The push to real time started with finance. Since electronic trading became the standard, buyers and sellers began looking for ways to accelerate transactions. At first, firms had no choice but to purchase expensive dedicated lines from a data center provider in order to exchange, and often point-to-point connections between firms. With the advent of carrier-neutral interconnection points such as Equinix, many firms ultimately decided to co-locate their trading engines next to each other in secure, neutral, high-performance data centers.
With ubiquitous, low-cost computing in the cloud, the need for completely dedicated infra- structure has diminished. But the advantage of proximity has only increased, and the same speed requirement is emerging for other businesses, such as advertising.
We don’t know when and which industry will develop instantaneous connectivity needs, but when it happens, it will seem like it “happened overnight,” and no one in charge of technology will want to be on the wrong side of the transition.
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