These days, watching little children, teenagers, and even mature adults walking around with their phones out in their hands, scanning the immediate area around them for something that is seemingly supposed to materialize from thin air and appear before them, is quite a common sight. For all we know, you could, quite possibly, be one of those who tend to venture out on the streets in search of virtual critters, if statistics are any indication! Around 21 million people worldwide are thought to be spending more or less 30 minutes on the new Pokemon Go app, making it the biggest mobile game in the history of the United States.
Along with unprecedented popularity, the Pokemon Go application has also managed to rack up one more thing: a plethora of complaints. And most of these complaints originate from the fact that the servers of the application crash so often, that for many people, playing the game becomes an impossibility. And this is not only the case with Pokemon Go; it is a problem that several other applications who receive a large amount of traffic and usage face. Halted loading, application crashes, and server unconnectivity are all factors that arise when the host cloud is over-crammed.
This has had a huge impact on the world of data centers. It is now known, that Pokemon Go, like many phone applications, is hosted on a cloud platform reportedly provided by Google. Due to the involvement of cloud computing, the role of the data center becomes that much more important than before; it needs to continuously link and transfer data to and from multiple users of the application at the same time.
If the entire application is hosted on one, central data center, the primary problem that is faced is over usage of certain assets and receival of a huge amount of data by consumers that is not manageable for the single data center. As a result, every time you come close to catching that rare Pokemon that you have walked miles to capture, the application freezes and crashes, leaving you staring in disappointment at the now non-augmented reality before you.
Despite these facts, the popularity of current augmented reality phone games, and rapid development of brand new ones, leads us to a realization: edge data centers can prove to be the ultimate solution. With the increase in demand of data centers as phone games and applications take off using cloud computing as their hosting platform, a series of edge centers placed throughout an impact area is a better system than having a single data center that acts as the headquarters and handles everything related to the application.
Edge computing is said to be playing a huge part in supporting future computing endeavors of firms and franchises, as it regulates the transfer of data to a smaller scale and improves performance and functionality exponentially. But there is still no doubt that applications such as Pokemon Go have greatly impacted the growth of the data center industry as it is and that they also promote the efficiency of a cloud based platform or host. Hopefully, in the near future, you can catch all the Pokemon you wish to without having the app crash at a critical moment!
Jeffrey Dorf is the Editor of The Data Center Blog and President of the Global Data Center Alliance