Omaha Nebraska is the origin point of many things. It’s the home of Fred Astaire, Warren Buffet, and Marlon Brando. Omaha birthed the TV dinner, Raisin Bran, and hair curlers. From a business perspective, Omaha lays claim to major companies in the areas of construction, transportation, finance, and natural gas. For Omaha data center 1623 Farnam, they believe Omaha can become a hub for something else: video games.
Recently, 1623 Farnam published a deep dive into gaming’s past to see what lessons can be gleaned in an article called 30 Years of Gaming and What It Means for Colocation. The evolution has been comprehensive:
- From arcade to consoles to phones and tablets to virtual reality
- From cartridges to discs to file downloads
- From no storage to solid state to servers
So, what does this mean for the future of gaming? The video game world is on the cusp of a cloud explosion, where games are created using cloud DevOps and game developers rely on data centers. However, 1623 Farnam thinks the networks aren’t yet ready to fully support this next era of gaming. In a piece entitled Gaming and Networks: Who’s Chasing Who?, they note that “for those in the interconnection game, cloud gaming should be considered software as a service – it’s GaaS (gaming as a service), and it’s coming in hot. In order to support these massive initiatives, equally massive data center infrastructure changes are in order”.
Much of that data center infrastructure exists, as major gaming players like Microsoft and Google already have massive hyperscale facilities to house their data. However, these facilities aren’t the answer for what the next generation of gaming needs to blossom. In an article published in Capacity magazine entitled How the Interconnected Edge Helps the Cloud Get Its Game On,1623 Farnam’s vice president Greg Elliot explains why:
“To ensure real-time, interactive gameplay, companies that develop and launch next-generation cloud gaming service platforms will need to move the processing power closer to the edge. When cloud gaming companies colocate their IT infrastructure in proximity to network providers, in edge data centers, this allows gaming platforms to maintain low latency, optimize performance, and provide the flexibility to support a sudden uptick in users — for example, upon the release of a highly-anticipated, hot new title.”
As a data center located in the dead center of the country, 1623 Farnam has a vested interest in the future of gaming because they believe they are uniquely suited to facilitate it. As low latency access to cloud, peering, and private carriers close to where gamers are become more important, those at 1623 Farnam believe they are well positioned to deliver when game developers, game distributors and service providers come knocking.
If 1623 Farnam has anything to say about it, Omaha will also soon be known for its role in the evolution of video games. Maybe we’ll leave room on the list right next to cake mix and top 40 radio.