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GigaOm Radar for Edge Colocationv3.01

Optimizing Workload Placement

1. Summary

The arrival of 5G, the proliferation of internet of things (IoT) devices, and the increase in video streaming and augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) are driving consumer expectations. For example, the opportunity for edge includes turning modern, on-premises workloads into SaaS delivery models, such as smart retail incorporating loss prevention, inventory tracking, automated checkout, and other features. As a result, businesses are looking for new ways to unlock revenue and increase brand loyalty by meeting the demand for a superior online quality of experience (QoE).

By moving data processing closer to the end user, edge colocation lowers jitter and latency and reduces traffic congestion, increasing the opportunity for dynamic personalization and providing a better QoE. Leveraging private networks (including 5G), software-defined networking (SDN), and network function virtualization, edge colocation data centers are generally smaller, decentralized facilities that provide compute and storage closer to where the data is generated and/or processed rather than backhauling it to regional colocation facilities or cloud data centers. In addition, edge colocation cross-connects often reduce latency and congestion by bypassing the public internet and tapping directly into fiber intersections and aggregation points, allowing for the setting up of complex service chains communicating across low-latency paths rather than having to “trombone” to a regional data center.

Deployed at standalone or collocated facilities, in a telco’s central offices, street cabinets, or cell sites, or attached to street furniture, edge colocation resources are offered by colocation service providers, managed service providers, and telecom service providers. As the market evolves and organizations look for edge processing with cloud economics, colocation providers are partnering to deliver a mix of capabilities designed to meet the needs of specific customer workloads. In addition, telecom service providers are increasingly partnering with public cloud providers to either resell edge cloud services to customers or consume them directly as part of their network infrastructure for fast, low-latency connectivity.

Representing features and capabilities widely adopted and well implemented in the industry, the following table stakes are the minimum features required for solutions to be included in the GigaOm Radar for edge colocation.

  • Distributed edge locations: Edge colocation providers help businesses cope with the logistics nightmare of managing hardware installed in numerous distributed edge locations by renting out rack space near end users. Located in standalone facilities, on-premises at an enterprise, or in a telco’s central offices, street cabinets, or cell sites, the provider furnishes the structure, cooling, power, and physical security needed to maintain the equipment.
  • Robust facility security: While many owned facilities have poor levels of security, with large numbers of employees allowed access and few checks in place to manage accessibility, edge colocation facilities are often located in remote areas and are generally unstaffed. A good colocation facility will have robust physical security in place, including video cameras, motion sensors, alarms, personnel check-ins, and physical isolation of tenants.
  • Integrated facility monitoring: With edge colocation facilities generally unstaffed, remote monitoring of the physical status of the location—including power lines, temperature, humidity, and air quality—is essential. Therefore, each provider should implement IoT sensors and a building management system (BMS) to manage and monitor the facility’s equipment, including lighting, power, security, and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems.
  • Regional redundancy: Most edge colocation providers offer power backups, redundant networking, and other resources to increase the resiliency of workloads running in the facility. However, due to their distributed nature, individual edge colocation sites may be considered isolated failure domains. As a result, some providers offer lower redundancy of components at the site level. At a minimum, standby (load sharing) redundancy should be available at the regional level.

Once the table stakes are met, each provider is scored on key criteria and evaluation metrics. Key criteria are the basis on which organizations decide which provider(s) to partner with, while evaluation metrics determine the impact the provider’s capabilities may have on the organization.

Since, for the most part, colocation providers deploy and manage facilities in specific geographies, Figure 1 provides an overview of each provider covered in this report and the markets they service.

Figure 1. Colocation Providers and Geographical Coverage

This GigaOm Radar for Edge Colocation provides overviews of notable providers and their capabilities. The corresponding GigaOm report “Key Criteria for Evaluating Edge Colocation Solutions” outlines critical criteria and evaluation metrics for selecting an edge colocation partner. Together, these reports offer essential insights for optimizing workload processing, helping decision-makers evaluate provider capabilities before deciding where to invest.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

2. Target Markets and Deployment Models

To better understand the market and provider positioning (Table 1), we assess how well a provider’s edge colocation capabilities support different target markets and deployment models.

For edge colocation, we recognize five target markets:

  • Cloud service providers (CSPs): Providers delivering on-demand, pay-per-use services to customers over the internet, including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS).
  • Network service providers (NSPs): Service providers selling network services—network access and bandwidth—provide entry points to backbone infrastructure or network access points (NAPs). In this report, NSPs include data carriers, ISPs, telcos, and wireless providers.
  • Content delivery network (CDN) providers: Providers offering a robust network of globally distributed interconnected points of presence (PoPs) delivering cached internet content from a network location closest to the user to boost performance and reliability.
  • Smart cities: Local governments utilize edge colocation for connectivity and smart city initiatives. While the business model varies across regions, smart cities are generally public/private partnerships leveraging municipal facilities and rights-of-way.
  • Medium-to-large enterprises: Medium-sized (100 to 1,000 employees) and large enterprises (more than 1,000 employees) with dedicated IT teams responsible for planning, building, deploying, and managing their applications, IT infrastructure, networks, and security.

We also recognize six deployment models for edge colocation:

  • Regional edge: Regional data centers owned by either telco operators or non-telco multitenant colocation (MTCO) facility providers (approximately 50 to 100 millisecond latency).
  • Inner edge: Micro-data centers located with access to private fiber networks or telco-owned mobile cores near peering points, connecting customers to the access network (about 40 millisecond latency).
  • Outer edge: Micro-data centers located with access to private fiber networks or telco-owned aggregation points between the mobile radio access network (RAN) and the core (about 30 millisecond latency).
  • Tower edge: Micro-data centers located with access to private fiber networks or at mobile tower sites enabling fast, low-latency, last-mile connectivity (about 10 millisecond latency).
  • Near premises: Micro-data centers located near customer sites or high-traffic locations in major population clusters, such as sports stadiums (about 2 to 5 millisecond latency).
  • Street furniture: Micro-data centers attached to smart utility poles, street kiosks, traffic lights, or other inner-city locations (about 100 microsecond to 2 millisecond latency)

Note: While the general principle is that latency depends on the proximity of the compute resources to the end user data, that is not always the case. Latency varies significantly based on the network capabilities of the colocation provider. While some edge colocation providers with data centers located in close proximity to metropolitan centers claim to provide a specific latency—for example, five milliseconds—others can provide much lower latency—such as the 100 µs required for a 5G RAN—or the same latency over much longer distances due to the superiority of their network design and infrastructure.

Table 1. Vendor Positioning

Market Segment

Deployment Model

CSPs NSPs CDN Providers Smart Cities Medium-to-Large Enterprises Regional Edge Inner Edge Outer Edge Tower Edge Near Premises Street Furniture
1623 Farnam
365 Data Centers
American Tower
Cox Edge
Digital Realty
Edge Centres
Leading Edge DC
Proximity Data Centres
SBA Edge
Vapor IO
3 Exceptional: Outstanding focus and execution
2 Capable: Good but with room for improvement
2 Limited: Lacking in execution and use cases
2 Not applicable or absent

3. Key Criteria Comparison

Following the general criteria introduced in GigaOm’s “Key Criteria for Evaluating Edge Colocation Solutions,” Tables 2, 3, 4, and 5 summarize how well each provider included in this research performs in the areas we consider differentiating and critical for the sector.

  • Key criteria differentiate solutions based on features and capabilities, outlining the primary criteria to be considered when evaluating an edge colocation solution, including application awareness, intelligent traffic distribution, and multicloud connectivity.
  • Evaluation metrics provide insight into the impact of each product’s features and capabilities on the organization, reflecting fundamental aspects, including infrastructure support, manageability, and total cost of ownership (TCO).
  • Emerging technologies and trends identify the most compelling and potentially impactful technologies and trends emerging over the next 12 to 18 months with the potential to either disrupt or differentiate the solution and provider landscape.
  • Ability to execute within their target market identifies vendors with a proven ability to roll out new edge colocation facilities based on a robust vision and comprehensive roadmap to meet the needs of their target markets.

The objective is to give the reader a snapshot of the technical capabilities of available solutions, define the perimeter of the market landscape, and gauge the potential impact on the business.

Table 2. Key Criteria Comparison

Key Criteria

Target Market Coverage Industry Certification SLAs Multitier Interconnects 5G Support Multilayer Security Managed Edge Colocation
1623 Farnam 1 3 3 3 2 3 0
365 Data Centers 2 2 3 3 1 2 3
American Tower 1 2 2 3 3 3 2
AtlasEdge 3 2 2 2 3 2 3
CoreSite 2 2 2 3 3 2 0
Cox Edge 3 2 3 2 3 2 3
DartPoints 2 2 3 2 1 2 3
Digital Realty 3 2 3 3 3 2 2
Edge Centres 2 3 2 2 0 1 2
EdgeConneX 3 3 2 3 1 2 2
EdgePresence 1 3 3 2 3 2 2
Equinix 3 2 2 3 2 2 1
Flexential 2 2 3 2 2 2 3
Leading Edge DC 3 2 3 2 2 2 1
Proximity Data Centres 3 2 2 2 1 2 1
SBA Edge 2 3 2 2 3 3 1
Switch 1 2 1 3 2 2 3
Vapor IO 3 2 3 3 3 2 2
3 Exceptional: Outstanding focus and execution
2 Capable: Good but with room for improvement
2 Limited: Lacking in execution and use cases
2 Not applicable or absent

