Remote Management and Services
Most edge data centres have few to no IT staff on site to manage them, whether it’s a remote, outdoor facility driving utility IoT applications or a retailer with hundreds of stores. In such instances, the ability to remotely manage and service the edge components is critical. Maintenance needs to be predictive and proactive, to ensure the site has no downtime and to reduce the cost of service calls. A cloud-based management platform that takes advantage of intelligent analytics applications can be an effective solution.
> Find out more about remote management of edge computing
Standardized and Rapid Deployments
Given the large number of edge data centres that many organizations are going to have, it’s important they be delivered in a standardized, repeatable and rapid manner. The alternative – a series of ad hoc IT deployments – creates a nightmare scenario for both speed of deployment and ongoing management.
The solution here involves using a reference architecture that ensures consistency in each edge deployment. Such architectures define a baseline level of devices and services, while allowing for some variation depending on the requirements of each location. Even better is to have a finite number of reference designs from which to choose for each site, to ensure consistency.
Prefabricated, modular micro data centres are often a good solution for edge data centres. They include all the required power and cooling infrastructure as well as management software. It’s all pre-integrated and installed in a rack or enclosure, ready to accept IT equipment – which is typically installed by an IT solution provider or systems integrator. Some micro data centres are also certified by leading converged and hyperconverged IT equipment manufacturers, which helps ensure good performance and reliability.
> Read more about standardized and rapid deployments of edge computing
Edge data centres may be located in server rooms and IT closets, under cash registers or desks. Even if they are in a dedicated room, it may not be secured. This leaves the edge infrastructure open to accidental damage, attack from nefarious actors who intend to do harm, as well as employees with good intentions who simply don’t know any better.
Providing proper physical security requires three components:
Monitoring the physical space, using sensors that can report on temperature and humidity levels, and detect environmental changes caused by fire, smoke, flooding or the like.
Control over the space, to ensure only authorized personnel have access to edge infrastructure.
Supervision of the environment using audio and video, with recording, so you can visually see who is accessing edge spaces.
Perhaps not surprisingly, those three elements figured prominently among respondents to an IDC survey* about the top concerns over edge deployments. Issues around security, monitoring and controlling access to the physical space accounted for five of the top six concerns the 200+ respondents had about edge computing.
> Find out more about physical security at the edge
* IDC, Edge Computing: The Next Stage of Datacentre Evolution, April 2018.