Decentralization: Beyond Hyperscale
Last year, the conversation at the inaugural infra // STRUCTURE summit focused on the disruptive nature of hyperscale cloud and how this is happening on a global basis. Hyperscale has spawned a new breed of provider and a rapidly transforming supporting ecosystem. Service offerings have changed, business models have been adjusted and in many ways, the entire premise of the business has been turned on its head.
The shifts are plain to see. Managed hosters and infrastructure service providers have retreated from commodity cloud services and jumped to the managed third party cloud model. Meanwhile, the colocation sector has arguably made an even bigger pivot. Wholesale colocation serving hyperscale is basically a category in and of itself, while retail colocation has taken a sharp turn towards interconnection. Colocation is no longer just about housing infrastructure, but enabling it. And enabling means getting end users to the cloud and the applications and content they access deployed across increasingly complex hybrid architectures.
A hybrid world with hyperscale at the centre is the future. It is undeniably where things are moving. But it is also quickly becoming clear that things are not quite that simple. The Internet continues to grow and there is a new generation of applications emerging that take end users further out than ever before, while at the same time, demanding unprecedented levels of latency and performance.
Enter the edge and the coming decentralization of infrastructure architectures.
Last year, we described a new world order being built around hyperscale. But this was never a fixed situation and the reality on the ground has proved to be a lot more fluid. This new world order will soon have another important piece - the edge - that will only enhance and expand the billions of dollars of value being generated by the larger infrastructure services ecosystem.
Decentralization has a certain connotation that suggests a slight breaking apart of things or a loss of control. But in the world of cloud and infrastructure, decentralization is more about how things are going to be built. And it is a good bet that it will actually further enhance and add value to the hyperscale platforms at the centre of this new world order. It is good news for all involved.
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