Table 3. Evaluation Metrics Comparison

Evaluation Metrics

Scalability Transparency Ecosystem Support Vendor Support Pricing & TCO Vision & Roadmap
1623 Farnam 3 2 3 3 3 2
365 Data Centers 3 2 3 3 2 2
American Tower 2 1 2 2 2 1
AtlasEdge 3 2 3 3 2 3
CoreSite 2 2 2 3 2 2
Cox Edge 2 3 3 3 2 3
DartPoints 2 2 1 2 2 2
Digital Realty 3 2 3 3 2 3
Edge Centres 2 2 2 2 2 3
EdgeConneX 3 3 2 3 2 2
EdgePresence 2 1 2 2 1 1
Equinix 3 2 3 3 2 1
Flexential 2 3 1 2 2 1
Leading Edge DC 2 2 3 2 2 3
Proximity Data Centres 2 3 2 2 2 3
SBA Edge 2 2 1 3 3 2
Switch 3 2 2 3 2 2
Vapor IO 3 3 3 3 2 3
3 Exceptional: Outstanding focus and execution
2 Capable: Good but with room for improvement
2 Limited: Lacking in execution and use cases
2 Not applicable or absent

Table 4. Emerging Technologies and Trends Comparison

Emerging Technology

Public Edge Cloud Work From Anywhere
1623 Farnam
365 Data Centers
American Tower
Cox Edge
Digital Realty
Edge Centres
Leading Edge DC
Proximity Data Centres
SBA Edge
Vapor IO
3 Exceptional: Outstanding focus and execution
2 Capable: Good but with room for improvement
2 Limited: Lacking in execution and use cases
2 Not applicable or absent

Table 5. Ability to Execute Within Target Market Comparison


Operational Edge Footprint Data Center-Ready Edge Footprint Rapid Rollout Capability Rapid Rollout Track Record
1623 Farnam
365 Data Centers
American Tower
Cox Edge
Digital Realty
Edge Centres
Leading Edge DC
Proximity Data Centres
SBA Edge
Vapor IO
3 Exceptional: Outstanding focus and execution
2 Capable: Good but with room for improvement
2 Limited: Lacking in execution and use cases
2 Not applicable or absent

By combining the information provided in the tables above, the reader can understand the technical solutions available in the market.

4. GigaOm Radar

This report synthesizes the analysis of key criteria and their impact on evaluation metrics to generate the GigaOm Radar in Figure 2. The chart is a forward-looking perspective on all the providers in this report based on their technical capabilities and feature sets.

The GigaOm Radar plots provider capabilities across a series of concentric rings, with those set closer to the center judged to be of higher overall value. The chart characterizes each provider on two axes—Maturity versus Innovation and Feature Play versus Platform Play—while the length of the arrow indicates the predicted evolution of the solution over the coming 12 to 18 months.

Figure 2. GigaOm Radar for Edge Colocation

As seen in Figure 2, there are three providers in the Leaders circle (AtlasEdge, Digital Realty, and Vapor IO), seven Challengers (365 Data Centers, Cox Edge, EdgeConneX, Equinix, Leading Edge Data Centres, Proximity Data Centres, and SBA Edge), and eight New Entrants (1623 Farnam, American Tower, CoreSite, DartPoints, Flexential, Edge Centres, EdgePresence, and Switch). Figure 1 in the Summary section of this report indicates which providers have a presence in which geographies.

It should be noted that Maturity (that is, being positioned in the top two quadrants) does not exclude Innovation. Instead, it identifies the provider’s colocation capabilities as adopted and proven in a production setting with multiple customers compared to a provider establishing new capabilities or expanding to reach new markets. In addition, the length of the arrow (Forward Mover, Fast Mover, or Outperformer) is based on customer adoption and execution against roadmap and vision (based on provider input and in comparison to improvements made across the industry in general).

Furthermore, positioning in the Platform Play quadrants indicates that the provider has an edge focus and an edge presence. In this case, the edge may refer to the metro edge, network or telco edge, or IoT edge, depending on the edge targeted by the provider. As can be deduced from the Radar, the presence of 12 providers in the Platform Play quadrants indicates an increasing focus on deploying edge colocation data centers, with several emerging players making an impact in the space. These include AtlasEdge and Cox Edge, which are positioned as a Leader and a Challenger because of having established a significant footprint in their respective markets within a relatively short time. Moreover, Cox Edge is the only provider offering a full-stack, edge-cloud infrastructure service.

In contrast, providers positioned in the Feature Play quadrants are generally metro or regional edge colocation providers in the process of establishing a far edge (network or IoT) presence or partnering with third-party providers to fill the gaps. These include well-known colocation providers with numerous facilities and established markets. Their positioning on the Radar indicates their pace and progress in transitioning from a traditional colocation provider to one with an edge focus and presence.

New to this year’s report are the following providers: 1623 Farnam, 365 Data Centers, American Tower, AtlasEdge, Cox Edge, DartPoints, Edge Centres, EdgePresence, Flexential, Leading Edge Data Centres, Proximity Data Centres, and Switch. Moreover, US edge data center startup, EdgeMicro, has reportedly gone into liquidation and so has been excluded from the 2023 GigaOm Radar for Edge Colocation.

Vapor IO is again the Leader in this space, followed by Digital Realty. In addition, AtlasEdge, CoreSite, Cox Edge, Digital Realty, and Vapor IO are recognized as Outperformers based on their speed of innovation compared to the industry in general. In some cases, being an Outperformer reflects the acquisitions and partnerships made to create differentiation aligned with the provider’s vision and roadmap. Providers to watch are: AtlasEdge, Cox Edge, Edge Centres, Leading Edge Data Centres, and Proximity Data Centres.

Inside the GigaOm Radar

The GigaOm Radar weighs each vendor’s execution, roadmap, and ability to innovate to plot solutions along two axes, each set as opposing pairs. On the Y axis, Maturity recognizes solution stability, strength of ecosystem, and a conservative stance, while Innovation highlights technical innovation and a more aggressive approach. On the X axis, Feature Play connotes a narrow focus on niche or cutting-edge functionality, while Platform Play displays a broader platform focus and commitment to a comprehensive feature set.

The closer to center a solution sits, the better its execution and value, with top performers occupying the inner Leaders circle. The centermost circle is almost always empty, reserved for highly mature and consolidated markets that lack space for further innovation.

The GigaOm Radar offers a forward-looking assessment, plotting the current and projected position of each solution over a 12- to 18-month window. Arrows indicate travel based on strategy and pace of innovation, with vendors designated as Forward Movers, Fast Movers, or Outperformers based on their rate of progression.

Note that the Radar excludes vendor market share as a metric. The focus is on forward-looking analysis that emphasizes the value of innovation and differentiation over incumbent market position.

5. Provider Insights

1623 Farnam

Founded in 2011, 1623 Farnam is a leading network interconnect point providing secure direct edge connectivity to leading fiber and wireless network providers, content delivery networks (CDNs), and Fortune 500 enterprises. Moreover, as the interconnection point for the US’s largest carriers’ east/west and north/south routes, 1623 Farnam’s carrier-neutral 75,000-square-foot edge data center in Omaha, Nebraska, sits at the nexus point between hyperscale cloud providers, carriers, and other managed service providers. In September 2021, 1623 Farnam opened a $45 million expansion, increasing colocation capacity and upgrading the facility’s redundant power grid, supporting up to 8 MW of power.

Figure 3. 1623 Farnam at a Glance

Offering peering, proximity, scalability, and ultra-low latency, 1623 Farnam provides fast cross-connects and secure onramps to over 50 Tier 1, 2, and 3 network companies with local, regional, national, and international reach. Strategically located equidistant from each coast, 1623 Farnam is in a nine-floor building with 24x7x365 integrated security and is fully compliant with SOC2 Type 1, SOC2 Type 2, PCI DSS, ISO, and BCP standards. As an edge data center, it hosts seven of the top 13 IP transit providers in the world and an increasingly diverse ecosystem, including a dedicated internet exchange (IX), Omaha IX, and redundant access to major cloud providers either through direct interconnections—such as Google Cloud Interconnect—or via Megaport Cloud Connect.

Established in 2014, the Omaha IX is a peering exchange service located equidistant from each coast and the associated hubs for most major content providers. Reducing costs and network latency while improving security (with fewer hops), Omaha IX enables customers to exchange traffic and route directly—over secure shared or private VLAN interconnections—with over 40 exchange members, including Akamai, Cloudflare, Google, Facebook, and Netflix.

Offering private suites, dedicated infrastructure, and 99.9% service-level agreements (SLAs), 1623 Farnam’s strategy is to build a dense ecosystem delivering the best possible content opportunities and connectivity potential for its growing community. With close physical proximity to cloud providers and existing partnerships with key industry players, 1623 Farnam is also developing relationships with large multinational integrators to support larger clients, combining efficient service with state-of-the-art technologies.

Strengths: Hosting an internet peering exchange, multiple global cloud on-ramps, over 50 Tier 1, 2, and 3 carriers with local, national, and international reach, and an organized meet-me-room facilitating fast, easy cross connects, 1623 Farnam offers reliable and scalable interconnections for businesses spanning multiple locations throughout the US and running data-intensive workloads designed to run in the public cloud. Cross connections are competitively priced and usually completed within two business days after receipt of the final paperwork.

Challenges: While it boasts a robust, carrier-dense ecosystem with lots of interconnection options, 1623 Farnam is a Midwest regional hub for network-neutral edge interconnection and data center services. With only one location in Omaha, Nebraska, 1623 Farnam relies on third parties to deliver the edge interconnections and local peering options required to deliver sub-50 ms latency to major metropolitan centers on the east and west coasts and internationally.

365 Data Centers

Founded in 2012 (by investors who had previously operated 365 Main) and acquired by private equity firm Stonecourt Capital in 2020, 365 Data Centers owns and operates colocation facilities in 20 major and emerging edge markets across the US with convenient downtown locations offering redundant connectivity to major fiber routes. Headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, the company operates a total of more than one million square feet of data center space, 53 MW of power, and a redundant, low latency, nationwide fiber network with direct connectivity to the NAP of the Americas in Miami, Florida, a key gateway operated by Equinix for traffic to Latin America.

