Enterprise Data Centers and Edge Data Centers: What’s the Difference?

Oct 21, 2020 | Colocation, Data Centers

Due to the pandemic, organizations have recently pivoted to a remote-work model. Understanding the difference between enterprise data centers and edge data centers could help you navigate and understand your organization’s mission-critical IT needs.

One frequently asked question we receive is: what’s the difference between an enterprise data center and an edge data center? Are they the same thing? Which will benefit my organization more? To put it simply, there is no easy answer. All deployments are custom and different depending on the organization’s size.

Here’s what you need to know so that you can make an informed decision between an enterprise data center or an edge data center.


In its simplest terms, an enterprise data center is a data center that is housed on-premise of a corporate building and is built onsite. That’s because enterprise data centers have complex connectivity, security, and power needs to ensure that they’re secure against power outages or any other potential security concern.

An enterprise data center can differ from others in that these facilities are typically built to fit the needs of the specific organization that builds them. To do that, it requires an incredible amount of capital. That said, it can be worth it for companies in specialized fields with unique needs for their network to invest in building an enterprise data center. However, choosing a colocation partner is an ideal option that allows expert staff to help identify your deployment needs.

Many enterprise data centers are surprisingly old. We only mention this because it’s worth keeping in mind for context when we talk about edge data centers.


An edge data center may not be as large as its enterprise counterpart, but they are often located in strategic areas with high connectivity. This is to allow for large amounts of data and services at high speeds and with minimal latency. Typically, an edge data center is part of a larger picture (sometimes called edge computing architecture) which makes IoT (internet-of-things) devices possible and is also targeted at specific markets or regions to reach users.

That’s a big deal as more and more IoT edge devices come to market. Edge data centers make sure that data can get where it needs to go quickly. It’s ideal for high-demand content with local users or networks that need a lot of versatility and speed for a local or regional network. In recent years, they’ve been used to great effect by a wide variety of industries and organizations.

Social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter rely on edge data centers to ensure secure transfer of any sensitive customer data, but also at a reliable speed so there are no issues. Mobile carriers including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and more rely on edge data centers to allow for secure data transfers over their cellular networks to ensure delivery of end-user content.


This comes down to a couple of key factors: geographic need, price, security needs, scalability, expert staff, and more. An enterprise data center is a big deal because you’re building it. If the price is any sort of consideration, then this might not be the right decision. An enterprise data center allows for high levels of security.

Most edge data centers are in a colocation space. Take our Houston 2 data center, for example. It has state of the art physical and virtual security, eight layers of security,24x7x365 expert support, more than 14 carriers, and is purpose-built for scalability in mind.

Our state-of-the-art data center has the flexibility your company will want with all the security features and redundancies that you’ll need to do business. Our Houston 2 data center is a purpose-built data center that allows for an edge computing footprint in the growing Houston market and allows for edge applications to run as smoothly as possible with dedicated security and expert staff in place.

Curious about how our Houston 2 data center can meet your computing and IT needs?

Schedule a tour.