The tipping point came in 2016, when AR-based Pokémon GO became the most successful mobile game ever, and virtual reality hardware, including the PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift, hit the market.
But, gaming is just one use case for AR. Developers are working on many more apps that will blend the physical, the virtual, the mobile, the social and the commercial. In April, Facebook announced it plans to create a range of new AR apps and experiences that would be delivered through smartphones.
AR could be promising for any developer that wants to experiment with new services, open up new revenue opportunities, and scale to new markets. But, they’ll need to deliver consistent and quality performance to keep customers happy and engaged. An agile IT environment offers the freedom to achieve that.
As a developer, you need the infrastructure to deliver new AR experiences anywhere in the world that the market or your business strategy takes you. IT agility also supports performance, as you may need to provision new capabilities quickly to deliver the unique, consistent, high-quality experience millions of users expect. All of your IT needs to be interconnected, and able to handle massive peaks in usage.
The hybrid cloud will be an invaluable asset for AR developers looking to solve for agility, performance and connectivity. Here are a few important IT considerations.
Hybrid Cloud Simplifies the Complex
Complexity is the first key challenge. AR apps rely on a number of different interacting components: the core software engine, GPS maps, mobile analytics, social media APIs and public clouds. They’re all interconnected by mobile and fixed line connectivity. Pokémon GO, for example, is a blend of mobile analytics, developer Unity Technology’s game engine, social data and two public clouds.
It’s not easy to make everything work together to maintain the best possible user performance, especially as you continue to launch an AR experience in additional new markets.
Hybrid cloud lets you think strategically about how your IT infrastructure supports every component of an AR app, while delivering the best end-user experience around the globe. Sensitive user data might be kept in private data centres for maximum security and data privacy compliance. Meanwhile, analytics and other computing processes might run on a public cloud located closer to the end user for maximum performance. Quality connections between each environment ensure the best possible experience for end users as you grow.
Hybrid Cloud Solves for Scalability
Uncertain demand is another challenge. A web-based AR app with a global user base needs to be available everywhere, and at all times. Developers also need to have the compute power to meet massive peaks in demand, especially at those hours of the day when the most number of users worldwide might be online at the same time.
Hybrid cloud helps you achieve scale and high performance. A centralised, on-premises data centre simply can’t match the global scalability of hyperscale public cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. Direct interconnections also help you overcome some of the performance risks inherent in connecting to public cloud through the web, including high latency and low bandwidth.
Interconnection Hub Delivers High Performance
An “interconnection hub architecture”, or a corporate network centred around regional interconnection hubs, is how AR developers gain the agility to deliver great performance on a global scale.
By placing private infrastructure within interconnection hubs, you can connect directly with partners, suppliers, public cloud platforms, network providers in key regional markets.
An AR app developer in Europe, for example, could establish individual data centres in all the key regions they serve. They could lease a data centre in London for the UK and Ireland, Madrid for Spain and Portugal, Stockholm for the Nordics and Russia and Frankfurt for mainland Western Europe.
With IT sitting next to – and interconnected directly and privately to – your major cloud platforms, you’d gain optimum connectivity into and out of the cloud. With your network service providers present in the same facility, you can directly cross-connect to their network equipment, again optimising that connection, to take the application out to end users.
Interconnecting all those data centres creates a mesh network, which is the agile, optimised IT environment you need to support the scale and performance needs of a global AR app. And for your customer, everything just works.