Figure 4. 365 Data Centers at a Glance

365 Data Centers’ Tiers 2 and 3 data center colocation portfolio includes compact and standard cabinets, two- and four-post racks, custom cages, and custom suites with a variety of cross-connect options providing access to more than 60 regional and national carriers, cable providers, cloud providers, and other businesses. In addition to business continuity services, disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), and backend as a service (BaaS) to help organizations reduce costs, drive innovation, and improve their customer experience, the company offers cloud compute and storage, backup, routine and prescheduled maintenance, and server reboots and reinstalls.

365 Data Centers assists customers in acquiring, deploying, monitoring, and managing their IT infrastructure and supports mission-critical application infrastructure by providing industry-leading SLA protection. The company’s robust, carrier-neutral ecosystem and 24x7x365 monitoring by trained professionals offers secure, reliable edge colocation with a 100% power uptime SLA for primary and redundant power circuits and a 99.999% uptime SLA for network services. Moreover, the company adheres to all industry compliance standards, including HIPAA, ISAE 3402, PCI DSS, SSAE 18, SOC 1, and SOC 2, which ensures high levels of security and regulatory compliance.

In November 2022, 365 Data Centers acquired Sungard’s US colocation and network business, confirming 365’s position as one of the largest privately held IaaS providers operating in the eastern US with direct network connectivity to owned facilities in the western US. This acquisition expanded the company’s colocation portfolio from 242,000 to over 1,000,000 square feet and from 23 MW to 53 MW of available power in 20 interconnected network-centric data centers with 90 additional network PoPs and direct access to 105 carriers and about 300 carrier PoPs.

Strengths: 365 Data Centers claims a 10-year 100% uptime record with no client experiencing downtime in any of its facilities. Serving more than 1,700 carrier, content, and enterprise customers, 365 Data Centers operates a resilient, interconnected, low-latency nationwide fiber network supporting colocation, network connectivity, cloud, and managed services provided in-house with the simplicity of one contract, one account manager, one support team, and one invoice. Moreover, 365 Data Centers employs highly skilled and experienced engineers to deliver tiered round-the-clock technical support, including systems management, network management, and consulting and advisory services.

Challenges: 365 Data Centers’ acquisition of Sungard’s colocation and network business occurred in conjunction with 11:11 Systems’ acquisition of Sungard Availability Services’ (Sungard AS) Recovery Services business and Sungard AS’ Cloud and Managed Services (CMS) business. It’s anticipated that 11:11, a managed infrastructure solutions provider focused on cloud, security, and connectivity solutions, will essentially operate all Sungard AS’ IT systems and provide services back to 365 and Sungard AS. Prospective customers should clarify the management and support model to make sure 365’s performance, uptime, and managed services SLAs are maintained.

American Tower

Founded in 1995 with headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, American Tower is a global provider of wireless communications infrastructure, owning or managing over 223,000 cell tower sites in 25 countries spanning six continents. In July 2020, American Tower launched its first micro data center in Atlanta, Georgia, leveraging its nationwide tower footprint and Flexential’s FlexAnywhere solution, a flexible interconnection platform, to capitalize on the edge opportunity. By using the ground floor space at the base of its existing tower sites, which are already equipped with connectivity and power, American Tower can quickly develop and scale new edge data centers to meet market demand.

Figure 5. American Tower at a Glance

Currently deployed in six strategic locations—Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Boulder, Colorado; Denver, Colorado; Jacksonville, Florida; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania—American Tower’s edge data centers are local, purpose-built interconnection and colocation facilities, providing a secure and reliable edge hosting environment for a customer’s IT requirements. Comprising up to eight customer cabinets (three full cabinets and 20 quarter-cabinet lockers) in a 360-square-foot facility located at the base of an American Tower-owned cell tower with robust integrated security, the multitenant, connectivity-enabled, carrier-neutral host facilities offer flexible and turnkey infrastructure environments supporting various edge use cases.

From among the over 42,000 sites in its US portfolio, American Tower has identified over 1,000 shovel-ready candidates for mobile edge data centers based on location, footprint, zoning, and existing fiber and power access. Offering 24x7x365 monitoring, 99.9% uptime SLAs, and remote-hands configuration, power cycling, and troubleshooting, American Tower’s sixth edge colocation facility is in Pittsburgh, home to many healthcare and manufacturing companies and an emerging robotics industry in which the increasing use of IoT benefits from the network elasticity and low latency that edge data centers provide.

American Tower entered the data center colocation business in 2019 by acquiring Colo Atl, a small Atlanta-based colocation provider, before acquiring DataSite in October 2021, bringing the total number of American Tower Data Centers to nine (three metro data centers and six edge data centers). In November 2021, American Tower acquired CoreSite’s portfolio comprising 24 data centers, 23 cloud on-ramps, and over 32,000 interconnections in eight major US markets, including its dedicated internet access, carrier-neutral cross-connects, cloud ramps, and point-to-point data center connectivity and cloud options, including WAN and SD-WAN options. The acquisition allows American Tower to bypass the internet with one-to-one, private connections and establish a differentiated foundation for 5G connectivity and the convergence of wireline and wireless technologies.

Strengths: American Tower is a global wireless communications infrastructure provider, owning or managing over 223,000 cell tower sites in 25 countries spanning six continents. After entering the data center colocation business in 2019, the company has acquired a comprehensive portfolio of metro data centers and has begun rolling out edge data centers. American Tower’s multitenant, connectivity-enabled, carrier-neutral edge data centers provide a flexible, reliable, and secure hosting environment supporting various edge use cases.

Challenges: Despite owning or managing over 223,000 cell tower sites in 25 countries spanning six continents—including more than 42,000 cell sites in the US—American Tower has deployed only six edge data centers. With the interconnections available from its CoreSite acquisition, American Tower has the platform to build and scale its edge data center capabilities while also driving value for its primary business. However, rather than developing move-in-ready facilities in key areas, the company’s edge strategy appears to offer individual, purpose-built edge data center sites based on customer demand.


Founded in 2021 with headquarters in London, UK, AtlasEdge is a European edge data center business with a mission to create a pan-European edge platform delivering localized ultra-low-latency digital infrastructure to customers via local and regional aggregation hubs. A joint investment by Liberty Global, a multinational telecommunications company, and DigitalBridge (formerly Colony Capital), a global digital infrastructure investment firm, AtlasEdge has an expanding portfolio of over 100 carrier-neutral colocation facilities in 13 markets across the continent, providing proximity to the core network to enable new and emerging use cases.

Figure 6. AtlasEdge at a Glance

While the company’s launch market comprises 100 colocation facilities concentrated in Ireland, Poland, Switzerland, and the UK, the AtlasEdge website identifies the availability of 486 pan-European locations with 1,116 AtlasEdge sites, including hundreds of locations where the company can stand up capacity on demand (most likely sub-1 MW facilities) to support edge requirements. Following its launch in September 2021, AtlasEdge took over Liberty Global’s data centers with several Liberty Global operating companies as anchor tenants, including Virgin Media O2. Since then, AtlasEdge has embarked on an aggressive acquisition campaign, including Colt DCS (Europe), Cornelius House (UK), and Datacenter One (Germany).

AtlasEdge delivers services—including single rack deployments, cages, and private rooms—via an extensive network of facilities located close to consumer and enterprise end users operating at the network edge of Tier 2 and 3 markets and managed with Carma’s Network and Digital Infrastructure Platform (NDI). Cross-connects within each data center provide low-latency access to any other customer, partner, or service provider operating in the local market. Furthermore, the company has partnered with select cloud access and internet exchange point (IXP) providers to deploy their infrastructure in AtlasEdge facilities, enabling direct and private access to all major cloud providers. In addition, AtlasEdge works with partners to deliver remote access and peering to IXPs not currently located within its facilities.

While initially leveraging Liberty Global’s agreements with existing operators, AtlasEdge aims to expand to several hundred data centers and several thousand access edges across Europe within the next 12 to 18 months. Moreover, the recently approved joint venture between Liberty Global and Telefonica to merge Virgin Media and O2 combines the UK’s fastest broadband network and the country’s largest mobile operator, giving AtlasEdge access to Virgin Media’s giga-ready network and O2’s 5G mobile deployment to drive additional value at the edge. Furthermore, with DigitalBridge being the only dedicated, global-scale digital infrastructure firm investing across five key verticals—data centers, cell towers, fiber networks, small cells, and edge infrastructure—AtlasEdge has the potential to expand globally.

Strengths: AtlasEdge is a pan-European, carrier-neutral colocation provider with an expanding portfolio of over 100 carrier-neutral colocation facilities in 13 markets across the continent, providing proximity to the core network to enable new and emerging use cases. An existing data center footprint, aggressive acquisition strategy, and on-demand stand-up capabilities allow customers to design and configure their network infrastructure to meet the growing requirements for localized, low-latency, high-performance edge processing.

Challenges: AtlasEdge has set an extremely aggressive goal of reaching several hundred data centers and several thousand access edges across Europe within the next 12 to 18 months. Work is ongoing to deploy Carma’s NDI platform across the portfolio to ensure the infrastructure is managed efficiently and cost-effectively, to deliver a seamless customer experience at an appropriate price point. Moreover, while the company has an experienced management team, deep-pocketed investors, and anchor tenants with dependable revenue streams, bringing everything together to realize a unified pan-European edge infrastructure will take time.


