Why Edge Computing Deployments Require Resilient, Sustainable Solutions

edge computing application in retail

I recently sat down with Dave McCarthy, IDC Research Vice President, and Jennifer Cooke, IDC Research Director, to discuss strategies that drive resilient edge spaces while maximizing resources. We talked about the role of edge in driving innovation, supporting use cases, addressing deployment challenges, and more. Among IT professionals, there continues to be a healthy amount of dialogue surrounding the role of edge computing in a hybrid information processing model.

The hybrid approach, a strategic mix of cloud and colocation data centers, on-premise enterprise data centers, and local and regional edge data centers, has generated several clear-cut benefits. These include cost reductions, enhanced business agility, new customer experiences, and faster innovation cycles. However, IT departments are still struggling to deliver the service levels that end-users expect despite these gains. Challenges such as systems availability, physical security, resilience, and sustainability still emerge as significant concerns.

Tackling edge computing challenges

At Schneider Electric, we believe in constantly understanding these challenges. We keep a pulse on the evolving issues that thousands of IT professionals face by conducting research with partners like IDC.  For example, in a recent IDC survey on edge computing[1], over 30% of IT survey participants reported that a key challenge is securing remote devices to prevent theft and tampering. Physical threats to edge computing sites also include failures in power and cooling systems, human error, fire, leaks, and poor air quality, to name a few. In addition, nearly 35% of these respondents shared that is it a challenge to properly operate and monitor sensors at remote edge computing sites.

To address such issues, we recommend standardizing edge computing deployments and including remote monitoring capabilities. For example, deploying standardized high-security edge system enclosures and resilient UPS power protection systems will address physical threats and unplanned downtime. These systems can also enable the remote monitoring of power quality, load, and battery health.

Analyzing IT edge deployment issues helps us develop better approaches that minimize downtime risk and maximize human resource efficiencies while driving higher levels of resilience within edge locations. We focus on the technologies needed to mirror the support services that customers have grown accustomed to in their traditional, on-premise data centers, including a similar level of resilience.

Increased power consumption driving sustainable edge computing designs

The future of hybrid computing will not just be resilient but resilient and sustainable. The growth of applications at the edge will drive an increase in power demand and the corresponding need for energy management and energy-efficient technologies to achieve control of carbon emissions.

The volume of data at the edge will continue to grow. IDC predicts that the number of applications at the edge will increase 800% by 2024[2]. This growth of applications at the edge will also drive up the amount of power used at the edge. As a result, we are already seeing customers incorporating sustainability initiatives across their edge deployments. Edge computing projects will need to support corporate sustainability initiatives if global emissions reduction targets are to be achieved.

IT teams will need technology that enables them to monitor and optimize energy usage. The task of managing what could be hundreds of these edge systems across their networks can seem daunting. Fortunately, monitoring software now makes it possible to remotely manage such systems without requiring onsite IT personnel. At Schneider Electric, we will continue to evolve our solutions for a more sustainable edge. Our corporate DNA and product offerings have long been aligned to the concept of optimizing energy.

Access edge computing learning session

Ready to hear more from my conversation with IDC? View our recent learning session entitled “Increasing Resiliency as the Edge Becomes Your Innovation Driver,” by simply identifying the Innovation Summit event of your choice and clicking on the link under “Registration.” Don’t miss this on-demand session to help you further refine and future-proof your edge strategy.

[1] IDC Infrastructure for Edge Survey, 2020: Motivations, Challenges, and Technology, Doc # US46759220, Aug 2020.

[2] IDC FutureScape: Worldwide IT Industry 2020 Predictions, Doc # US45599219, Oct 2019.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *