Packet launches ‘unfussy’ bare metal for edge computing

Packet launches ‘unfussy’ bare metal for edge computing

Packet launches 'unfussy' bare metal for edge computing
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The IoT has given rise to a plethora of hardware, software, and connecting middleware,dedicated to furthering our capabilities in so-called edge computing.

Working to power compute force near the edge of the network, as edge computing seeks to do, bare metal cloud company Packet has now launched its Edge Compute service, with 11 new data center locations worldwide, along with what it claims is more dynamic, market-based pricing.

Unfussy, unopinionated IoT

Bare-metal cloud servers do not run a hypervisor, are not virtualized — but can still be delivered via a cloud-like service model. The very notion of bare metal as a means of providing cloud power to the IoT is devoted to areas where workloads can be said to be less ‘fussy’ or, in other words, less constrained by the shape of the architectural model from which they are served.

Indeed, Packet specifically describes itself as ‘the bare metal cloud company for developers’ and says that its Edge Compute service is targeted at latency-specific workloads and software that require access to “unopinionated” (hence, less fussy) infrastructure, without the use of virtualization or multi-tenancy. 

“While edge compute is still in its infancy, new experiences are driving demand for distributed infrastructure, especially as software continues its relentless pursuit down the stack,” said Zachary Smith, co-founder and CEO of Packet.

“We believe that the developers building these new experiences are hungry for distributed, unopinionated and yet fully automated compute infrastructure and that’s what we’re bringing to the market today.”

New locations rolled out from Packet include Los Angeles, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, Ashburn, Atlanta, Toronto, Frankfurt, Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney – with Paris, London, Sao Paulo, and Mumbai coming online by October 2017. This expands upon Packet’s existing footprint in New York, Sunnyvale, Amsterdam and Tokyo.  

“Instances are deployable within minutes via API, standard DevOps tools or the Packet portal and take advantage of a new spot market feature for demand-driven pricing,” said the company in a press statement.

Read more: Nederlandse Spoorwegen uses Tibco to put data on rails

The IoT infrastructure of tomorrow?

So is this the IoT, or indeed the Internet infrastructure, of tomorrow? Many argue that at least some of the characteristics exhibited here are crucial to powering IoT devices, which inescapably, do form a large part of Internet of the future.

This next-wave infrastructure, coupled with low-latency, high-speed 5G connectivity, will power everything from connected IoT devices to self-driving cars and augmented reality experiences. So yes, bare metal power out on the edge will play a factor, big or small.  

While there are a plethora of Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) serving up cached content at the edge, the heavy lifting needed for compute often requires a trip of hundreds or thousands of miles to reach centralized public clouds such as Amazon Web Services or Google’s Cloud Platform. Packet argues that this distance, paired with the inconsistency and abstraction created by multi-tenant virtualization, adds latency and hinders the development of new services and experiences for customers.

Bare metal is heavy, but light on fussiness. Add this notion to your ‘what’s next for the IoT’ dinner-party discussion pack.

Read more: For a service-centric world, ServiceNow launches Intelligent Automation Engine


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I am a technology journalist with over two decades of press experience. Primarily I work as a news analysis writer dedicated to a software application development ‘beat’; but, in a fluid media world, I am also an analyst, technology evangelist and content consultant. As the previously narrow discipline of programming now extends across a wider transept of the enterprise IT landscape, my own editorial purview has also broadened. I have spent much of the last ten years also focusing on open source, data analytics and intelligence, cloud computing, mobile devices and data management. I have an extensive background in communications starting in print media, newspapers and also television. If anything, this gives me enough man-hours of cynical world-weary experience to separate the spin from the substance, even when the products are shiny and new.