Founded in 2001 with headquarters in Denver, Colorado, CoreSite is an American Tower company with 28 data centers—totaling over 3.5 million square feet serving over 1,600 customers (and an additional 1.4 million square feet held for development)—in 10 strategic markets across the US. Offering cabinet colocation, cage colocation, and private data center suites, CoreSite’s cloud-enabled data center campuses are tethered by high-count dark fiber, enabling scalable growth and superfast access between markets. The highly interconnected data center campuses offer a native digital supply chain featuring direct cloud onramps, a peering exchange, and an open cloud exchange, providing hybrid IT solutions to empower enterprises and cloud, network, and IT service providers to monetize and future-proof their digital business.

Figure 7. CoreSite at a Glance

Improving performance, reliability, and security while lowering costs, CoreSite offers 23 native cloud onramps to leading cloud services, including AWS Direct Connect, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute, Alibaba Cloud, Oracle FastConnect, and IBM Cloud Direct. In addition, CoreSite’s intersite and intermarket connectivity offer a range of service options and a virtual extension between data center sites, including high-speed bandwidth options required for connectivity in the same market, such as 1 Gbps, 10 Gbps and 100 Gbps.

CoreSite’s IPv6-ready internet peering exchange, Any2Exchange, has more than 450 members nationwide and is also among the largest internet exchanges on the West Coast and in the Rocky Mountain region. Enabling participants from multiple markets to peer seamlessly, the Boston, New York, and Northern Virginia markets make up the Any2 East exchange, while the Silicon Valley and Los Angeles markets combine to create the Any2 West exchange. Additionally, the company partners with top internet exchanges, including AMS-IX (Bay Area and Chicago, US), BBIX (Tokyo, Japan), DE-CIX (Frankfurt, Germany and New York, US), LINX (London, UK), NYIIX (New York, US), and United IX (Chicago, US), offering customers interconnection and peering options natively within CoreSite’s data center locations.

Launched in 2013, the carrier-neutral Open Cloud Exchange (OCX) provides superior connectivity via a robust, interconnected partner ecosystem for accelerating IT modernization, reaching new markets, scaling on-demand, and reducing TCO. A nationwide software-defined network, the OCX establishes fully managed direct Layer 2 and Layer 3 connections to cloud service providers and SaaS providers for rapid and secure site-to-site and multicloud connectivity. In addition, direct cloud connectivity eliminates the need for routing equipment and reduces data egress fees, while flat rate, month-to-month billing eliminates vendor lock-in.

Strengths: CoreSite offers robust colocation facilities in key markets with 1 Gbps, 10 Gbps, and 100 Gbps secure, reliable interconnection options within an ecosystem of more than 775 cloud, network, and IT service providers—including over 435 network service providers—residing in its data centers. CoreSite’s intersite and intermarket connectivity offer a range of service options and a virtual extension between data center sites, allowing customers to overcome capacity or network access constraints at their original data center and grow within a region or expand to new areas. CoreSite’s industry expertise includes financial services, healthcare, and cloud, content, IT, network, and SaaS providers.

Challenges: While CoreSite is expanding its presence in key markets, it lacks an international footprint and the coverage required to support sub-30 ms latency requirements outside of its metropolitan areas. Moreover, CoreSite is expanding its edge presence by working with major cloud and cellular tower providers—including American Tower—to function as an interconnection point at the tower edge. However, it does not currently have an edge focus, edge-specific services, or formal partnerships with edge providers to expand its reach.

Cox Edge

Launched in 2021, Cox Edge is the newest Cox Business line to address the evolving needs of its 355,000 business customers nationwide. Instead of simply providing space, power, and connectivity, Cox Edge is a full-stack, edge-cloud infrastructure service leveraging Cox’s extensive low latency, last-mile infrastructure and a global network of edge locations. Addressing data gravity concerns, local and state regulatory compliance, and data sovereignty requirements, Cox Edge spans more than 125 locations across Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, and the Americas. Furthermore, Cox Edge’s cloud-agnostic stack complements any cloud-native architecture and eliminates cloud lock-in, making it easy for customers to move workloads from one cloud provider to another based on business needs.

Figure 8. Cox Edge at a Glance

Deployed in last-mile edge data centers, Cox Edge offers bare metal, distributed virtualized and serverless compute, along with database services, edge CDN, managed Kubernetes, stream and event processing, and search and query capabilities, enabling real-time analytics, data processing, and anomaly and threat detection. In addition, Cox Edge offers a comprehensive portfolio of architecture, design, installation, deployment, configuration, and management services supporting Day 0, 1, and 2 operations using automation and orchestration platforms aligned with customer needs.

Cox Edge reduces latency to deliver near-real-time performance, optimizes cloud transport costs, and improves application continuity, resiliency, and security. Services are offered via a user-friendly Edge Cloud Console—or seamless API integration—that enables users to manage their globally dispersed workloads from one location via a single pane of glass for cloud, edge, and private and public cloud infrastructure services.

Measuring key metrics for some of the most popular cloud-based applications, Cox Edge has deployed edge IoT devices across the US to act as network probes. Published on the Cox Edge website, the devices measure key metrics and provide a comparison of how the Cox Edge platform performs compared to AWS, Azure, and GCP. In addition, Cox Edge’s try-for-free promotion (available at the time of writing) offers one micro VM and one container free for 12 months to new customers using specific Cox PoPs and a US $250 credit for any Cox Edge service consumed. Cox has also waived all upfront costs, data transfer fees, and termination fees for the duration of the promotion.

Strengths: Cox Edge is a full-stack, edge-cloud infrastructure service supporting data-intensive use cases in key industries and target markets. In addition to providing a cloud-agnostic stack at each location, Cox implemented an AIOps solution to help improve the performance and consistency of its ICE platform. As a result, the Cox Edge team can consistently meet SLA requirements, proactively detect degradation in service performance, and automate restarts as required.

Challenges: While bringing the potential to disrupt the industry by offering a full-stack, edge-cloud infrastructure service leveraging last-mile fiber infrastructure and a global network of edge locations, Cox Edge needs to ensure that it can sustain its business model without compromising its SLA commitments. In addition, Cox must leverage its expertise and experience to expand its capabilities in underserved global markets by leveraging Cox Communications or third-party infrastructure.


Founded in 2012 with headquarters in Dallas, Texas, DartPoints builds and operates carrier-neutral interconnection points enabling adjacent underserved Tier 2, 3, and 4 markets to optimize local content and application delivery at the edge. A digital infrastructure platform enabling next-generation applications at the edge, DartPoints’ Digital Next suite of services equips carriers, cloud and content providers, and enterprises with a blend of cloud, colocation, interconnection, and managed services. Providing direct, private, and secure connections to popular cloud providers—including Amazon, Google, and Microsoft—DartPoints has nine facilities in the Midwest and southeastern US.

Figure 9. DartPoints at a Glance

In January 2022, DartPoints unveiled its Digital Next solution, combining hybrid cloud and digital infrastructure with the company’s Bridge IX and Liquid Edge offerings. DartPoints’ Bridge IX provides an internet exchange point where carriers, CDNs, enterprises, hosting providers, hyperscale cloud providers, and ISPs can connect locally, enabling each ecosystem partner to interconnect and exchange internet traffic directly through peering. In addition, DartPoints’ edge HPC solution, Liquid Edge, incorporates two-phase liquid immersion cooling technology delivering up to 1.2 MW of compute in only 360 square feet. Requiring 70% less water than competitive solutions and with a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.028, DartPoints claims Liquid Edge is one of the greenest cloud infrastructures available on the market.

In addition to building and operating edge interconnection data centers, DartPoints has partnered with DE-CIX (an operator of carrier- and data-center-neutral internet exchanges with operations in Africa, Europe, India, North America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia) to deliver locally deployed internet exchanges (IXs). These edge IXs allow DartPoints’ customers to connect directly through local peering with its core content and application providers regionally and globally.

Entering a high-growth phase, DartPoints acquired Ohio-based Metro Data Centers (MDC) in October 2020 and South Carolina-based Immedion in March 2021. The Immedion acquisition expands DartPoints’ reach into Tier 2 and 3 markets, where DartPoint’s local IX and edge data center deployments facilitate interconnection at the edge. Furthermore, DartPoints uses investment from private equity firm Astra Capital Management to drive its buy-and-build strategy, targeting additional edge colocation data centers with its unique internet connectivity ecosystem model.

Strengths: By combining cloud, colocation, interconnection, and managed services into one solution, DartPoints’ Digital Next provides a comprehensive edge ecosystem for carriers, cloud and content providers, and enterprises. DartPoints’ partnership with DE-CIX offers direct access to internet peering exchanges spanning multiple geographies. In addition, private equity firm Astra Capital Management is enabling DartPoints to embark on an aggressive buy-and-build strategy targeting additional edge colocation data centers to expand its reach across the US and internationally.

Challenges: With only nine facilities in the US Midwest and Southeast and a modest number of ecosystem partners, DartPoints lacks the edge coverage required to deliver on its goal of reaching underserved Tier 2, 3, and 4 markets. Furthermore, DartPoints’ DE-CIX partnership and aggressive expansion strategy may prevent it from meeting its managed services commitments and SLAs unless it finds the right partner to manage its facilities and operations.

Digital Realty

Founded in 2004 with headquarters in Austin, Texas, Digital Realty is the largest global provider of cloud- and carrier-neutral data center, colocation, and interconnection facilities. With a global data center footprint of 36.7 million rentable square feet in over 300 facilities in more than 50 metropolitan areas across 27 countries on six continents, Digital Realty offers a full spectrum of colocation options (from single cabinet to dedicated buildings) located in metropolitan areas with high population growth, significant network density, and local cloud zone expansion. A variety of configuration designs are located within each metro to support tiered architectures comprising network connectivity, data storage, and data processing.

