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Edge Computing: A New Revenue Opportunity for MSPs

Edge computing may be the next great opportunity for MSPs. As customer demand for cloud services increases and the Internet of Things (IoT) gains traction, the need for servers that operate at the edge of the network is going to explode. As such, it is bound to create a vast new market for MSPs to apply their expertise with remote service delivery.

October 5, 2016

3 Min Read
Edge Computing: A New Revenue Opportunity for MSPs

Edge computing may be the next great opportunity for MSPs. As customer demand for cloud services increases and the Internet of Things (IoT) gains traction, the need for servers that operate at the edge of the network is going to explode. As such, it is bound to create a vast new market for MSPs to apply their expertise with remote service delivery.

Edge computing wouldn’t even be a thing if the cloud didn’t exist. Here’s why: As businesses push more and more of their computing to cloud infrastructures, they are starting to come to terms with certain limitations. Those limitations can seriously interfere with a company’s plans to leverage data analytics and execute IoT (Internet of Things) implementations.

Solving Latency Issues

The primary issue with relying on cloud infrastructure has to do with latency, which tends to increase based on the distance that data has to travel. Accessing a cloud infrastructure hundreds or thousands of miles away is perfectly acceptable for certain kinds of processing and storage.

But when the transmission of data has to occur in real time to trigger an immediate reaction, latency is a real issue. In healthcare environments, where lives may depend on an immediate response, or an oil field, where a spill can be averted by acting fast, the ability to respond in real time isn’t merely a “nice to have.”

Edge computing addresses the latency problem by deploying small data centers at the edge of the network, placing processing and analytics capabilities much closer to where the data originates. This way, the data doesn’t have to make the long trek between the local network and cloud infrastructure. And because the servers sit on the edge, the data doesn’t have to bog down the core network either.

As IoT implementations get under way, businesses will rely on edge data centers to process information transmitted from sensors, monitoring devices, SOCs (systems on chip) and antennae out in the field. That’s where most of the real-time data processing and analysis will take place. At the same time, data that doesn’t require an immediate response is routed to a cloud infrastructure or the network for predictive analyses based on historical trends and patterns.

Managed Services Future

Edge computing is a natural evolutionary step for managed services. The data centers that will start to appear at the edge of client networks will require monitoring and management, just as their current IT environments already do.

Businesses that have turned to MSPs and cloud service providers to boost efficiency and keep IT costs down aren’t likely to want – or have the resources, in many cases – to manage edge data centers. They will seek help from third parties, and MSPs should position themselves to deliver the required services.

MSPs will have to step up to secure, support and manage edge data centers for clients. Your experience in delivering remote services positions you perfectly to take advantage of the edge computing opportunity.

The benefits of getting into edge computing early will be plentiful – new clients, additional business with existing clients, increased value-add potential, and of course a new revenue stream.  Going forward, being on the edge is bound to be very lucrative for MSPs.

Marvin Blough is StorageCraft’s Vice President of Worldwide Sales where his focus is on expanding the company’s global reach by establishing channel partnerships that enhance the profitability for the channel partner.

Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly, and are part of MSPmentor’s annual platinum sponsorship.

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