Edge computing has been a prominent environment in the industry for some time now – it is clearly an important space wherein everything is connected. Because of its significance, protecting these edge environments is crucial. And we’re seeing data center modernization tactics being taken to improve resiliency and maintain uptime. IT professionals and business owners know what they need in a technology platform that works for their company, and that means seeking the best solution.
Supporting the Edge – Why Computing Power is Demanding Greater Infrastructure
For example, if you were building a brand-new house in today’s digital age with 30+ connected devices in your home, you probably wouldn’t be routing phone jack and network cabling all over the house to support the connectivity to these devices. You would be looking at wireless – for your router, repeater, networking switch – essentially a whole new network infrastructure to support the new technology today and what’s coming tomorrow.
Technology is driving the infrastructure to support these new connected technology platforms and companies are looking to modernize their 20-year old business networks the same way. To support the IT requirements of today and tomorrow, more computing.
Power is being decentralized to the network edge. Spending on Internet of Things (IoT) will reach $1.3 trillion by 2020 and the processing of 43 percent of this data will be at the edge, according to IDC projections.
3 Environments that Require Edge Computing Infrastructure Solutions
Edge deployments present unique challenges when compared to traditional data centers in that they are often remote and without local IT staff support. This means they require a different strategy because their lifecycle is longer and they must be easy to manage, secure and deploy, while also being resilient. Let me define three environments that require edge computing and the benefits that are achieved for each.
- DISTRIBUTED IT
Resiliency – Many legacy network closets and small server rooms are becoming more important as edge enables new business technology. Often these legacy closets do not have the proper power distribution and battery backup to maintain a consistent uptime for the business. Solutions like Schneider’s micro data centers include integrated battery backup with extended run time and proper power distribution to turn these legacy systems into well run, resilient IT spaces.Standardized Deployment – As businesses undergo digital transformation, edge compute will need to be rapidly deployed. Many headaches can occur when trying to build a solution from scratch for these spaces. It’s best to look for standardized solutions that can be quickly ordered and rapidly deployed without the headaches of dealing with multiple vendors and technologies.
- RETAIL / OFFICE
Physical and Digital Security – In retail and commercial applications, security has become one of the biggest needs to protect customer data. This means securing edge IT against both physical and cyber threats. It’s best to look for a stand-alone, secure enclosure that is deployed with advanced physical security which limits access to the IT. As well as something that includes environmental monitoring (like Schneider’s NetBotz security solution) and reporting on individuals’ access.Service – Servicing IT at the edge can be a challenge for large businesses with limited resources and highly distributed locations. Remote management, predictive analytics, and managed services become a top priority for customers who want to optimize their IT resources or allow a partner to deal with the maintenance. For Schneider Electric, the EcoStruxure IT platform enables customers to remotely monitor and manage their assets or allow a 24×7 Service Bureau to manage them. This allows the customer to predict and manage maintenance schedules and worry less about the IT infrastructure.
Harsh Environment – In manufacturing and industrial applications, sometimes the IT needs to be on the factory floor or in a harsh environment that requires a more robust and secure solution. Dust, water, fire protection, vibration, and uncontrolled ambient conditions all become important considerations for IT. The IT solution you use in this environment must be highly secure, sealed, and self-contained.Remote Management – Many industrial environments are in remote areas that are not easily reachable at all hours of the day or by trained IT professionals. This makes remote monitoring and management of rack access, environmental conditions, power quality, and general health of the IT infrastructure extremely important. Smart software like Schneider’s EcoStruxure IT allows customers to do all these things and more, managing assets from a central location.
Make Sure You’re Deploying the Right IT Infrastructure of Your Edge Environment
With solutions like the micro data centers, the foundation for the next big shift in IT infrastructure is set. Whether a large or small footprint, business and IT professionals are seeking data center modernization to keep resiliency at the edge. Fortunately, customers can make decisions quickly for their edge computing environments and overcome connectivity challenges to keep them always on! See more about a secure, standardized, and cost-effective solution you my want for your edge environment.