Distributed Cloud

Article by one of our Subject Matter Expert

We’ve previously written about the distributed cloud as one of 2021’s tech trends. To recap, distributed cloud services are defined by the fact that they are distributed to different physical locations. This description is especially intriguing because historically, location has not been relevant to definitions of cloud computing. In fact, the service we now know as “the cloud” was actually given that name to specifically not reference location.

The distributed cloud comes from the public cloud, hybrid cloud, and edge computing. However, the distributed cloud’s operation, governance, and evolution are the public cloud provider’s responsibility. Bringing these services physically closer to organizations helps with low-latency scenarios (such as expediting the speed at which big data travels to a central cloud data center and back for certain applications), reduces data costs, and helps satisfy laws that dictate data must remain in a specific geographical area. With the distributed cloud, organizations still benefit from public cloud services and don’t need to manage their own private cloud.

Is the distributed cloud a case of edge computing? According to Garter, yes and no. While all cases of distributed cloud are also cases of edge computing, all instances of edge computing are not distributed cloud. The reason behind this discrepancy is due to the fact that many uses of edge involve a public cloud provider that manages the evolution and ongoing control of the resulting environment.

The distributed cloud architecture

1. All you need to know about distributed cloud computing

Most organizations use a combination of public and private cloud computing, creating a hybrid cloud. Many small and medium-sized businesses find the cost of setting up public clouds too expensive. Distributed cloud computing helps with this along with other issues. In this story, the author defines the framework of the distributed cloud and points out its pros and cons.

2. Distributed cloud computing: Benefits and Limitations

Having a good understanding of the distributed cloud computing framework is essential in understanding how it will impact the future of cloud computing. This article breaks down the benefits and limitations of distributed cloud computing.

3. Networking’s future is in the distributed cloud

Tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have all acknowledged the role distributed cloud computing will play in shaping the future of enterprises, which, in turn, shapes and customizes the services that these tech giants offer. This article looks at how these organizations are working towards efficiently implementing the distributed cloud model.

4. Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) and Distributed Cloud

Edge computing is computing that happens at the edge of a network. It brings the data and computation closer to the required location, reducing costs and increasing bandwidth. In this story, the author uses illustrations to explain the need for edge computing and distributed cloud services.

5. Distributed cloud’s role in the future of work

Deglobalization has swiftly become a trend, especially over the past year and a half. Businesses are facing stringent requirements to handle and process data closer to their locations. In this story, we learn how organizations can reduce latency, minimize network congestion, and potentially eliminate the risk of data loss using a distributed cloud.

Why use distributed cloud architecture at the edge?

There are many benefits to deploying a distributed cloud architecture at the edge, including:

Enabling local processing

One important advantage of the distributed cloud is that it allows for local processing, or at least as close to local as possible. Distributed clouds offer the advantage of having smaller cloud service processing units closer to your user source all over the region, country, or the world.

By considering the distance between where your customers are making throughput actions and where your cloud actually processes the data, you can ensure:


  • Better bandwidth
  • Less latency

These outcomes make sense. After all, the data is being processed across a set of locations— not in one central location. And the set of locations is based strategically

around areas with numerous customers, so the data doesn’t have to travel as far to meet its processing destination, further increasing both performance and security.


Complying with regulations

Some regulatory agencies, including the E.U. and parts of the U.S., have standards for data that require that data doesn’t travel outside a user’s country. For that reason, it’s important to establish an action plan for processing data in countries where you have customers. A distributed cloud allows you to do this.


Enhancing data security

In a centralized data processing approach, your data is at greater risk of a cyberattack. Think about it: If all of your important data is housed in one location, if someone is able to get past your firewalls, security, monitoring and encryption, they have access to all of your customer data. In that case, a potential cyber threat could shut down your entire application for however long it takes for you to respond, address, and resolve it.

By managing data across many smaller clouds, successful hackers who break into a single location will only have access to a small percentage of your user’s information, and they will have more points they must access to get all of your information. This makes you less vulnerable to cyberattacks and data breaches. If they do occur, they are less harmful to your overall business.

Additional benefit: If you have to shut down one cloud nodule for maintenance or to prevent a cyberattack, the rest of your business will be unaffected by the decision to do so.



Retaining redundancy in case of disaster

This leads us to the concept of redundancy. When you deploy a cloud network of computing systems, you ensure redundancy. For instance, cloud data storage and processing located near Manhattan users can have a redundant cloud server near Omaha backing up all user data. This allows for access to user data, even in the event of an emergency.


Improving overall performance (satisfied customers)

When you improve your latency, bandwidth, and security metrics your customers benefit from better performance of cloud services. A distributed cloud architecture allows customers to have the best experience possible. That’s one for customer satisfaction and loyalty!

Supporting innovative technology

If you’re just starting to experiment with artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT in your business, you’re not alone. When AI and IoT require low latency for quick decision making, they are better supported by distributed cloud architecture than they are by centralized architecture. The improved performance allows decision-makers and other employees responsible for monitoring the technology to make smart decisions faster than ever.

Providing central management with decentralized processing

One big benefit of distributed cloud infrastructure is that you can still manage your network of cloud data servers with one centralized interface, allowing you to ensure compliance, monitor security, access customer data, all in support of running an agile business today.

Benefits include:

  • Increased compliance: thanks to the distributed cloud’s location-specific model, it ensures that distributed clouds follow regulatory requirements that data must be in a specific customer
  • Reduced network failure risk: cloud services can reside in local or semi-local subnets, allowing them to operate intermittently untethered. Therefore, a system crash on one server does not affect other
  • Scalability: In distributed computing systems, more machines can be added as needed, which naturally increases the number and availability of locations where cloud services can be hosted or from where they can be consumed (compute zones)
  • Flexibility: It is much easier to install, implement, and debug new
  • Fast calculation speed: A distributed computer system is faster than other systems because it can leverage the computing power of multiple Further, the distributed cloud enables more responsive communications for specific regions. 
  • Openness: the distributed cloud can be accessed both locally and
  • High performance: Unlike centralized computer network clusters, the distributed cloud can provide higher performance and better cost


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