Figure 10. Digital Realty at a Glance

PlatformDIGITAL is Digital Realty’s global data center platform, elevating the company’s capabilities from delivering essential colocation services to providing edge-to-core-to-cloud solutions comprising networking, operations, storage, and security. A software-defined platform spanning Digital Realty’s metropolitan areas, PlatformDIGITAL leverages a proven Pervasive Data Center Architecture (PDx) solution methodology for scaling the digital business and efficiently managing the challenges of data gravity (the power of a data set to attract applications, other data, and services).

Interconnecting and orchestrating network traffic flows at global points of business presence via ServiceFabric Connect, PlatformDIGITAL serves as a network hub (for optimizing performance), a control hub (for managing scalability and security), and a data hub (for deploying, connecting, and hosting critical data infrastructure near users, networks, clouds, devices, sensors, and other “things” to ensure compliance and meet SLAs). A global interconnectivity and orchestration platform, ServiceFabric Connect, provides an on-demand suite of services for customers as they transition to a data-centric architecture and hybrid IT. Pre-engineered into most of Digital Realty’s PlatformDIGITAL hubs, ServiceFabric Connect provides a virtual interconnection mapped to the workload’s requirements based on type, speed, destination, time of day, or ecosystem participant.

Available for a fixed monthly cost with no upfront capital, Digital Realty recently launched a purpose-built, move-in-ready infrastructure suite, AnyScale Colo HD, which is designed to accommodate the most demanding data-intensive workloads—including localized AI/ML analytics, high-performance computing (HPC), and large-scale data infrastructure—in a colocation environment supporting customized security, power, footprint, cooling, and compliance needs. In addition, Digital Realty offers a comprehensive global partner program enabling channel and alliance partners to leverage PlatformDIGITAL to create a stronger value proposition for joint customers.

Strengths: As a result of multiple acquisitions, Digital Realty is the largest global provider of cloud- and carrier-neutral data center, colocation, and interconnection facilities. Colocation options range from a single rack to multimegawatt, single-tenant facilities and mixed-density footprints supporting networking, high-performance storage, and AI/ML and HPC use cases close to clouds, data, and population centers. The PDx methodology helps simplify and accelerate deployment by sharing typical deployment profiles and solutions for common enterprise use cases. In addition, Digital Realty has built a robust global partner ecosystem encompassing over 450 cloud, 240 content, and 1,000 network providers.

Challenges: While Digital Realty has a large number of data centers located in major metropolitan areas, it lacks a presence at the inner, outer, and tower edge. However, the company is developing relationships—including integrating PlatformDIGITAL with Vapor IO’s Kinetic Grid—to create an edge-to-core deployment model across a low-latency network of colocation sites. In addition, Digital Realty must address the impact of rapid expansion—through both acquisition and development—on customers by streamlining its quote-to-cash (QTC) functions and creating a single portal view for customers to view their deployments globally.

Edge Centres

Founded in 2021 with headquarters in Brisbane, Australia, Edge Centres provides modular, off-grid data centers powered by on-site wind and/or solar power and connected to the primary grid as backup. Using a dual solar feed with multiple inverters on a single phase for increased redundancy, each facility is equipped with just under 1 MW of solar infrastructure, a 48-hour battery, and UPS backup equipment, which supports 64 1 kW quarter racks. Excess energy can be stored in lithium-ion batteries. The company claims that the sites produce more electricity than they use and that the low cost of solar power, locating data centers at the edge where land is cheaper, and using intelligent software to automate data center operations translate into lower data costs for customers.

Figure 11. Edge Centres at a Glance

Offering carrier-neutral edge colocation with a direct connection into every national broadband network point of interconnect (NBN POI) available at each location, Edge Centres’ colocation facilities are coupled with fiber cross-connections, internet exchange points, and always-on redundant infrastructure. In addition, proprietary software providing integrated data center infrastructure management (DCIM), building management (BMS), and environmental management (EMS) capabilities are used to remotely manage each facility’s operations to ensure uptime SLAs are met.

In March 2021, Edge Centres deployed its first grid-independent edge data center (EC1)— powered by solar and lithium-ion batteries—in Grafton, Australia. Edge Centres has 10 sites operational across Australia, ranging in power from 45 kW to 1 MW. In addition, the company has either already deployed or is developing 10 additional sites in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam in collaboration with local and regional partners. The company plans to have 20 sites operational globally by the end of 2023 and 40 sites by the end of 2024.

In addition to its first installation in CoreSite’s One Wilshire carrier hotel data center in Los Angeles, California, Edge Centers is deploying DataQube’s fully transportable and relocatable edge data centers in the US to support Tier 3 and 4 markets. In May 2021, Edge Centres announced a partnership with the ANZ division of Everest Infrastructure Partners, a US-based wireless tower company, to add wireless macro towers to its existing and upcoming edge data center deployments, supporting the delivery of new services—such as 5G, IoT, and O-RAN—at carrier-neutral locations. Furthermore, in January 2022, Edge Centres acquired local rival DC Matrix, adding two facilities north and south of Brisbane. The Gold Coast facility, a 3.4 MW data center known as EC20, is the company’s largest.

Strengths: Offering rapid deployment compared to traditional data centers, Edge Centres builds and manages modular, off-grid, edge data centers powered by on-site wind and/or solar power coupled with fiber cross-connections, internet exchange points, and always-on redundant infrastructure. The company plans to have 20 sites operational across Asia, Australasia, and the US by the end of 2023, with another 20 sites operational by the end of 2024.

Challenges: Edge Centres is pursuing an aggressive strategy of expanding into new markets in Asia and the US. However, with new modular data centers available from several competitors and increased competition from existing colocation providers targeting Tier 3 and Tier 4 markets, further growth may be challenging without the backing of a significant industry player, making Edge Centres a potential acquisition target. In addition, advancements in solar-powered micro data centers could attract new players, including solar farm operators seeking opportunities to diversify revenue sources.


Founded in 2009 with headquarters in Herndon, Virginia, EdgeConneX is a global data center provider building and operating purpose-built data centers for customers at any scale–edge, far edge, edge cable landing stations (EdgeConneX Edge CLS), and hyperscale–anywhere in the world. Since 2013, EdgeConneX has built over 50 data centers—including edge data centers and a growing number of regional and hyperscale solutions—across Asia, Europe, South America, and North America. Supporting some of the highest power density requirements in the market, EdgeConneX provides space (cabinets, cages, and suites), power (ranging from 10 kW to over 100 MW), connectivity, and remote hands services. In addition, EdgeConneX has deployed over 4,000 points of presence (PoPs) outside traditional data centers, offering end-to-end, turnkey solutions, including cell backhaul, small cells, and in-building and modular solutions.

Figure 12. EdgeConneX at a Glance

Offering on-ramps to the major cloud service providers and diverse network access to many of the world’s largest fiber and mobile providers, multiservice operators (MSOs), internet service providers (ISPs), and peering exchanges, EdgeConneX builds custom-designed edge and far edge (including micro data centers and edge PoPs) colocation facilities and edge cable landing stations.

The range of options for hyperscale customers includes pre-existing powered shells rolled out in under 12 months, campus expansions where EdgeConneX has the right of first refusal (ROFR) for adjacent space, and custom-designed data centers. In addition to the EdgeConneX services suite for remote hands, data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tools, and security, EdgeConneX offers customers a choice of network connectivity, power, and standards certifications.

All data center facilities are managed via EdgeConneX’s patented EdgeOS, a next-generation data center operating system offering customers a single, secure view into their infrastructure deployed in any location across EdgeConneX’s global footprint. The EdgeOS web-based customer portal enables continuous visibility into all customer operations and assets—including video monitoring, status monitoring of over 600,000 data points, and work requests and tickets—via a single pane of glass.

In 2020, EdgeConneX was acquired by EQT Infrastructure, giving the company access to additional capital for expansion, investment in land and power, and build-to-suit projects worldwide. As a result, EdgeConneX has launched several business initiatives, including a strategic investment in China-based data center provider Chayora, the opening of a new market in Barcelona, Spain, data center acquisitions in Israel and Indonesia, a new data center campus in Brussels, and the establishment of AdaniConneX (a joint venture with Adani Enterprises in India). In addition to building hyperscale campuses across major towns, AdaniConneX is developing distributed edge data centers and far edge facilities in Tier 2 and 3 markets.

Strengths: EdgeConneX has extensive experience building and operating a broad portfolio of data centers worldwide along with the real estate, site selection, and program management expertise to oversee installation of over 1,000 sites simultaneously. Support for multiple deployment models allows customers to work with a single provider for all their edge needs. In addition, in conjunction with new and existing cable deployments, EdgeConneX Edge CLS enables cable owners and operators to implement efficient and reliable network architectures, including new locations, cable-to-cable cross-connects, and streamlined business models with efficient backhaul interconnections.

Challenges: Offering wholesale colocation solutions primarily targeted at providers, EdgeConneX’s edge and far edge product lines offer single-tenant, turnkey solutions designed to augment the provider’s existing public data centers and do not directly offer edge colocation capabilities. While EdgeConneX’s far edge can refer to edge facilities within 10 kilometers of the device edge or to a micro data center at the device edge itself, these are targeted at the latter—due to its single-tenant nature and proximity to edge devices—and custom-built based on demand. As a result, prospective customers should carefully evaluate the time to value based on whether facilities exist or need to be built or deployed.


Founded in 2018 with headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida, EdgePresence designs, deploys, operates, and manages micro edge data centers located within 12 miles from the end user at the base of cellular towers and other key places for colocation and edge computing. The fully integrated, low-cost EdgePod data centers include power, cooling, integrated security, and 24×7 monitoring and management. In partnership with a national mobile operator, EdgePresence deployed its first 15-cabinet EdgePod in Orlando, Florida in April 2022, with additional EdgePods deployed in Washington, DC, and Los Angeles and San Diego, California, in early 2023. The carrier-neutral micro data centers offer multiple interconnection options at each location and serve as the cross-connect for multiple networks due to fiber-to-tower connections to multiple wireless carriers.

