By Patrick Day, Gateview Technologies

Edge computing is a distributed technology in which the data is processed closer to its source of origination. In other words, the processing is conducted nearer to where the data is gathered, instead of being shot-up into the cloud hundreds or even thousands of miles away.

Edge computing facilities are the answer to bandwidth and latency control because the number of edge devices that need to send and receive information will grow by the millions this decade.  When one considers IoT sensors, security cameras, autonomous driving vehicles, delivery drones, and facial recognition devices, it’s easy to acknowledge the fact that bandwidth will quickly be strained. 5G networks will help alleviate some of the latency issues, but edge storage and processing power are still required to avoid the high cost of round-trip, long haul data transfers.

The planning process for edge data centers often requires the same considerations as deployment of centralized data centers, i.e. carrier connectivity, density, scalability, security and power efficiencies but—applied to a confined area. The legendary Robin Williams summed up power in a confined area perfectly as Genie in Disney’s Aladdin, “Phenomenal cosmic power! In an itty-bitty living space!”

Since edge networks represent an ultra-confined data center, the infrastructure parts must fit tiny locations, be robust enough to support the intended application’s processing needs, and flexible enough to power a variety of devices. Given these criteria, deploying a best-fit rack Power Distribution Unit (rPDU) is a must. Having the wrong output receptacles or not enough receptacles on the rPDU will cause unnecessary anxiety, and installing an rPDU that is not remotely manageable will prolong trouble-shooting efforts.

Edge data centers are truly a new and emerging IT ecosystem. It’s important to construct these with the end-user and their applications in mind, then “spec” in the IT components as needed to process and transfer the data from a confined space. The IT devices must have remote management capabilities and be completely reliable because these locations have no personnel on-site to address support issues. Many of the applications that will rely on edge networks for processing are truly time-sensitive, so choose and configure your edge network environment wisely.

About Patrick Day

Patrick Day is the Business Operations Coordinator for Gateview Technologies. During his decade-long academic career as a university professor, Patrick taught writing courses to both undergraduate and graduate students at several universities, including the Florida State University College of Business and the writing program at William Peace University. Throughout his time in the academy, he developed and published new and innovative research. Beginning in October 2018, Patrick began at Gateview Technologies and left the academic world for the data center industry. Gateview designs, tests, and manufactures PowerLOK, a next-generation rack PDU. In his time at Gateview, Patrick has shepherded Gateview’s business operations, sales, and marketing through PowerLOK’s research and development phase and into production.