Austin, Texas based datacenter technologies company Vapor IO is launching a new colocation business which could shake up our notion of ‘distributed edge’ technologies serving the Internet of Things (IoT). The whole package is being called Project Volutus.
There’s a whole new nomenclature and taxonomy here to take on. Some commentators are calling Vapor IO’s Project Volutus a hypercollapsed (as opposed to hyperconverged) approach to creating what we might now call micro-datacenters.
These ‘units’ (or more accurately we would call them ‘chambers’) are built with six racks and 150kW of power along with the required amount of cooling infrastructure. Essentially, it’s a kind of compact cloud operating system for small-scale IoT implementations.
Project Volutus seeks to build the world’s largest network of distributed edge datacenters by placing thousands of Vapor Chambers at the base of cell towers and directly cross-connecting them to the wireless networks.
This, so says Vapor IO, will make it possible to push true cloud capabilities to within yards of the end device or application, one hop from the wireless network.
Read more: The IoT ‘edge’ in micro datacenters
Co-Location & Datacenter-as-a-Platform (CoLoDaaP)
According to an official company blog, at its most straightforward Project Volutus is a Co-Location & Datacenter-as-a-Platform (CoLoDaaP) service that utilizes Vapor Chambers and Vapor software at the base of cell towers.
Customers partner with Project Volutus to extend their cloud to the edge of the wireless network, weaving compute, networking and storage deep into the wireless infrastructure — delivering next-generation low-latency cloud services, including Cloud RAN, IoT, augmented and virtual reality and autonomous driving.
“Zettabytes of machine-to-machine communication and new application types will require a shift in how the industry thinks about data centricity and the delivery of edge services,” said Cole Crawford, CEO and founder of Vapor IO. “Project Volutus is the most cost-effective way to deliver cloud applications that benefit from last mile wireless proximity and sub 10-millisecond round trip latency.
“By locating Vapor IO’s technology at tower locations and connecting to dense metro fiber, we will provide the fastest, most economical way for cloud providers, telecom carriers and web-scale companies to deliver next generation edge services in every major US city.”
Is this all a good idea then? The answer (arguably) is yes…and maybe sometimes.
Some data will benefit from closer proximity, lower latency and the type of data centricity that Vapor IO is aiming to facilitate. But it’s not right for all IoT data in all application implementations, meaning it’s an engineering nuance (albeit a very big one) that will fit certain specific deployment scenarios where the application execution model demands proximity-velocity of this kind.