Latency has always proved to be a problem for organizations and data center operators alike; particularly as demand for big data, wearable technologies, cloud and streaming services and other technological trends continues to grow both in number of devices and users.  Now, more than ever, end users and devices demand faster, more reliable and more immediate access, from anywhere and at any time, to the applications, services and data housed in data centers, and latency is no longer an acceptable obstacle. Edge computing and edge data centers ("EDCs") present a unique and cost-effective solution to these increasing demands that, with the right plan, may offer interested real estate owners, investors and entrepreneurs an opportunity for enticing financial returns. 

An EDC is a smaller data storage facility located close to the population that it serves and that delivers cloud computing resources and cached content to end users.  Typically connected to a larger, central data center or multiple EDCs, the EDC processes data and services as close to its users as possible, allowing organizations to minimize latency and increase user experience. EDCs derive their name from the concept of edge computing. Edge computing is the "distributed computing model which takes place near the physical location where data is being collected and analyzed" and which securely processes that data in real time, on-site. IDC, a global market intelligence firm, estimates that by 2025, nearly half of data generated around the globe will utilize edge devices. Edge computing is likely to revolutionize and transform the way organizations process and analyze data and opens the door for endless possibilities.

This white paper serves to identify and discuss: the key characteristics of EDCs; their key industry uses; and the Northeast-specific opportunities that exist for property owners, investors and entrepreneurs, for their development and operation. 

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