Apps on the edge

WILL MISSION-CRITICAL enterprise business logic someday reside on distributed application infrastructures rather than in corporate datacenters and thus span the globe to deliver improved performance? A recent flurry of announcements has put a spotlight on "edge computing" as the newest entrant in the race toward distributed computing, alongside grid computing, peer-to-peer architectures, and Web services. Microsoft and IBM have recently announced deals with companies such as Akamai and Exodus to distribute .Net and J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) edge servers and related infrastructure software to hundreds of POPs (points of presence) worldwide, and are planning to launch edge application delivery services as early as this fall. Other CDNs (content delivery networks) such as Mirror Image, Volera, and InfoLibria are building out distributed POPs with J2EE and .Net capabilities and are planning to market their networks as value-added edge delivery platforms for Web services.

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