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Defining the Edge

We brought together leaders from the world of telco and digital infrastructure.

Here's what they had to say

about the edge.

Recorded 20th September, 2017 , Dallas Fairmont Hotel


Everyone agrees the edge is where it’s happening. All the big shifts, from Smart Cities to the Internet of Everything, depend on fast networks tied closely to real-time sensors and greedy end users. 


“It’s where the rubber meets the road,” said DCD’s Bruce Taylor, opening the Edge summit at DCD>Colo+Cloud in Dallas in September 2017. But gathered experts made it clear that the actual shape of the edge is still being determined - even while it is being built and delivered.


Each of the conflicting definitions of the edge are too simple to cover all the needs. For instance, some argue that, since it will require data storage and processing being delivered in multiple identical autonomous units, all the edge

Data-hungry gadgets and users are forcing us to change how we build our information networks. The edge has already been built - while we are still defining it.

Chapter 5

Picture Gallery

Digital infrastructure current state at the edge

Roundtable #1 

Jeff Sharpe

ADLINK Technology

Hugh Carspecken


Joe Reele

Schneider Electric

Lance Smith


Mark Bailey


Rob Nash-Boulden

Black & Veatch

Shawn Mills

Green House Data

W. Pitt Turner IV
Uptime Instittute

“There will be more capital spend on the edge in the next few years than has been spent in the entire history of telecoms. It’s crazy amounts of money.”

Alan Bock

VP, Corporate Development

Crown Castle International

Alan Bock

Crown Castle International

Digital infrastructure future state at the edge

Roundtable #2 

Dr. Julie Albright


Chris Crosby

Compass Datacenters

Caroline Chan


Thomas Humphrey

Schneider Electric

Ty Schmitt


“You have Moore’s law; we have Shannon’s”

Caroline Chan

VP & GM, 5G Infra.Division, Network Platform Group


Alan Bock

Crown Castle International


Life on the Edge

Upcoming events:
DCD>Edge | New York
An exclusive pre-conference program prior to the DCD>Enterprise Summit which explore the enterprise data center edge  30th April, 2018
DCD>Edge | Dallas
We will be returning to where it all began! One year on from the launch of the DCD>Edge Series Edge returns to Dallas to explore how edge is transforming the telco, colocation and cloud service provider sector. 30th October, 2018

needs is small containerized data centers that can be installed at locations including cell towers, shared office buildings and malls.


Crown Castle International, for instance, manages thousands of cell tower locations in the US, and plans to host digital services from them, using equipment from Vapor IO, but this is still evolving, said Alan Bock, Crown Castle’s VP of corporate development: “As an industry we have to push it out there and see what works.”

The Definition is how it's used

While small facilities and micro data centers are often labeled as “edge,” the actual edge that emerges may be very different: ”I don’t think edge is a location or a size - it’s an application,” suggested Joe Reele, vice president, data center solution architect at Schneider Electric. “The definition is in how it is used, not the technology. Edge is about putting something closer to a group of people that will allow them to work efficiently.”


In his view, if a traditional multi-MW data center switches over from hosting old-school enterprise software to a webscale firm’s end-user applications, it will become an edge facility.


The edge could be even more diverse than that: there will be different technologies for different applications, said Shawn Mills, president of Green House Data: “Edge instances will be in a lot of places you wouldn’t have expected five years ago. It will morph depending on the requirements.”

Click here to read the full article that was published in the November issue of DCD Magazine

Additional resources:

Article: Edge networks demand a whole new compromise

Webinar: How ready is your Edge infrastructure for the high-velocity demands of the IoT?