A Tour of EdgeMicro’s First Production Edge Data Center

13 Jul 2018 by Mike Allen

EdgeMicro has completed its first production unit data center.

 The edge data center was on display outside the NANOG conference in Denver last month. Later, Josh Snowhorn, EdgeMicro’s chief strategy officer and one of the company’s founders, released a short video tour of the facility on LinkedIn.

EdgeMicro’s Business Model

EdgeMicro’s business model involves selling colocation services in edge data centers found at cell towers located in the environs of populated cities. EdgeMicro intends to charge content providers like Amazon and Netflix.

 EdgeMicro will, however, allow network operators to use its facility for free.

About the People at EdgeMicro’s Helm

Prior to starting EdgeMicro, Snowhorn was responsible for interconnection at CyrusOne, one of the largest data center providers in America. Snowhorn is one of the four founders at EdgeMicro and all are seasoned industry players.

 As EdgeMicro was building its first unit last year, it already had found its first client. However, EdgeMicro’s founder and executive VP Greg Pettine declined to name this client.

 As shown in Snowhorn’s video, Akamai, a content delivery network (CDN) provider, is one of EdgeMicro’s clients. In the video, one can see Akamai’s servers blinking inside the 20-foot unit.

CDNs are one of EdgeMicro’s customer categories as they strive to deliver their customers’ content in an efficient way. This is important as more people access content from outside large metropolises and content becomes more data heavy. Storing this data closer to the consumers brings with it lots of benefits.

EdgeMicro’s Competitors

Some of EdgeMicro’s competitors are DataBank and Vapor IO. Like EdgeMicro, both competitors want to bring content closer to the users by offering colocation services at cell towers.

 Compass Datacenters, a wholesale data center developer, recently bought EdgePoint, a manufacturer of edge data centers. EdgePoint’s founder spent many years deploying BitBox and Google Fiber Huts.

 BitBox is a software company whose data center infrastructure management is aimed towards helping in the remote management of data centers. It is no surprise that EdgeMicro uses BitBox software, and plans to use it in managing its whole network.

 EdgeMicro’s Data Centers are Scaled-Down Versions of Large Data Centers

In Snowhorn’s video, one can see a BitBox interface on a screen in the data center hot aisle.

Snowhorn explains that everything within the edge data center is similar to what one sees in a large-scale data center. It’s just that in an EdgeMicro unit, the components are scaled to fit its size and scale.

 The edge data center has electrical systems, Schneider APC racks, and AC units bolted on the container walls. They also have a hot and cold aisle, air plenum for cooling, cable trays and fire suppression system among others.

 An interesting feature is the Fiber Mountain panel. This is what manages all the connections between all networks within the data center. 

Every port on the panel has a green LED light. These lights are what the system uses to make it easier for operators to rectify cross-connects.


Mike Allen

Mike Allen serves as VP of Solutions & Engineering and engages with clients directly to determine the best course of action for their IT infrastructure based on current and future requirements. Mike has an extensive technical background having worked for some of the largest carriers both domestically and Internationally. He specializes in data center, network, cloud and communications. He holds several certifications including CCNA and SSCA.

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