How micro data centres and edge computing reduce latency in a highly mobile environment

Between the Internet of Things, augmented reality systems, smart cars and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, the number and types of devices connecting to our networks and churning out valuable data continues to grow at a remarkable rate.

Consider just one category: wearable devices. Worldwide shipments of such devices are expected to reach 101.9 million units by the end of 2016, a 29% growth rate over 2015, according to the research firm IDC. IDC expects the wearable market to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.3%, resulting in 213.6 million units shipped in 2020.

Much of this growing quantity of data will need to be processed and analyzed in real time, having a transformational effect on the data centre market and the technologies needed to support it.

With so many devices spread far and wide, excessive network latency becomes a real concern. If latency is too great, it becomes difficult to keep up with the fast pace of business.

To deal with latency issues, businesses are looking for new ways to grow their on-premises digital infrastructure in the most economical way possible.

That’s why we’re seeing the emergence of edge computing platforms, which will distribute computing loads closer to devices (such as a smartphones, tablets or sensors), resulting in reduced latency. The architecture of the future will likely have several variations; it could be a gateway or embedded device, or it could be a micro data centre.

For industries where there’s a need to share and analyze growing amounts of data — such as retail, manufacturing and telecommunications — a micro data centre makes a lot of sense. It’s essentially a “plug and play” data center, making it ideal for private clouds and converged IT systems.

If you need to reduce latency, add capacity quickly, enable secure ongoing management or boost reliability through standardisation and factory testing, consider a micro data centre. As an added bonus, you could minimise IT installation and operating costs — including a possible price per watt reduction of 50 percent.

According to Gartner, Inc.’s David Cappuccio, “Localized or micro data centers are a fact of life, but by applying a self-contained, scalable and remotely managed solution and process, CIOs can reduce costs, improve agility, and introduce new levels of compliance and service continuity.”

So how does it work? A micro data centre is a self-contained computing environment, which includes all necessary power, cooling, security and associated management tools. And it includes all the storage, processing and networking necessary to run customer applications.

“Creating micro data centers is something companies have done for years, but often in an ad hoc manner. By partnering with vendors, and creating a consistent and standardised architecture, enterprises can regain control of these critical assets, and increase the ability to rapidly introduce site-specific services, while reducing risks and operational costs, and improving service levels,” Cappuccio writes in his report, “Apply a Self-Contained Solution to Micro Data Centers.”

The business world is changing, and fast. That’s why we’re launching the industry’s largest portfolio of prefabricated micro data centre solutions to help our customers — whether enterprise, SMB or co-location — meet these new data growth requirements. They’re engineered to order, and assembled and tested in a Schneider Electric facility, so you can be ready for any connectivity demand.

For more information, visit our page.

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