Physical Security for Edge Computing Offers Managed Service Opportunity for IT Solution Providers Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Email Rob McKernanMarch 26, 2019 LinkedIn 3989 views TAGSedge computingmanaged servicesEcoStruxure ITNetBotzManaged securityCanalys A recent survey of IT channel partners conducted for APC by Schneider Electric uncovered convincing evidence that there’s a significant opportunity for IT solution providers in offering managed security services targeting the increasing number of edge computing data centers that have few or no IT staff. Survey Points to Edge Security Opportunity The survey by Canalys, which operates the Candefero online community for the IT channel, found that 81% of the more than 350 respondents thought preventing unauthorized users from accessing their customers’ distributed IT installations was either important or very important. What’s more, the survey revealed that many of these edge computing sites are unstaffed. Fifty-six percent of respondents said at least 20% of their customers’ edge sites were unstaffed. But 15% said between 50% and 79% of sites were unmanned while 5% of respondents put the figure at 80% to 100%. So here is a quick summary of what we’ve learned so far: you’ve got a well-known trend toward more edge computing sites, tremendous interest in preventing unauthorized access to these sites, and a good number of sites that are unstaffed. To me, this spells one thing: a unique opportunity for IT solution providers to offer a valued managed physical security service. Requirements for an Edge Computing Security Managed Service Such a service could be an add-on for existing managed service providers, or a new line of business for IT solution providers that don’t yet offer managed services. Either way, the service will need to address three fundamental requirements: Monitoring the physical space: This includes sensors that can detect changes in temperature and humidity levels, as well as detect any sudden environmental changes caused by fire, smoke, flooding and the like. Controlling the space: A physical security solution must manage who has access to buildings, rooms and the physical racks that house servers, storage systems and networking gear, to prevent any unauthorized access. Supervising the environment: This includes video and audio monitoring and control, so you can verify whether any unauthorized intrusions are taking place. Specialized Solutions Designed for Edge Computing Security Environmental monitoring systems give partners the tools they need to offer an effective physical security solution for edge computing sites. Many of these solutions now are all-in-one solutions that include environmental sensors for temperature, humidity, smoke, fluids, and more, plus security cameras with motion detection and access control. IT solution providers should seek key features when evaluating a managed security offering. A REST API, for example, allows APC’s NetBotz to be easily integrated into critical third-party systems, including remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools used by MSPs to manage IT environments. This flexibility means IT solution providers can pull environmental monitoring into the same tool they’re already using to manage IT environments. Cloud-based monitoring tools included in EcoStruxure IT allow for centralized management of multiple edge environmental monitoring and security solutions. For local network management, a web-based interface should also be considered because it allows for system monitoring from any web browser – desktop software is no longer required. Seize this Edge Monitoring Opportunity As the Canalys survey makes clear, there’s a big opportunity for companies that can give customers the Certainty in a Connected World they’re after when it comes to their edge data centers. Interested in learning more about the survey findings? Access the On-Demand webinar “The Edge Computing Opportunity for Channel Partners,” to gather further insights for your business. Edge computing sites are too valuable to be leaving physical security and monitoring to chance. IT solution providers can help fill the void with solutions like NetBotz – and gain a nice new revenue stream at the same time. Learn more about edge computing environments and the opportunity for your business.