Figure 13. EdgePresence at a Glance

Offering 24x7x365 monitoring and 99.999% uptime SLAs, EdgePresence’s purpose-built, secure, reliable, and cost-effective EdgePods are multitenant edge PoPs primarily catering to the needs of ISPs, MNOs, and NSPs. Each micro data center provides the complete infrastructure to deploy standard servers, storage, communications equipment, and other networking and computing infrastructure without the added capital expense and operating complexity typically associated with critical infrastructure buildouts. Each purpose-built EdgePod is easy to build and operate, making it possible to quickly densify and expand existing networks in Tier 2 and 3 markets. In addition, EdgePresence provides remote hands and on-site services (truck rolls) for planned project work and emergency response on behalf of its customers.

EdgePresence partners with communications infrastructure providers—including American Tower, SBA Communications, and Vertical Bridge—to deploy EdgePods at their tower locations, taking advantage of the pre-existing power sources, fiber connectivity, and security to quickly deploy new edge facilities. In October 2020, DataBank made a strategic $30 million investment in EdgePresence, complementing DataBank’s more than 65 metro data centers with the ability to collocate select customer workloads at the far edge to reduce latency and improve performance.

In 2020, EdgePresence partnered with AlefEdge to roll out EdgeNet—a compute and delivery network based on the company’s software-defined mobile edge (SD-ME) platform—at EdgePresence locations across the US. Enabling the development and consumption of high-bandwidth, low-latency applications over 4G LTE, 5G, CBRS, and Wi-Fi networks, EdgeNet allows enterprises to create their own 5G network and launch applications inside and outside of their campus. In addition, EdgeNet can provide both private-to-private and private-to-public mobility and roaming services. AlefEdge, in collaboration with EdgePresence, is planning to deploy in hundreds of locations across the US, including enterprise sites, cell towers, and key real estate locations.

Strengths: EdgePresence provides customizable, ready-to-deploy, all-in-one micro data centers capable of supporting next-generation mobile network deployments and deploying latency-sensitive or geography-specific workloads as close to the end user as possible. As an owner and operator of edge PoPs located at cell tower and retail sites, EdgePresence’s purpose-built EdgePods densify and expand networks to the network edge, enabling businesses to enjoy low-latency, low-cost bandwidth with flexible, scalable infrastructure options to support current and future workloads.

Challenges: While EdgePresence has the technology, the company mainly depends on its partners for finding sites and tenants. Despite partnering with a mobile operator to deploy EdgePods nationwide across the US, the rollout of EdgePresence EdgePods is slower than anticipated. However, with capacity presold in each market, we expect deployment of EdgePods to accelerate in the next 18 to 36 months. EdgePresence should take advantage of its DataBank connection and build strategic alliances within the DigitalBridge portfolio (a major DataBank investor and the only dedicated, global-scale digital infrastructure firm investing across five key verticals—data centers, cell towers, fiber networks, small cells, and edge infrastructure).


Founded in 1998 with headquarters in Redwood City, California, Equinix is one of the world’s largest colocation providers with more than 250 data centers—called International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers—serving over 10,000 customers in more than 70 strategically located metropolitan areas across 27 countries on five continents. Equinix’s more than 435,000 interconnections provide connectivity with more than 4,800 enterprises and over 3,000 cloud and IT, 450 content and media, and 2,000 network service providers, representing more than half of the Fortune 500 and more than one-third of the Forbes Global 2000. As core components of its Platform Equinix, the company’s digital infrastructure services include Equinix Fabric (globally distributed software-defined interconnections), Equinix Metal (automated, interconnected bare metal as a service), and Network Edge (network functions virtualization spanning multiple metros).

Figure 14. Equinix at a Glance

Offering unparalleled peering connectivity and 99.999% uptime, Equinix Fabric is a global connectivity platform enabling fast, secure connections to cloud and network service providers and other Equinix customers, partners, and vendors. The fabric is a software-defined interconnection platform that simplifies the complex task of connecting data networks and supply chain ecosystems with a comprehensive portfolio of virtual infrastructure connections, including data center, edge, interconnection, and physical and virtual services. In addition, the Equinix Fabric supports a wide range of networking services and topologies—including colocation, edge services, IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, network infrastructure, and security services—and allows branches to be connected to cloud-based SD-WANs quickly.

Equinix’s robust ecosystem enables suppliers to advertise direct, on-demand access to their services, allowing customers to choose from thousands of cloud, network, and digital supply chain partners to create and consume new value at the metro edge. The Marketplace Discovery tool provides search capabilities based on locations, partners, ecosystem density, data center specs, and metro topology so customers can easily find service providers offering the required services in a specific location. In addition, customers can search for Equinix Fabric partners—including network, content, and cloud and IT service providers—to connect digital infrastructure and services on demand in major markets worldwide.

Network Edge is an open-source, x86-based infrastructure platform that allows users to select, configure, and activate virtual network functions (VNFs) and services in near real time. Users can design and instantly deploy network services by connecting VNFs—including cloud routers, next-generation firewalls, SD-WAN gateways, and other services—to the ecosystem via the Equinix Fabric customer portal. In addition, users can quickly stitch together virtual network services from different vendors as part of a single workflow by leveraging Network Edge reference architectures. Equinix also provides IBX SmartView, a fully integrated software platform for real-time access to electrical, environmental, and mechanical operating data relevant to each user’s IBX data center footprint.

Strengths: Equinix is one of the world’s largest colocation providers, with a robust ecosystem and sophisticated tools to streamline connections. IBX SmartView provides on-demand access to data captured from pre-installed sensors inside the Equinix IBX, enabling users to gather data and oversee deployment remotely without being physically present in the data center. In addition, IBX SmartView provides multiple ways to consume the data, including the IBX SmartView Portal, the Equinix Customer Portal, and through APIs.

Challenges: While Equinix offers a large and expanding global colocation portfolio, it lacks an edge focus with a true device or edge presence. As a result, Equinix faces intense competition from smaller, more agile providers with far edge capabilities and a strong presence in specific geographies. In addition, Equinix Fabric is available in most, but not all markets. Moreover, Equinix’s strategy of building a large data center footprint only in key metropolitan regions prevents it from developing genuine far edge capabilities. Therefore, Equinix should augment its portfolio by partnering with leading edge providers in strategic geographies.


Founded in 1999 with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Denver, Colorado, Flexential offers flexible and tailored hybrid IT solutions comprising cloud, colocation, connectivity, data protection, and managed services. The company’s portfolio includes over three million square feet of data center space connecting 356 on-net carriers in 39 highly connected data centers spanning 19 high-growth US markets via Flexential’s 100 Gbps (scalable to 400 Gbps) private backbone. Moreover, Flexential Local Edge allows businesses to deploy applications and connect their customers via ultra-low latency 5G networks in metro markets. In addition, Flexential Local Edge enables customers to tap into Flexential Interconnection, which provides IP bandwidth, data center interconnects, and direct connectivity to the leading cloud service providers.

Figure 15. Flexential at a Glance

Flexential Interconnection distributes and receives data from multiple locations via the company’s private 100 Gbps network backbone, more than 13,000 cross-connects, 356 on-net carriers, leading cloud service providers, and termination points for undersea cables to Asia Pacific (APAC) and South America. The platform allows users to dynamically adjust capacity, integrate new technologies, and move data from core networks to the edge. In addition, Flexential offers proactive distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection with IP bandwidth services and cloud connectivity to AWS, Azure, Google, and Oracle with a 100% network uptime and bandwidth commitment.

Flexential’s colocation portfolio includes retail colocation, wholesale colocation, and remote hands services. Offering single cabinet to multimegawatt deployments, Flexential’s retail colocation service offers diverse connectivity options and a broad portfolio of managed services. Flexential’s premium wholesale data center colocation environments in 10 locations leverage 230 MW of critical load UPS capacity—from private suites and cages to build-to-suit space—with fast connections to hundreds of carriers and international markets via undersea cables and cloud on-ramps. In addition, Flexential’s ITIL-certified technical experts are available 24/7/365 to perform routine duties and oversee installation, deployment, configuration, and troubleshooting.

In October 2022, Flexential launched Interconnection Mesh, an advanced data center-to-data center connectivity solution enabling a multisite, any-to-any connection with quick, seamless provisioning. In addition, customers can use Flexential Xperience Portal to gain complete visibility of all their multisite connections across their entire colocation deployment.

Strengths: Flexential’s combination of an industry-leading 100 Gbps network backbone, access to undersea cables, and secure, low-latency connections to services, partners, carriers, and hyperscale cloud providers—including AWS, Azure, Google, and Oracle—delivers premium performance, reliability, and service delivery while maintaining low latency for optimal workload performance.

Challenges: While Flexential offers a robust colocation portfolio, with data centers in the northeast, southeast, west, and central US connected to each other and to termination points for undersea cables to APAC and South America via a private high-speed backbone, it lacks an edge focus and presence in secondary and tertiary markets. As a smaller player, it faces competition from providers offering rapid edge deployment capabilities.

Leading Edge Data Centres

Founded in 2019 with headquarters in Sydney, Australia, Leading Edge Data Centres (LEDC) is a data center operator providing Tier III colocation facilities across greater metropolitan and regional locations within Australia. Targeting the 1-5 ms latency bracket, LEDC’s goal is to eliminate the slow, unreliable connectivity and enormous costs resulting from backhaul as data travels to and from major metros to regional Australian cities. LEDC addresses the problem by deploying prefabricated 8-, 30-, or 75-rack data centers that can be quickly erected and provisioned, opening the way for businesses to move from metropolitan areas to the regions. Target industries include agritech, distribution, emergency services, government, healthcare providers, local councils, manufacturing, mining, and utility companies.

