Azure Edge Zones: edge computing to complement cloud capabilities
Microsoft announced Azure Edge Zones, an infrastructure service that is an extension to the Azure public cloud, Microsoft’s global network, telecom provider’s 5G networks, and customer data centers.
Azure Edge Zones aim to provide rich, seamless customer experiences in real time through ultra-low-latency edge compute capabilities. And how is that possible? By going ultra-local and shortening “the last mile”.
What is an edge zone?
Azure Edge Zones are, in a nutshell, micro data centers by Microsoft. They act as logical extensions of existing regions that are a part of the Azure global network.
Azure Edge Zones support
- a subset of Azure managed services
that can run latency-sensitive and throughput-intensive applications that live close to end-users.
Furthermore, Microsoft plans to make Azure Edge Zones available in metro areas and cities with a high density of users. Developers and businesses can target these Edge Zones to deliver highly responsive applications and experiences to end-users.
How is that new / different?
As of this writing, developers can choose a location to run their application out of 58 regions across 140 countries.
With Azure Edge Zones, they can choose a region and then get even more specific by choosing a city within that region. For example, a media company can deploy an image rendering solution in the Europe West region and choose Paris as the Azure Edge Region to expose the ingestion and processing endpoints to customers. This delivers an ultra-fast, low-latency experience to the studios and designers in the city and eliminates any round-trip losses, enabling a seamless customer experience.
With the promise of broadband on the fly form 5G, edge computing is a requirement and Microsoft / Azure become the first movers in this domain. Moreover, since Azure Edge Zones are an extension of Azure, developers and operators can continue to use the same APIs, platform, and 3rd party tools to deploy and manage applications.
How will EZs change the game for Code Runners?
Over the last five years, we’ve had a variety of cloud-related issues around the globe. We were therefore forced to continuously reevaluate vendors, technologies and delivery strategies. Trying to deliver optimal outcomes has had an impact on CI/CD, hosting, CDN to name a few, with dramatic outcomes:
- delivering marketing insights on the fly in Continental China
- providing options for life-changing decisions like refinancing mortgages in rural Australia
- collecting customer feedback from rural areas across Africa and Asia
We hope Azure Edge Zones will provide a one-stop solution for any operational challenge. Hopefully that will alleviate the legal, compliance and operational burden linked to delivering robust software solutions seamlessly.