As organisations digitalise, many are inevitably moving towards multi-cloud deployments to take advantage of the cloud’s inherent agility and scalability. Of course, the presence of legacy hardware and compliance rules means that not all on-premises infrastructure can be migrated, resulting in an increase in hybrid IT deployments.
The Move to the Edge
In such scenarios, core enterprise systems are often deployed within data centres close to end users for maximum performance and to keep potential points of failure to a minimum. From manufacturing, utilities, or even specialised environments such as high-frequency trading, the low latency performance offered by edge data centres delivers greater real-time control for higher productivity and efficiency.
An edge data centre typically comprises of a small handful of racks installed within a small room or closet within a 1 or 2 megawatts (MW) facility. Equipped with network connectivity to the cloud, they are the linchpin of the organisation’s hybrid IT strategy by offering both on-premises capabilities and access to the cloud.
Unfortunately, a common problem with edge data centres pertains to how they are often hastily developed with little thought given to redundancy or availability, writes Rob McKernan of Schneider Electric in a blog post. This can culminate in costly system downtime if key servers or the network components were to fail at an inopportune time.
Yet hiring more IT staffers isn’t a sustainable or viable solution when it comes to edge data centres, considering that many centres could be located at remote or inhospitable locations far from IT supports. For example, at the edge of a factory floor or in a small locked room of a branch office.
The Role of Cloud and DCIM
This is where a cloud-based Data centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solution in the form of a Data Centre Management as a Service (DMaaS) can play a crucial role to help enterprises ensure the reliability and availability of their distributed infrastructure.
A DMaaS can give external IT solutions and managed services providers a common system with the requisite visibility and secure remote access to their customers’ connected infrastructure to rectify hiccups in a timely manner. With no need to reinvent the wheel, service providers can get started immediately and may even potentially work together to further enhance reliability.
The ideal DMaaS should also offer cloud-based capabilities such as monitoring and reporting tools to ensure that the edge data centre meet goals pertaining to availability, reliability and energy efficiency. Crucially, 24/7 remote monitoring and troubleshooting ensures that CIOs and CTOs can rest easier at night, safe in the knowledge that mission-critical edge systems are operating optimally.
More advanced DMaaS solution may also serve as a platform for forward-looking partners to establish stronger relationships with their customers. By offering relevant insights and recommendations for the safe operation and protection of critical equipment, providers can hence initiate meaningful conversations with their customers for better long-term outcomes.
If a DMaaS sounds interesting, you can learn more about EcoStruxure IT for Partners, the world’s first partner-specific DMaaS architecture by Schneider Electric for seamless edge management here.