Figure 16. Leading Edge Data Centres at a Glance

Six edge data centers are currently deployed (reaching more than 35% of Australia’s regional population), with another six in progress and six more in the pipeline connecting Australia’s eastern and southern states from Cairns in far north Queensland to Mildura in northwest Victoria. When completed, coverage will be available to 85% of Australia’s population. All data centers will be connected via a meshed dedicated fiber network —owned and operated by LEDC— ready to support 5G deployments. Built to Tier III data center standards, the data centers offer scalable space with high-density power and connectivity to third-party cloud, network, and service providers backed up by a 99.985% uptime SLA. In addition, to mitigate the environmental impact of its digital hubs, LEDC has committed to powering its data centers with 50% renewable sources and, eventually, 100% renewable sources, such as solar energy.

In January 2021, LEDC partnered with Megaport, a network as a service (NaaS) solution provider, to enable direct connectivity from its data centers to public cloud providers—including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud—via Megaport’s marketplace. The collaboration simplifies multicloud connectivity, allowing customers to organize all their connections using an easy-to-use portal or open API and an on-demand, pay-per-use model with access to global cloud on-ramps. Furthermore, in February 2023 LEDC announced the launch of LEDC Cloud Services in partnership with RackCorp, providing public and private cloud access within all of LEDC’s regional data center locations.

In May 2020, LEDC obtained an AU $20 million investment from Washington H Soul Pattinson to build over 20 edge data centers by the end of 2023. In May 2022, Leading Edge announced that it had secured an AU $30 million equity investment in its regional edge network from an affiliate of DigitalBridge, a leading investor in digital infrastructure and the only dedicated, global-scale investor across five key verticals—data centers, cell towers, fiber networks, small cells, and edge infrastructure. Furthermore, in September 2022, Leading Edge announced a partnership with Schneider Electric, a leading provider of local and regional edge data centers—including prefabricated, cabinet, and wall-mounted micro data centers—to drive faster and more reliable connectivity.

Strengths: Leading Edge is empowering regional Australia by building an interconnected network of resilient, Tier III data centers, providing access to a reliable and cost-effective interconnected network of regionally located data centers enabling secure and fast internet access, direct cloud connectivity, and carrier services in underserved areas. The prefabricated data centers are quick to deploy and provision, and eliminate the slow, unreliable connectivity and enormous costs resulting from backhaul as data travels to and from major metros to regional Australian cities.

Challenges: LEDC is connecting all of its data centers via an owned-and-operated private network backbone leased from multiple Tier 1 telcos. However, while this is a strategic move, vast distances and prohibitive costs may slow down the rollout of LEDC’s edge data centers. LEDC needs to expand its partnerships to accelerate deployment and establish a robust edge marketplace before expanding its operations across Australasia and into other geographies using the same model.

Proximity Data Centres

Founded in 2020 with headquarters in Chester, UK, Proximity Data Centres operates 10 edge data centers in major conurbation areas (a region comprising several metropolises, cities, large towns, suburbs, and other urban areas), offering low latency, fast connectivity, and low transit costs within 15 miles of 95% of the UK population. Another 10 edge data centers are scheduled to come online within the next 12 months. Proximity Data Centres’ newly opened edge facilities in Chester and Liverpool serve as strategic edge PoPs, reducing latency and data transit costs for service providers and thousands of businesses by avoiding the need to backhaul large volumes of data traffic long-distance to data centers located in London or other aggregation points.

Figure 17. Proximity Data Centres at a Glance

Proximity is committed to providing energy-efficient and sustainable ISO 9001, 14001, and 27001 compliant facilities built to Tier 3 industry standards with access to all major Tier 1 carriers and an uptime commitment of 100%. Each of Proximity’s edge data centers uses grid electricity from 100% renewable sources and incorporates renewable energy solutions, including battery storage, solar, and wind power. Proximity’s data centers offer a full suite of connectivity—from 100 Mbps to 100 Gbps—and security services, including next-generation firewalls. In addition, distributed on-ramps allow customers to connect their private networks directly to public clouds, including AWS, Azure, GCP, and IBM Cloud.

Proximity markets its services for a wide range of edge use cases, including local caching services for gaming and video streaming, cost-efficient cloud storage for regional governments, SLA-backed availability and data security for financial services, and multisite hybrid cloud solutions for industrial sectors. Flexible configurations allow customers to migrate up from a quarter rack to a full suite or from one data center to multiple data centers, depending on the business requirement, with on-site support, transitioning, and onboarding available to customers. For maximum convenience, a straightforward customer contracting model is provided with a single set of SLAs covering either one or multiple sites with the scope of services tailored to match regional demand.

In July 2022, Proximity announced a strategic partnership with Virgin Media O2 Business’ wholesale fixed division, Virgin Media Business Wholesale, to deliver fiber connectivity services across its portfolio of data centers, including diverse dark fiber and optical high-capacity services of up to 100 Gbps. Over 50% of Proximity’s edge facilities currently include Virgin Media Business Wholesale connectivity options. In addition, three of Proximity’s locations host Zayo’s high-capacity dark fiber PoPs, offering ultra-low latency cloud on-ramp services to all major public cloud providers.

Strengths: Bringing services closer to end users, once Proximity has built out its portfolio of 20 regional edge data centers located within 15 miles of 95% of the UK population, customers will have access to faster connectivity, lower latency, and reduced transit costs enabling new and emerging use cases. Partnerships with Virgin Media O2 Business and Zayo drive a range of dark fiber and high-speed optical services, including ultrafast broadband connections and low-latency circuits connected to data center hubs in Dublin, Ireland, and the US.

Challenges: Despite a planned rollout of 20 regional edge data centers located within 15 miles of 95% of the UK population, Proximity provides interconnections only to major cloud providers (via its Zayo partnership) and Tier 1 carriers. Proximity needs to expand its ecosystem to encompass a robust ecosystem of Tier 2 and 3 cloud, content, IT, and network service providers delivering services in underserved regions across the UK.

SBA Edge

Founded in 2019 with headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida, SBA Edge is a wholly owned subsidiary of SBA Communications, a tower site operator with more than 36,000 communications sites in 16 markets throughout Africa, the Americas, and the Philippines. In addition, SBA Communications purchases and develops new tower sites, expanding SBA Edge’s potential edge colocation tower portfolio domestically and internationally. These sites form the backbone for SBA Edge’s tower edge computing capabilities, 30 to 40 of which are currently operational or under construction.

Figure 18. SBA Edge at a Glance

SBA Edge functions as a traditional colocation operator, offering purpose-built edge data center options complete with dynamic cooling, 24×7 on-site security and surveillance, and a 100% uptime commitment. In addition, SBA Edge is OIX-2 certified, SSAE-18 SOC I Type II certified, and HIPAA and PCI compliant. SBA Edge offers full and partial racks as well as private cages and suites, each with customizable, high-density server racks. If desired, customers can meter their own power, creating flexibility in terms of pricing, and use their own tools for monitoring workloads. In addition to the cellular towers, SBA Edge owns and operates three data centers (in Jacksonville, Florida, West Chicago, Illinois, and São Paulo, Brazil) that serve as hubs for some of its tower-based edge data centers.

Since SBA Communications controls the land upon which its towers stand, and the power and network connections are already installed, SBA Edge can quickly roll out new units, depending on the availability of the prefabricated units and high-density power. Moreover, provided there is sufficient space and power, edge data centers can be stacked, offering increased density for powering fast, low-latency workloads. While multiple fiber lines feed each location, clients can also use their own carrier for network connectivity.

As an equal opportunity colocation service providing space, power, cooling, and connectivity, SBA Edge does not offer advanced network solutions or a portfolio of preferred partners. Furthermore, the provider-agnostic strategy means that while SBA does not have any official partnerships, it does provide meet-me-rooms within its regional data centers. While working with many major carriers and cloud providers, SBA Edge prefers its customers to choose partners with a bring-your-own-provider approach.

Strengths: SBA Edge has the potential to develop new tower sites and expand its tower portfolio domestically and internationally with facilities strategically chosen and developed under a build-to-suit arrangement, or by purchasing existing towers. Rapid deployment capabilities and a willingness to add edge data centers to new locations—based on client demand—makes SBA Edge an excellent candidate for large anchor tenants wishing to deploy equipment in underserved areas. In addition, SBA Edge can provide carriers and service providers with edge facilities for deploying 5G and Open RAN (O-RAN) workloads.

Challenges: Despite having pre-qualified thousands of tower sites in the US as edge data center locations with access to secure space, power, and fiber, SBA Edge appears to be ahead of its rivals but has only 30 to 40 facilities operational or under construction. Moreover, the company does not publish the exact number of active edge sites or their locations, making it difficult for potential customers to identify partnership opportunities. Finally, the simplicity of SBA Edge’s offering and lack of partnerships may deter local governments or smaller enterprises with limited resources.


Founded in 2000 with headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada, Switch’s portfolio includes the world’s only Tier 5 Platinum hyperscale data center ecosystem with campuses located in the most cost-effective area of each North American zone—based on power, connectivity, taxes, cost of living, and lower risk of natural disaster. Located in Atlanta, Georgia, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Las Vegas and Tahoe/Reno, Nevada, Switch’s facilities offer fault-sustainable, low-latency connectivity to major US markets with a 100% power and cooling uptime commitment.

Figure 19. Switch at a Glance

In November 2020, Switch announced a partnership with Dell Technologies and FedEx to deliver scalable, multicloud capabilities at the edge. The partnership involves modular, on-premises edge pods (Switch EDGE) being deployed at FedEx’s operational sites and interconnected directly to Switch’s regional data center campuses, with Dell providing server hardware and managed services. FedEx serves as the anchor tenant at these deployments—which moves the data processing of its logistics network to the edge—with spare capacity used to help additional customers overcome performance barriers for latency-sensitive applications.

