Edge IT infrastructure CAPEX to reach $700bn within next decade

The Linux Foundation is headquartered in San Francisco

A recent report revealed that over $700 billion in cumulative CAPEX will be spent within the next decade on edge IT infrastructure and data centre facilities.

This includes edge equipment at access network sites pre-aggregation sites, and aggregation and central office sites, according to The Linux Foundation.

According to the report, the vast majority of edge applications will be woven into the fabric of the internet using emerging connectivity systems, including 5G.

The edge applications is set to leverage the cloud for storing and processing data, provisioning resources, and optimising business models that offload CAPEX spending.

The report also found that developers will build edge applications using modern principles, such as continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD), and providers will emerge to serve them, making it easy and cost-effective to deploy at the edge.

The deployed global power footprint of the edge IT and data centre facilities is forecast to reach 102 thousand MW by 2028.

Data centres, servers, local breakout and middle mile architecture are areas of intense investment, according to The Linux Foundation.

“Extending the capabilities of today’s internet to support tomorrow’s applications will require a significant re-architecting of the infrastructure that has gotten us this far,” said Matt Trifiro, CMO, Vapor, and Jacob Smith, CMO, Packet who are both co-chairs of the report.


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“In particular, we will need new approaches, equipment, and architectures deployed to the middle and to the last mile.

“As we look to enable applications that require lower and lower latencies, for example, we will need faster networks and servers in closer proximity to the end-user or device.”

In regards to data centres, during the Third Act of the Internet, vast numbers of edge data centres will be deployed in diverse locations, according to the findings.

Often, they will take the form of factory-built micro modular data centres, such as those resembling shipping containers.

These micro modular systems can be trucked to a location, craned onto concrete pads or piers, and be set up and made operational in hours or days, whether in the parking lot of a factory or at the base of a cell tower.

In other cases, infrastructure owners will repurpose existing structures. For example, the Open Networking Foundation and its partner companies are funding the CORD project, which stands for Central Office Re-architected as a data centre, and which seeks to convert existing central office structures into edge data centres.

It is expected that by 2028, 4G and 5G mobile consumer and residential consumer (smart home) applications will come to dominate the edge-computing footprint, and demand will also come from CNOs, enterprise IT and automotive industry verticals, according to the reports.

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