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Microsoft researcher: Why Micro Datacenters really matter to mobile's future

Bob Brown | Sept. 4, 2015
And why enterprise IT pros should be getting ready for them.

How do you anticipate enterprise IT pros' jobs changing as a result of where mobile computing is headed? Are there things you would advise them to do, skills-wise, so as not to fall behind?

The Internet is wonderful at connecting people and services. But, it is best-effort i.e. it is not fast, nor does it provide predictable performance.  We are becoming more mobile, are doing more, and are context switching more.  IT customers are demanding faster access, faster response time, and immediate analysis of large quantities of data which requires more computation and more storage than ever before.  Unfortunately, because of the way our network protocols are designed even a few 10s of milliseconds delay can kill user satisfaction.  Unless we “fix” the Internet, of which cellular networking is a big part, the only way I see us solving this problem is by deploying thousands of mDCs or cloudlets globally.

In general management of mDCs will be challenging as company executives expect their IT pros to think though the issues and provide smooth accessibility and operation across the different geographic regions their company operates in, even in places that do not have convenient access to the servers.   Also, as mentioned previously, IT pros will have to think about how these servers are physically secured.  Getting ahead by understanding what mDCs are capable of, their role in emerging cloud and IoT space; asking the right questions and providing honest-to-goodness requirements to mDC providers will lead to competitive advantage.  I expect most IT professionals will embrace cloudlets as part of their portfolio of enterprise services they support.  The good news is, many engineers understand the outstanding issues and are working on them tirelessly. 


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