Deployable in any building 15 feet wide and any length, Switch EDGE is the world’s only Tier 4 edge data center platform with a modular capacity of 24 to more than 100 cabinets. Constructed using air-transportable container pods, Switch EDGE data centers are tethered directly to their affiliated Regional EDGE or PRIME data center campus locations. In addition, Switch claims that the modular edge data centers offer 35 to 60% savings on connectivity by leveraging Switch CONNECT’s telecom auditing and expense management service.

Moreover, by utilizing the CORE Cooperative gateway, a combined ordering retail ecosystem (CORE) and independent exascale telecommunications purchasing cooperative, Switch can provide connectivity to its edge data centers at a highly competitive price. The cooperative includes over 50 carriers and dozens of service providers, connecting over 1,000 clients with a combined market cap value of more than seven trillion dollars. The aggregated buying power allows CORE Cooperative to pass on significant savings to its members and their customers.

Strengths: Switch’s modular, on- or near-premises edge pods offer near real-time connectivity to data that resides at the edge. In November 2020, it announced a partnership to deploy scalable, multicloud colocation facilities at FedEx’s operational sites—with FedEx as the anchor tenant—and Dell Technologies providing server hardware and managed services. With a global reach serving millions of customers in some 220 countries, FedEx is the ideal customer for testing the agility, scale, and speed of edge networks.

Challenges: In 2019, FedEx announced a 10-year deal with Switch to deliver 2.5 MW of capacity in year one and up to 8 MW by year 10. However, it is unclear whether Switch has begun to roll out Switch EDGE micro data center pods at FedEx locations across the US as per the November 2020 announcement. Switch needs to take advantage of its air-transportable micro data center technology and leverage Switch CONNECT’s global private cloud infrastructure to establish itself as a serious edge player.

Vapor IO

Founded in 2015 with headquarters in Austin, Texas, Vapor IO provides the largest far-edge footprint in the US, backed up by sophisticated autonomous lights-out edge data centers supporting the most demanding low-latency workloads at the edge of the wireless and wireline access networks. Combining multitenant colocation with high-speed networking, software-defined interconnections, and telemetry-based intelligence, Vapor IO’s Kinetic Grid is operational in 36 US markets—with another 108 prebuilt data-center-ready sites in an additional 30 markets—and 252 interconnection sites across all markets. In addition, the company has plans for expansion into Asia and Europe (via a partnership with Cellnex Telecom).

Figure 20. Vapor IO at a Glance

The Kinetic Grid delivers a flexible, highly distributed edge infrastructure at the edge of the last mile wired and wireless networks by combining strategically placed colocation facilities with a sophisticated, software-defined mesh network and machine-speed interconnections. In addition to deploying its own proprietary micro-modular, highly observable 20 kW to 185 kW data centers, Vapor IO upgrades third-party facilities to support the company’s advanced automation and telemetry systems, optimizing workload placement for specific conditions and business rules in real time based on over a billion data points generated each day.

Connecting the carrier- and cloud-neutral Kinetic Grid to major fiber intersection points and last-mile access networks—as well as between markets on the national backbone—Vapor IO builds, owns, and operates a backbone-scale, software-defined network in each city, making it possible to deliver discrete, time-sensitive, and highly resilient ultra-low-latency workloads. Furthermore, Vapor IO offers a machine-speed, API-driven interconnection fabric, the Kinetic Edge Exchange, that allows multiple services to exchange data to the far edge with little or no trombone effect within a local market. In addition to building direct cloud onramps, Vapor IO backhauls to three or four third-party data centers with the most interconnect gravity in a market, providing a wide range of options for customer interconnections.

Working closely—but not exclusively—with Crown Castle International, a real estate investment trust, for sourcing deployment sites and local market fiber, Vapor IO analyzes and ranks site locations on over 100 criteria and builds out an optimal footprint tailored to the unique market characteristics of specific geographies, including compliance and data sovereignty policies and regulations. Vapor IO’s robust, cost-efficient, just-in-time delivery model entails preparing prebuilt data-center-ready sites in key locations before deploying on-demand Vapor Edge Modules (VEM) based on the needs of the anchor tenant.

Strengths: Combining strategically placed colocation facilities with a sophisticated, software-defined mesh network and machine-speed interconnections, Vapor IO’s Kinetic Grid offers on-premises performance from both near-premises and far edge environments, supporting the most demanding low-latency workloads with sophisticated, AI-enabled automation and telemetry systems for optimizing workload placement. Vapor IO also partners with other colocation providers, including Digital Realty, to drive the Kinetic Edge’s adoption into existing and new markets.

Challenges: Despite Vapor IO’s original plan to deploy up to 100 edge computing sites by the end of 2019, the rollout has been relatively slow. However, the lessening impact of COVID-19 has allowed the company to ramp up deployment and develop prebuilt data-center-ready sites to meet demand. As a result, Vapor IO needs to create differentiation and expand by making it easier for third parties to operate a Kinetic Grid on their own infrastructure. In addition, Vapor IO must upgrade strategic links to 400 Gbps to meet customer demand and expand the programmability of its Kinetic Grid to support emerging automation use cases.

6. Analyst’s Take

While the definition of “edge” is an ongoing topic for conversation, most industries recognize the need to relocate compute resources closer to the end user to enable new, data-intensive use cases, reduce latency, increase security, and lower costs. In response, the edge colocation space is evolving rapidly as new providers emerge and traditional colocation providers reinvent themselves to remove the constraints embedded in massive data centers close to large population centers.

Moreover, with interconnection, property, and human resource costs rising, enterprises and IT providers are looking for ways to reduce overheads by retiring existing facilities and sourcing cost-effective, high-performance compute capacity outside of major metropolitan regions. In addition, with an increasing number of people working from home, many enterprises are cutting costs by relocating to Tier 3 or 4 markets, which have been underserved historically by colocation providers. In addition to removing the financial burden of operating in-house facilities, edge colocation facilities reduce network latency, bandwidth congestion, and data transit costs by being built physically closer to users, partners, and customers.

As a result, a new category of micro edge colocation data centers is emerging, often deployed in collaboration with wireless communications infrastructure providers offering space, power, and connectivity at the base of cell towers. Highly connected, with links to local and regional internet exchanges, these edge facilities are located close to industrial and highly populated areas outside the major metros. Moreover, many can be quickly erected and provisioned on demand with prebuilt data-center-ready sites. Furthermore, with governments setting carbon neutral and net-zero carbon targets for many sectors, locating edge data centers in Tier 2, 3, or 4 markets optimizes energy usage, increases resource efficiency, and reduces e-waste by shifting workloads to run in regions powered by renewable energy.

At the same time, however, it’s unlikely that a single provider can offer edge location facilities in multiple geographies to support enterprises with global operations. Therefore, we foresee new partnerships being forged with complementary technologies merged to deliver software-defined mesh networks deployed in provider and third-party facilities. This need will be especially true for traditional colocation providers who must rapidly transition existing customers to edge facilities to meet their demand for fast, ultra-low-latency connectivity with low transit costs.

More importantly, however, customers must recognize that not all workloads have the same characteristics. In some cases, eliminating jitter, for example, is more critical than sub-millisecond latency. As a result, customers should carefully consider: (1) their workloads; (2) the requirements of each workload; (3) the provider’s ability to meet those requirements in the relevant market; and (4) the availability of provider or third-party facilities within the ecosystem to meet the requirements of all workloads in all relevant markets. In some cases, partnering with multiple edge colocation providers may be the optimal approach based on the variety of your workloads and their requirements.

As you evaluate your edge colocation requirements, use this report to assess your current and future needs based on the characteristics of each workload before creating a shortlist of providers supporting your target market, deployment model, and use case. With the emergence of new entrants and exciting ongoing innovation, don’t just settle for an incumbent provider. Instead, explore all your options—including provider roadmaps and rollouts. When talking to providers, ensure that their vision is aligned with yours and that their facilities, ecosystem, and roadmap include the needed capabilities.

7. About Ivan McPhee

Formerly an enterprise architect and management consultant focused on accelerating time-to-value by implementing emerging technologies and cost optimization strategies, Ivan has over 20 years’ experience working with some of the world’s leading Fortune 500 high-tech companies crafting strategy, positioning, messaging, and premium content. His client list includes 3D Systems, Accenture, Aruba, AWS, Bespin Global, Capgemini, CSC, Citrix, DXC Technology, Fujitsu, HP, HPE, Infosys, Innso, Intel, Intelligent Waves, Kalray, Microsoft, Oracle, Palette Software, Red Hat, Region Authority Corp, SafetyCulture, SAP, SentinelOne, SUSE, TE Connectivity, and VMware.

An avid researcher with a wide breadth of international expertise and experience, Ivan works closely with technology startups and enterprises across the world to help transform and position great ideas to drive engagement and increase revenue.

8. About GigaOm

GigaOm provides technical, operational, and business advice for IT’s strategic digital enterprise and business initiatives. Enterprise business leaders, CIOs, and technology organizations partner with GigaOm for practical, actionable, strategic, and visionary advice for modernizing and transforming their business. GigaOm’s advice empowers enterprises to successfully compete in an increasingly complicated business atmosphere that requires a solid understanding of constantly changing customer demands.

GigaOm works directly with enterprises both inside and outside of the IT organization to apply proven research and methodologies designed to avoid pitfalls and roadblocks while balancing risk and innovation. Research methodologies include but are not limited to adoption and benchmarking surveys, use cases, interviews, ROI/TCO, market landscapes, strategic trends, and technical benchmarks. Our analysts possess 20+ years of experience advising a spectrum of clients from early adopters to mainstream enterprises.

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9. Copyright

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