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Micro Data Center Use Cases and Definition

Posted by Robert Faulkner on October 26, 2021

Large, centralized data centers have made the cloud possible. These facilities house massive amounts of computing power, storage, and networking gear — and all the power and cooling needed to support them. They are designed to maximize performance, resilience, and operational efficiency.

Micro data centers share many of those same characteristics, albeit in a much smaller footprint. Rather than supporting vast numbers of customers, they provide fast, localized resources for users at the edge of the network. They are also ideal for applications that aren’t well-suited to run in large, remote data centers. Here’s a look at some micro data center use cases and applications.

Micro Data Center Definition

A micro data center is simply a small, self-contained unit that houses the same types of IT equipment and infrastructure as a larger facility. External cooling and conditioned power are not required. The micro data center incorporates all of these components for “plug and play” simplicity. Best-in-class solutions also feature remote monitoring and management tools to optimize reliability and operational efficiency.

Because of its modular design, the micro data center can be installed anywhere that high-speed connectivity is available. In fact, the growing availability of 5G networks is helping to spur greater adoption of micro data centers.

Micro data centers offer several benefits:

  • Rapid deployment at a lower cost. Organizations can implement micro data centers rapidly to meet changing demands while avoiding expensive infrastructure changes or data center build-outs.
  • Greater flexibility. A micro data center can be installed in virtually any environment, from branch offices to retail stores to warehouses to remote field locations.
  • Future-proof solutions. The right micro data center cabinet can easily accommodate all kinds of equipment to facilitate future upgrades and even re-architecture of the environment.

Micro Data Center Use Cases

Micro data centers are great for any organization that’s short on time, space, or resources. Small to midsize businesses can use micro data centers to support their onsite applications and services without placing too much burden on IT staff. Micro data centers are also ideal for edge applications in a wide range of environments.

Industry-specific micro data center use cases include:

Retail

Retail stores can benefit from onsite micro data centers that can capture and analyze customer data in real-time and support digital signage and other retail experience technologies. Micro data centers can also help to streamline inventory management, product replenishment, and other logistical processes. By establishing standards, retailers can enable rapid buildout of new locations and consistency across the environment.

Manufacturing

Today’s manufacturing facilities rely upon Internet of Things (IoT) devices to capture data about the functioning of equipment to enable predictive maintenance. Modular data centers can support IoT applications and provide the information needed to improve availability and product quality.

Healthcare

Healthcare organizations need the ability to store, process, and analyze large volumes of patient data. As these organizations open more remote clinics, diagnostic facilities, and other locations, micro data centers help ensure the security and privacy of data with minimal application latency. Micro data centers also help improve supply chain efficiency.

Higher Education

With the proliferation of online learning platforms and remote campuses, colleges and universities have been challenged with improving their networking capabilities. Strategically placed micro data centers can help reduce latency and enable students and researchers quicker access to their resources and data. Additionally, micro data centers can help enable the implementation of smart campuses and often offer built-in security and monitoring capabilities, adding a layer of security to sensitive data.

The Enconnex EdgeRack

Enconnex has developed a unique micro data center solution with everything you need in one high-quality cabinet. The EdgeRack is a fully integrated enclosure system that provides power, cooling, management, and security in a small footprint. This turnkey solution is ready to be outfitted with your IT equipment and installed anywhere space is limited, or heat levels could be a concern.

If you’re planning an edge computing initiative or simply need to support onsite IT services in a small space, take a look at our EdgeRack options and get in touch. We’d be delighted to demonstrate the features and benefits of EdgeRack.


Posted by Robert Faulkner on October 26, 2021

Robert Faulkner is the Vice President of Engineering and Operations at Enconnex. He comes from a strong background in product management with over 20 years in the IT industry. He currently holds an MSME and CDCD certification. He earned his MS degree in Mechanical Engineering at University of Nevada, Reno.

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