Explainer: What is the Public Edge Cloud?

Antonio "pelle" Pellegrino

Antonio "pelle" Pellegrino

Mutable’s virtual cloud deployment solution transforms bare metal servers into a multi-tenant cloud on the Public Edge Cloud. But then, what exactly is the Public Edge Cloud? Is it different from the current cloud? If it’s public, does that mean there is a private cloud? Luckily, we’ve got answers to all those questions and more.

Far Cloud vs Edge Cloud

The Far Cloud

The concept of ‘cloud computing’, as it is generally understood, refers to the accessibility of on-demand computing system resources--such as remote data storage or computing power---across distances. In material terms, a cloud is a grouping of compute resources which can be sliced up and made accessible to remote developers. Large data centers anchoring expansive networks provide a metaphorical computing ‘cloud’ to which individual devices can remotely connect in order to store excess data, or make computations beyond their on-site capabilities.

The economies of scale offered by the cloud enable devices to offload many of their cumbersome operational responsibilities to data centers, while offering users location-independent access to said resources.

But the Far Cloud, as it is commonly called, has its limitations; namely in cost, environmental sustainability, security and latency. With the imminent 4th Industrial Revolution comes the next-generation of applications. But the successful deployment of AR/VR, IoT, drone technology, autonomous vehicle and cloud gaming applications relies on the assurance of constant access to low latency, high throughput bandwidth networks, and secure systems. 

These vital requirements can no longer be effectively fulfilled by hyperscalers such as the data-centers operated by AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud are inherently limited by their design specifications. As energy-devouring operations, construction of these massive data-farms is limited to locations with a ready supply of cheap power and land for expansion. This limits suitable locations to rural or remote sites, and virtually precludes any proximity to the segments of the network where the demand for cloud services actually is: wherever the people or devices actually are.

Datacenter locations already affect speed and latency for the existent generation of web applications. That’s because data typically travels hundreds of miles round trip to reach datacenters, with latency rates typically hitting 60 milliseconds. The very nature of the cloud also contributes to latency beques data must jump from network to network as decisions are made.

That level of latency and bandwidth throughput is wholly inadequate for applications like autonomous vehicles which require the near-instant processing of massive amounts of video and sensor data in real time for direction, and can’t or shouldn't carry the compute onboard. 

Unified Cloud - Mutable Cloud combines resources across datacenters.Unified Cloud - Mutable Cloud combines resources across datacenters.

The Edge Cloud

One solution to the latency issue that doesn’t compromise on throughput bandwidth or security is to move the compute to the edge of the access network : hence the term edge computing. By relocating remote computing resources to within 25 miles of the end-users and devices, latency rates drop dramatically to under 5 milliseconds. The presence of 5G networks in cities or industrial facilities provides constant connectivity for networked devices.

Rather than rely on data centers of which (as mentioned above) operational requirements exclude them from being positioned near population centers, the cloud can be deployed over already-existing sources of computing resources near the end-users themselves. As in turns out, private enterprise companies, and internet service providers in particular, already own and operate their own urban data centers––many of which are chronically underutilized. 

By deploying on these bare metal servers, Mutable converts the servers to a multi-tenant cloud that makes compute available on the edge of the network and federates it on the Public Edge Cloud . 

Public Cloud vs Private Cloud

Cloud networks exist in all shapes and sizes. They are, by nature, adaptable to the networking needs expected of them. Rather than functioning as dedicated resources, a cloud is formed around a grouping of networked resources for developer use.

Private Cloud

Private clouds are common among large organizations, such as governments or big companies. cloud infrastructure can be operated for a single division of an organization, or made available to the organization as whole. However, while private clouds can be deployed over the public internet, by definition these cloud networks are off limits to third party developers. 

While such architecture offers benefits for these organizations, they’re capital intensive, require significant internal resources and know-how to operate, and expose organizations to exponential levels of cybersecurity threats. 

Public Cloud

As the name suggests, the Public Cloud is a range of cloud services accessible over the public internet to third-party developers. While the Public Cloud’s functionality and architecture is fundamentally identical to that of the Private Cloud, it is set up to rent out computational resources (data storage or computing power) on a per-use basis, such as those offered by

The Mutable Cloud

Mutable is building what is essentially turning the network into a computer by combining the various private edge clouds, compartmentalizing them and making their low-latency compute available to 3rd party developers who are making the next-generation of applications for gaming, VR/AR, telemedicine and more. 

Mutable’s distributed infrastructure merges the advantages in latency and bandwidth offered by the edge cloud and the accessibility of the public cloud to provide the makers of the next-generation of applications with the Public Edge Cloud. A single ubiquitous cloud that merges all these clouds into one, deploy once, consolidate billing, while being everywhere at any time. 

Network by Latency - Mutable Cloud spans private and public networks. Network by Latency - Mutable Cloud spans private and public networks.