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Distributed cloud

Distributed cloud definition

A distributed cloud is a cloud computing model in which cloud resources, services, and infrastructure are distributed across multiple physical locations, including data centers, edge computing nodes, and other remote facilities.

Distribution brings cloud capabilities closer to end-users and data sources, reducing latency and improving the performance and responsiveness of cloud-based applications and services.

See also: distributed system, distributed network, hybrid cloud storage

Examples of distributed cloud

  • Content delivery networks (CDNs). A classic example of a distributed cloud, CDNs consist of a network of servers distributed across multiple locations worldwide to deliver web content, such as images, videos, and web pages, to users with lower latency.
  • Edge computing platforms. Distributed cloud helps edge computing platforms provide real-time processing and analytics for IoT devices, autonomous vehicles, and other applications requiring low latency.
  • Multi-cloud management. Some cloud management platforms provide a unified interface for managing resources across multiple public cloud providers — essentially creating a distributed cloud experience. Platform users deploy and manage workloads on different cloud providers simultaneously.
  • Telecommunications and 5G networks. Telecommunications enterprises use distributed clouds to support 5G networks. By allocating resources at the edge of the network, they can deliver low-latency services, such as augmented reality and virtual reality applications.
  • Hybrid cloud solutions. In hybrid cloud environments, organizations may adopt a distributed cloud model by extending their on-premises infrastructure into distributed data centers or cloud provider facilities. This allows for seamless integration and workload mobility between on-premises and cloud environments.
  • Content streaming. Streaming platforms like Netflix and YouTube employ a form of distributed cloud to deliver video content efficiently. They use distributed servers to cache and serve video content from locations closer to users to ensure a smooth streaming experience.