The amount of data created and consumed around the world is surging. Indeed, analyst firm IDC predicts that the amount of data created over the next three years will be more than the data created over the past 30 years and that the world will generate more than three times the data over the next five years than it did in the previous five.
A Decentralised Approach
Businesses are turning to a decentralised approach to cope with this avalanche of data. This typically entails the deployment of edge data centres located closer to end-users or industrial facilities. By increasing the amount of local processing power instead of sending vast quantities of data to faraway cloud platforms or centralised data centres for processing, businesses can greatly improve latency, increase efficiency, and streamline processes.
The pressure is also increased with the deployment of cutting-edge Industry Internet of Things (IIoT) as part of Industry 4.0 initiatives, according to a blog post by Schneider Electric. Designed to support remote preventive maintenance initiatives to increase uptime and reduce costs, these IIoT systems often require real-time access to function properly.
It is hence unsurprising that edge data centres are more popular than ever. Depending on specific requirements, they could be deployed within manufacturing environments, inside warehouses, in retail outlets, or even within offices.
Setting Up a Micro Data Centre
While edge data centres can be as large or as small as needed, they tend to be smaller affairs. To avoid having to set everything up from scratch, businesses are turning to micro data centre enclosures for seamless and cost-effective deployments.
There are three considerations to establishing an edge data centre, according to Vincenzo Salmeri of Schneider Electric:
- All in one system: The out-of-the-way locations of most edge data centre deployments necessitates an all-in-one solution. Fortunately, private cloud solutions have advanced substantially, giving enterprises the pick of advanced converged and hyperconverged infrastructure systems. Of course, this should include a self-contained enclosure that incorporates the necessary power backups and cooling components.
- Physical security: Despite their small footprints, edge data centres play a substantial role to support core digital systems within organisations. This means they are secured against unauthorised access through adequate physical security measures. Ideally, they should be enhanced with continuous monitoring against attempts at gaining access, and to ensure that the operating environment stays optimal around-the-year.
- Remote management: The remote locations of micro data centres means it is often not cost-effective to station IT personnel there. Remote management tools are required to keep an eye on these systems. Moreover, cloud-based preventive maintenance can help predict potential failures for preventive maintenance, ensuring better reliability.
To support the digital transformation efforts of businesses, providers such as Schneider Electric can also furnish micro data centres already assembled with supporting infrastructure and precise components before shipment to the desired location. This allows businesses to simply unpack, plug-in, and deploy without undue delays.
Learn more about micro data centres from Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Micro Data Center site here.
Article by Bhagwati Prasad, Vice President, Business Development, Secure Power Division, Schneider Electric