The cloud must prioritise the edge

By George Senzere, solutions architect, Secure Power at Schneider Electric

A perfect storm is brewing: the number of IoT devices is doubling every five years, according to analyst firm Gartner, and cloud adoption is exploding.  The sheer amount of data is mind boggling which is why organisations are now closer to edge computing.

Similarly, to meet data demand, hyperscale cloud providers are developing solutions to distribute their cloud capabilities closer to the edge.  And it makes sense; edge computing allows cloud providers to continuously improve the customer experience, safety and security whilst becoming more sustainable.

Whilst shrinking in size, it remains vitally important that physical infrastructure such as power, cooling and networking remain resilient and allow employees to stay connected to business-critical applications.  Edge computing is the answer and here’s how:

  1. Rethink the design of the data centre systems at the edge.

With the right metrics and design methodology in place which include both physical and cyber security, operational practices and redundant power and cooling, companies can certainly make realistic and tangible improvements.

Additionally, companies must re-think design strategies to drive certainty, resiliency, and sustainability throughout the entire process – from design to deployment to management.

2. Adopt a systematic approach that can evaluate data centre availability in a hybrid environment

A scorecard approach will allow executives and managers to view their environments holistically, factoring in the number of people and business functions of each data centre, while also identifying the most critical sites to invest in.

3. Implement standardised best practices

A solid foundation will enable organisations to gain the most from edge computing environments.  These include redundant UPSs, a secure organised rack, proper cable management and airflow practices, remote monitoring, and dual network connectivity to ensure the highest-criticality sites can achieve the availability it requires. Customers can also look at pre-configured solutions as way to standardise deployment of edge computing solutions.

Cloud providers must prioritise edge computing

One of the main and well-documented benefits of edge computing is its ability to address latency issues, a major plus as the tsunami of data grows in size.

This alone makes a solid case for centralised, cloud-hosted management coupled with a growing portfolio of common cloud and edge capabilities. Indeed, hyperscale cloud providers will be in a good position to address a broader range of requirements for computing closer to the edge.

Gartner concurs: “Edge computing is broad enough to support many submarkets, but it will evolve from supporting thousands of custom patterns to merely dozens, with cloud providers taking an important role all the way to the edge or complementing edge solutions.

“It’s imperative that enterprises prioritise a distributed cloud-based solution as the default and future-proof edge solutions by relying on partnerships and ecosystems over a single-vendor approach.”

Cloud and Service Providers can benefit immensely from Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure IT platform, a next-generation Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software solution, is both on-premises, and cloud-based solution. It is also optimised for managing and monitoring both large, purpose -built facilities and edge sites.

It also provides organisations with the ability to manage sites remotely and moreover, enables the collection and analysis of data that leads to better performance with predictive capability.

 

By George Senzere, solutions architect, Secure Power at Schneider Electric