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Defining the Edge Part 1: 4 Key Characteristics of Edge Data Centers

Posted by Enconnex Team on October 30, 2020

| Categories: Edge Computing

Business operations are no longer confined to a single facility. Even small to midsize businesses have remote workers, branch offices, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications that need access to corporate IT resources.

Distance creates latency. Connecting to the corporate data center for access to applications and data can cause delays that hamper productivity and the user experience. Transmitting data generated by IoT devices to the cloud can limit the ability to tap that data for real-time insights. The edge computing model has arisen to address these challenges.

 

Why Edge Computing

Edge computing aims to reduce latency through the use of small-scale data centers that put IT resources a single hop away from users and devices. Variously known as cloudlets, micro data centers, or fog nodes, these edge resources can deliver services and cached content faster and serve as collection points for IoT data that requires local processing.

Edge computing helps to relieve network congestion and reduce data transport costs by conserving network bandwidth. It can also reduce cloud storage costs and improve regulatory compliance through data localization.

 

4 Key Characteristics of Edge Data Centers

According to the strictest definition, an edge data center is a facility in a secondary or tertiary market that’s not served by a major colocation center. In this context, the edge data center literally pushes out the Internet edge. More broadly, an edge data center can extend the corporate network to a remote location that lacks a traditional data center environment. In either case, edge data centers share these four characteristics.

1. Small Size

Edge data centers are often implemented in retail stores, warehouses, and other locations where space is at a premium. For IoT applications, the edge data center may even be deployed in a shipping container or temporary facility. The IT equipment could be installed in a modular “pod” unit or even a self-contained cabinet with integrated cooling.

2. Performance

Because a primary purpose of the edge data center is to reduce latency, performance is important. The edge data center should have adequate server and storage resources and access to high-speed Internet connectivity with sufficient bandwidth for edge applications. It should be architected with scalability in mind to ensure support for growing numbers of users and devices.

3. Reliability

Edge data centers must be highly reliable to ensure that local users have access to applications and data. Because environmental conditions are often less-than-ideal in remote facilities, supplemental cooling may be necessary. Uninterruptible power supplies can help ensure continued operations in brief power outages. From an IT perspective, the edge data center should integrate robust security tools to protect against a potentially crippling breach.

4. Streamlined Operations

Remote management tools are a must since there are no IT specialists onsite. IT staff in the corporate data center must have visibility into the edge environment and the ability to maintain and troubleshoot equipment without an onsite visit. Organizations should also consider implementing data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tools to enable remote management of power, cooling, and other infrastructure resources.

 

How Enconnex Can Help

Enconnex offers an array of solutions that can help you optimize your edge data center facility. Our EdgeRack 5M Series is an enclosed, soundproof cabinet with an integrated rack-mounted cooling unit that’s ideal for small spaces. We also offer in-row cooling units, UPSs, metered power distribution units (PDUs), and more to meet the requirements of your edge environment. Let Enconnex help you take advantage of the edge computing model to reduce latency and utilize resources more efficiently.


Posted by Enconnex Team on October 30, 2020

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