According to Moore’s Law, in the next 10 years, the calculating power of computers will be multiplied by 32 times. That will have a significant impact on IT infrastructure requirements, as less space and electricity will be required for the same computational power. However, as these computational requirements increase, interconnecting computing resources to users, applications and real-time data analytics becomes more complex. In many cases, these interconnection requirements will even outpace Moore’s Law!
Fast Forward 20 Years
The farther we look into the future, the more the IT picture changes. For example, the research on quantum computing is making significant progress, and companies such as NASA and Google are already using quantum computers in their developments. Both NASA and Google believe that quantum computing is the path towards more creative problem solving when dealing with increasingly more complex issues.
Quantum computing studies theoretical computation systems that use quantum mechanics to help create important applications, such as superconducting magnets, LEDs, lasers and microprocessors. Unlike digital computers that require data to be encoded into binary digital (bits) with two definite states (0 or 1), quantum computers use “qubits” that can have a value of 0 or 1 or both at the same time. This enables some calculations (e.g., prime factorization) to go much faster than on traditional computers.
Commercial businesses have been slow to adopt first generation of quantum computers, given that the technology is still maturing and there are a limited number of algorithms and applications available to benefit from quantum computing. There are also huge power and cooling requirements (a “chilly” -273.13500 oC) to operate properly. Quantum computers will become more common in the data center as they mature, their business value is realized, and they potentially run more efficiently.
20 Years and Beyond
Another thing that quantum computing allows is “quantum teleportation.” This is not about beaming up people Star Trek-style. Quantum teleportation involves the instantaneous transfer, or the remote reconstruction, of information encoded in quantum states of matter or light, regardless of the distance between the source and the destination. While theoretical proposals for a “quantum Internet” already exist, the problem for scientists is that there is still debate over which technology provides the most efficient and reliable teleportation system.
The current benefit of quantum teleportation is mainly for privacy (there is no need to send information through any media or insecure channels like the public Internet). We expect more progress in this revolutionary development and dream of completely removing the current limitations of physics, so we can transfer information instantaneously with zero latency.
But businesses don’t have to wait for the future to achieve secure interconnection, with low-latency.
Back to Today
Fast, secure interconnection is working today at Equinix without quantum teleportation. Our more than 6,000 customers can move their information anywhere in the world quickly and securely, and they don’t have to crank up the air conditioning to make it happen. The Equinix Performance Hub “shortens” time and distance by allowing enterprises to deploy corporate IT resources in more than 100 Equinix data centers around the world, close to their users, customers and partners. Equinix’s proximity to top business centers means customers can reach most global markets within 1/100th of second. Equinix customers can also bypass the public Internet to directly and securely interconnect to employees, partners and customers, including automatically establishing virtual connections to multiple clouds through a single port via the Equinix Cloud Exchange.
And today, we also see a number of visionary enterprises using Equinix’s Interconnection Oriented Architecture (IOA) to make a quantum leap in enabling consistent, high-performance and secure interconnections at the edge of the corporate network worldwide. This direct interconnection empowers enterprises to react in real time, adapt quickly to change and leverage digital ecosystems to create new value and growth.
As we look way out into the future, we can even imagine interconnecting to quantum computers on Mars, Alpha Centauri or anywhere in any galaxy … far, far away.
Learn more about today’s interconnection innovations at Equinix.