In a distributed cloud setup, public cloud services are offered to customers at remote satellite locations outside the cloud provider’s facilities. This gives the enterprise increased capabilities for storing and processing data in different data centers situated at various physical locales. The responsibility of operation, management and maintenance of the services lies with the public cloud provider. As a result, distributed cloud computing is able to extend its use cases far out to the edge. Distributed cloud offers remote locations, a single control plane, and a secure network tunnel to manage everything.
Edge-Enabled Distributed Cloud
As a result of the physical proximity of data sources, distributed computing enables edge computing to process large amounts of data while maintaining data security and compliance. Although edge computing can be implemented without a distributed cloud architecture, it is much easier to deploy and manage edge applications, particularly on the telecom edge and enterprise edge, when we use distributed clouds.
In regulated industries like healthcare and in many European countries, distributed cloud infrastructure allows organizations to process personal information in the user’s country of residence. As the on-premises Satellite location, the health provider designates a hospital data center. The Internet of Things (IoT)/edge application running at the satellite location receives telemetry data from various devices monitoring the patient. A hospital’s medical records and patient records are stored on-site and cannot be removed.
Telecoms, or CSPs, have been trying to capitalize on 5G technology through the provision of sophisticated multi-access edge solutions. This is made possible by a distributed cloud topology, allowing for single tenancy in their Satellite locations and bringing computing power and MEC services to the customer’s doorstep. Such arrangements address data security issues whilst facilitating applications only achievable with low latency.
As a result of distributed cloud computing, public cloud providers can offer a full range of services wherever customers need them: on-premises in their own data centers, in private clouds, or off-premises in public cloud data centers that may or may not be the cloud provider’s.
The use cases we described show how distributed cloud and edge computing complement each other. Solutions that combine these technologies offer low latency access to on-premises systems, local data processing, and even local storage, which is especially useful for running AI workloads.