Public cloud adoption is accelerating heading into 2024, with companies increasingly using it to support machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, and more. According to Gartner, global spending on public cloud services is on pace to grow by 20% in 2023 and exceed $1 trillion by 2027.
But while public clouds offer numerous benefits like rapid scalability and flexibility, limited local networking infrastructure and complex peering landscapes in the hardest-to-reach global markets can compromise their service quality and reliability — leading to service disruptions and poor digital experiences. As a result, there is a growing need for hyperconnected cloud providers like Zenlayer, offering edge computing and connectivity services that enhance public cloud performance and enable high-quality, low-latency cloud experiences with real-time responsiveness.
This post explores what edge computing is, what makes it important for public clouds, and how Zenlayer complements and extends leading hyperscalers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud to enhance service delivery.
Edge computing: A brief explanation
Edge computing is a distributed IT framework that involves decentralizing storage and compute functions, bringing them closer to global users. This approach directly addresses network latency and connectivity challenges, making public cloud services faster and more reliable.
Unlike traditional cloud computing, which relies on centralized data centers, edge computing processes most data on local devices or nearby servers. This reduces long-distance data transfers, alleviates network strain, and lowers transit costs.
“The edge can be a lot of things for a lot of different companies,“ says Zenlayer Senior Director Josh Lepold in a recent Intel interview on edge computing. “Zenlayer has approximately 300 PoPs in the emerging market where the internet traffic growth has really been taking off over the last couple of years. We really want to improve that experience and have our processing close to where the users reside and where the data is being generated.”
Edge computing is a rapidly growing business trend, with companies across all verticals now using it to enhance public cloud services. According to Deloitte, enterprise edge infrastructure spending is currently outpacing network equipment and overall IT spending.
Supporting public clouds with edge computing and optimized networking
Public clouds require edge computing to address the diverse and growing requirements of today's users and applications. This is necessary in underserved places like China, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa where local infrastructure is often limited.
In these areas, cloud providers often must rely on international ISP connections. This leads to latency and service disruptions — particularly during peak demand hours. Cloud providers must navigate unstable connectivity and complex interactions with local operators across various countries.
Zenlayer optimizes global coverage by providing optimized local public cloud regions with edge nodes that are close to end-users. Public clouds leverage Zenlayer’s software-defined networking (SDN) backbone and private IP Transit (IPT) service to establish direct, carrier-grade connectivity with ultra-low latency and minimal jitter. This enables greater control over connections and a better way of transporting cloud services to users.
How Zenlayer extends public clouds into global emerging markets
Zenlayer is hyperconnected to more than 250 cloud on-ramps, providing easy and reliable access to storage services, databases, web services, ML and AI services, content hosting, content delivery networks (CDNs), testing environments, and more. The company works with several leading cloud providers and maintains special relationships with two leading hyperscalers including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud.
AWS and Zenlayer
Zenlayer is a 2023 AWS Partner of the Year, a CloudFront Ready provider in the AWS Service Ready Program, and a member of the AWS Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Accelerate program. In addition, Zenlayer enhances the AWS Interactive Video Service (IVS), helping users achieve low-latency live streaming experiences at scale.
One way that Zenlayer helps AWS customers is by ensuring seamless connectivity between Outpost locations and primary availability zones. By integrating with AWS, Zenlayer helps global customers accelerate connectivity to various AWS services from any location.
How a leading global eyewear marketplace uses Zenlayer and AWS
Firmoo is a leading eyewear marketplace with a significant customer base in the U.S., Europe, and Asia-Pacific. The company has AWS servers in Europe, Hong Kong, and North America, ensuring proximity for customers browsing their platform. Most of Firmoo’s sellers operate in mainland China and use various strategies to promote products, including livestreaming.
Here are some ways Zenlayer helps Firmoo provide better experiences for buyers, sellers, and team members.
Challenge I: Sellers in China rely on Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) to stream videos to overseas servers. This often creates noticeable delays and prevents real-time interactions for buyers. Firmoo required faster connections to key locations in Hong Kong, Germany, and the U.S. Due to their distributed seller network, traditional acceleration devices would not work.
-- Solution: The combination of Zenlayer Global Accelerator and Zenlayer’s global backbone eliminates long distance transmissions, and prevents issues like delay, lag, and packet loss — boosting Firmoo's e-commerce platform and attracting stable traffic.
Challenge II: Because of poor internet quality, it can take several minutes to download small log files, often leading to failures. This creates difficulties for research and development (R&D) and operations and maintenance (O&M) staff in maintaining the company's overseas AWS servers.
-- Solution: Firmoo established a private access gateway instance on Zenlayer's global acceleration platform in China. Firmoo also created a secure tunnel from their Chongqing office to Zenlayer's global backbone network via IPSec virtual private network (VPN). Zenlayer streamlined data flow through direct connections to AWS regions worldwide, along with virtual connections to several key regions. This private channel drastically improves productivity and efficiency for O&M and R&D personnel, eliminating the need for long-distance data routing over the public internet.
Google Cloud and Zenlayer
Zenlayer is a cloud interconnect partner for Google Cloud. Deploying Google Cloud Anthos on Zenlayer's globally distributed bare metal infrastructure provides a flexible way to manage Kubernetes-based applications.
Customers often deploy services at the edge of the network to meet data compliance requirements and provide low-latency coverage for local users. Combining Anthos and Zenlayer Bare Metal lets customers deploy services locally while using the same container architecture and platform as the cloud. This allows for unified management.
The joint solution provides more control over applications and data on Google Cloud Anthos, while enabling easy cloud migration and simplifying management for a more consistent experience. In addition, the solution preserves the Google Cloud Anthos control plane within the customer's business, leveraging Zenlayer’s global bare metal resource capabilities to expand applications to more edge nodes using Zenlayer's global backbone network resources. This guarantees secure, low-latency, and jitter-free traffic between Google Cloud Anthos and Zenlayer Bare Metal clusters.
Top benefits include:
• Extensive resource coverage: Customers have access to Zenlayer’s 100+ Tbps of global backbone network resources, over 10,000 global interconnections, and over 300 data centers across more than 50 countries.
• High-performance computing: Dedicated hardware eliminates interference from other resources and allows businesses to customize their environment.
• High flexibility: Products can be rapidly configured and activated within just 10 minutes. Customers can easily add or remove servers, IP addresses, and other resources as needed, all while maintaining a secure and reliable connection to Google Cloud.
How can Zenlayer support your mission?
As the leading hyperconnected cloud provider, Zenlayer supports a variety of use cases such as gaming, media & entertainment, blockchain, and more. Zenlayer provides massive global coverage with a network that spans throughout emerging markets and developed locations like Canada.
To learn more about how Zenlayer can extend your public cloud service and improve digital experience for global users, reach out to a solution expert today. You can also access Zenlayer in the AWS Marketplace and in the Google Cloud marketplace.