon include Vodaphone Business, KDDI, and SK Telecom.

AWS is bringing the edge closer, and CloudHesive can help you put it to good use

With the latest edge computing advances from AWS and the management capabilities of CloudHesive, your company can expand its ability to provide richer data and media services to mobile users than ever before. Learn more by getting in touch with CloudHesive at 800-860-2040 or through our online contact form.

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