The demand for big data and instantaneous video, IoT growth and the explosion of social media are pushing IT management teams to consider edge solutions, where computing occurs closer to the actual source of the data itself. Innovative, disruptive technologies, such as driverless automobiles, industrial IoT (IIoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) systems will only accelerate the need for edge solutions in data centers.
Other new applications drive this need for edge solutions as well:
All these applications have one thing in common: They have a need to compute and store results and data locally at an edge facility. Then, as required, they can transfer data/results back to a central data center or to other facilities.
Edge solutions provide data services (whether it involves content, compute or storage solutions) at the last mile. By creating data at a source, using data at a source, sending data to a local data center (the edge facility) and sending or receiving data from a larger, central data center if needed, you can reduce the amount of data that must flow back and forth to improve speed.
The Nuts and Bolts of Deploying an Edge Solution
There are several key stakeholders involved with deploying an edge solution, from cable and telco companies to the C-suite, facilities engineers and end-users.
Stakeholder teams managing edge data center programs have the same desires as an enterprise/corporate IT department; however, due to speed of deployment, size, scale and flexibility, the edge team needs to be agile and innovative to take full advantage of the data center technologies designed to provide an efficient, functional edge solution.
Developing an edge solution is complicated, and requires participation from all stakeholders. Before kicking off an edge data center program, however, there are four simple questions the stakeholders need to address as a team:
Answering these questions will help you develop the best roadmap to follow and pinpoint project objectives prior to digging into technical design/construction/deployment issues that could interfere with your primary goals.
How Traditional and Edge Data Centers Compare
Today’s edge data center operations contain all of the elements that serve a traditional data center:
Due to their smaller data center footprints, speed to market, diverse compute requirements and low latency/high-speed transmission requirements, edge facilities require unique design, construction and operation compared to a traditional enterprise or multi-tenant data center:
Where is Edge Headed?
The demand for edge solutions will certainly continue to grow as IoT, social media and big data analytics expand, and consumers develop their insatiable desire for faster media-download times and more online content.
Edge data centers as we know them right now may continue to change as well. For example, you may begin to see these cool new technologies deployed with edge solutions:
Belden’s data center experts can help you deploy customized edge solutions that satisfy the demands of today and the future. As edge solutions change the way data centers are designed, maintained and managed, we’ll help you manage the impacts.
For more than 15 years, Daniel Bodenski has worked as a design professional with world-class data center owners/operators. Before joining Belden in January 2017, Daniel held positions with EEC/NTT Facilities, CRB Consulting Engineers and Syska Hennessy Group. His goal is to help data center operators build, maintain, and operate a highly efficient, reliable, and scalable facility.