Digital infrastructure grows to deliver data in real time

Edge data centres and telco networks multiply to serve a digital economy that requires low latency

After more than a year in which governments, companies and citizens have had to adapt to a new circumstance, we have revalued digital infrastructures. Their role in keeping us connected has been fundamental, and thanks to them the data has been transmitted and distributed without incident. 

In addition, nowadays in these infrastructures a set of data with very specific transmission requirements is interconnected and distributed: it is the data in real time. Why are data centres relevant   for the distribution of information in real time? 

 

Latency: low or very low

If we think about different circumstances where there is data transmission, we will see that there is a group of activities, many of them related to the Internet of Things (IoT) that require delivery of information in real time: 

  • Online payments, transfers and other financial transactions, 
  • Medical applications to alert about emergency situations, 
  • Sensors in vehicles or in manufacturing processes, 
  • Video conferencing or live events, 
  • Monitoring of routes and highways to alert about accidents and avoid traffic jams. 

The demand for data delivery in real time has caused a substantial change in the parameters of what was considered acceptable latency. To access a work application, email, or apps where we store files or photos, a latency around 100 milliseconds may be reasonable. However, in cases such as medical devices (an example are those having to do with heart activity or glucose levels), or alarms that are triggered by sensors, or live online classes, there is a need for delivery in real-time information.

As other technologies such as virtual reality or autonomous cars are developed, the demand for data transmission with very low latency is growing rapidly. 

 

interxion datacenter

Interxion data center in Madrid

 

Connected infrastructures  

It is then when it becomes essential to have infrastructures close to the users and that together with the expansion of the telecommunications networks make possible the required evolution in the  transmission  of data.

Data centres close to users, known as  edge data centres, make it easier to process information close to the place where it is created and consumed, reducing latency in that round trip of the data. Applications that require very low latency cannot be associated with sending information to distant data centres, since in this case the waiting time until it is processed, related and returned is unfeasible. The latency required for this data must be less than 10 milliseconds, and it is a very understandable need since longer delays can have dire consequences in case of emergencies or communications with autonomous vehicles. That is why coordination between networks and data centres is so important for data flow and processing with minimum latency, safe and without ups and downs.  

If there is one certainty today, it is that the  generation of data  continues to increase day by day and that it requires agile interconnections in data centres close to the users. As low latency requirements multiply, companies will have to evaluate their infrastructure deployment and network architecture. Your data will need dynamic options to connect and cope with increasingly demanding latencies.