In a distributed cloud model, network compute and storage resources run as cloud services across private and public clouds, and at the network edge managed from a single control plane.
For end-users, the distributed infrastructure appears as a single cloud entity. Management, governance, and updates are the sole responsibility of the originating public cloud provider. An example of a distributed cloud architecture is a content delivery network (CDN), which is comprised of geographically dispersed network infrastructure designed for fast delivery of audio and video content to users in different locations.
Distributed IT is a fast-growing cloud consumption model, and there are many reasons why. By placing network infrastructure proximate to users, cloud providers can mitigate latency, support data sovereignty, leverage cutting-edge technologies, and keep remote employees connected and productive while working from anywhere.
While distributed IT delivers all the benefits of public cloud along with location-dependent cloud use cases, it also changes the requirements for the underlying physical infrastructure that supports it. At Panduit, we’ve been laser-focused on understanding the many ways in which this cloud consumption model — along with other changes in the world around us — impact infrastructure decisions.
Following are five key considerations for developing a best-in-class infrastructure-enabled distributed cloud.
- Ensure the safety and security for people and places inside operations.
With a distributed cloud, resources can be dispersed across the globe and might even be collocated with those of other enterprises. More users connecting to the infrastructure supporting a distributed cloud create more management complexity for operators. This has shined a light on the need to implement a heterogeneous means of addressing security and safety.
Leading technology partners are developing cutting-edge electrical safety technology to help build a safe and secure data center infrastructure. Intelligent monitoring, access control, and remote hands support solutions, as well as grounding, bonding and other electrical solutions help to protect against accidents, improve personal safety, enhance physical security and boost employee confidence and productivity.
- Prioritize environmental stewardship.
Distributed cloud architectures shift energy computation to the edge, which reduces the amount of traffic sent to the cloud; optimizing network efficiency and delivering a potential environmental benefit. However, delivering on the sustainability promise of distributed cloud architectures still requires leveraging more efficient approaches to consuming data center power and space. Sustainability-focused infrastructure providers offer solutions that increase density and manage containment more effectively. Design for sustainability principles span the election of raw materials, manufacturing processes employed, packaging materials used with a mind for the circular economy throughout.
- Design for usability and performance at scale.
In a distributed cloud architecture, critical processing tasks are located closer to end-users, which eliminates the need to transmit data back to centralized network servers. As a result, services become faster and more responsive. However, this shift from a centralized model to a distributed model brings with it a whole set of new networking and infrastructure requirements for controlling latency and enabling performance. High-density rack servers, higher speed top-of-rack switches, and space-optimized cabling infrastructure enable operators to deliver a reliable, secure, and overall improved end-user experience.
- Choose highly available, easily deployable infrastructure solutions.
Meeting the rise in demand for distributed cloud architectures makes the ability to deploy infrastructure quickly more important than ever. But not all infrastructure solutions are created equal, nor are the vendors who provide them. Standards-based solutions that are backed by industry-leading warranties help to ensure reliability and dependability, and leading providers design usability and deployability features to support this fast-moving cloud architecture evolution.
- Work with partners who have a global presence.
Physical infrastructure partners should bring the experience, expertise, and solution set required to help cloud operators succeed — wherever they may be located. Choose a partner with extensive manufacturing capabilities, global reach, and a worldwide partner ecosystem, and a commitment to providing continuity of supply. Highly availability, easily deployable, extended reliability – physical infrastructure foundational to the Cloud.
This post is the first in our series on distributed cloud infrastructure-enabled insights. Be sure to subscribe for updates to stay informed. In the meantime, visit our website to learn more about our data center solutions and also check out our Environment, Social, and Governance website to learn more about our sustainability-focused solutions for initiatives designed to empower our customers, our partners and employees to succeed in a sustainable and connected world.