Editor’s note: This is the 60th article in the “Real Words or Buzzwords?” series about how real words become empty words and stifle technology progress.
The original Internet that we built was designed based on decades-old technology (originally dial-up telephone lines) and released for use to a society who had little exposure to computer technology and for many people that was mostly at work. As the use of websites expanded, information technology continued to advance. The core of the Internet was expanded to keep up with demand, with high-speed networking and computer virtualization facilitating and accelerating its growth.
Internet expansion continued chiefly under the original Internet architecture, which became increasingly problematic with the arrival of mobile devices operated by humans, and connected devices that didn’t require human operation (the Internet of Things - IoT).
As of 2018, 90% of the world’s data had been created in the prior two years. Every day, we create roughly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. With the explosive growth of IoT, this data creation rate will become even greater. And it’s all happening at the edge of the Internet.
Giant Data Centers Aren’t Solving the Problem
Synergy Research says more than 100 hyperscale facilities were built in 2020, making the total number close to 600. As of January 2021, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google collectively accounted for over half of all major data centers and continue to be significant drivers of data center growth. Data centers continue to be located where land and electricity are cheap.
That’s a significant factor in those three companies all investing significantly in data centers in Idaho. In February of 2022, Meta (formerly Facebook) announced plans to build an $800M hyperscale campus in Idaho. As part of that move, it agreed to buy Iowa Wind Farm's entire capacity to power its data center campus.
Thus, today’s data centers are as remote as they can get from the majority of the end-users and the IoT devices that generate the vastly increased amounts of data needing processing. They aren’t solving the mobile and IoT Internet user problem.
Evolving the Internet for Today’s and Tomorrow’s Needs
This is why one year ago, Vapor IO and VMWare announced the formation of the Open Grid Alliance (OGA), joined by Dell Technologies, DriveNets, MobiledgeX, and PacketFabric as founding members. The OGA, now with 32 members, proposes vastly increasing the number of small edge data centers along with the number of direct connects to the Internet.
Consider, for example, a 5G and 6G wireless future with affordable and highly available high-speed fiber-optic networking running to an edge data center at nearly every cell tower. That would mean microsecond transaction times for high volume IoT data processing at the edge – such as for security and retail operation video analytics and manufacturing’s production line machine vision.
It would also mean high-speed high-volume wireless IoT data connections, which is critical for autonomous vehicle safe operation and for city traffic management. And it’s a crucial need for smart cities and smart buildings, which today’s affordable technology is bringing more broadly within reach.
The original internet had only a few dozen and then a few thousand end users. As of January 2022, 4.95 billion (roughly 62.5% of the world’s population) people use the Internet. Although there have been many government and private projects around the world named “Next Generation Internet” over the past two decades – all were based on previous-era technology.
This is why the Linux Foundation has an Edge computing project as do hundreds of major IT domain players, why IT and business analyst firms have been paying attention, and why a Google search on “edge computing” (in quotes) generates over 17 million search results.
Edge Computing Comes to ISC West
So, it should be no surprise that at ISC West 2022, two advanced technology IT companies announced themselves to the physical security industry. Vapor IO’s Kinetic Grid Platform brings both high-speed networking and cloud computing resources to establish highly affordable edge computing.
The design of the Kinetic Grid’s resource location considers specific geographies, population centers, and fiber routes to offer low-latency colocation and connectivity in service of first and last-mile networks and nearby premises. Each Kinetic Edge market becomes part of a nationwide Kinetic Grid via private fiber backbones that connect across markets, offering built-in edge-to-edge capabilities.
Hypersive, an IT company whose founders have deep IT and physical security operations expertise and deployment experience, delivers current building management and physical security applications as a service, in the cloud, on-premises, or near-premises using Vapor IO’s Kinetic Grid. Jeff Gelb, co-founder and CEO of Hypersive, said, “The Kinetic Grid is in making edge computing more or less turn-key, widespread, and easy to get.”
Hypersive's first offering is Milestone XProtect® VMS as a service, simplifying deployments for integrators and facilitating high-performing and affordable XProtect system expansion to any site location. This allows integrators and end-users to focus on how to best optimize their use of the XProtect VMS, without having to pay attention to deployment details, including camera licenses.
VMS server deployments that would formerly have been complex and taken weeks and months, can now be accomplished in days, with high availability now possible for every site deployment regardless of its size or location.
Edge Computing Terminology
Along with the Internet’s expanded architecture for edge computing come several IT terms that, while not new, have meanings that are different from what their English terms seem to state. That will be the subject of the next Real Words or Buzzwords? article.
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