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Edge computing - set to significantly impact data center planning, report says

21 Jun 17

A new Black & Veatch white paper, entitled Data Centers: Planning for the edge, examines the emerging deployment of edge computing and its impacts on data center infrastructure planning.

Developed in partnership with DCD, formerly DatacenterDynamics, the white paper analyzes drivers, use cases and strategies to prepare for the edge computing evolution.

What is edge computing?

According to Black & Veatch, with edge computing, data is processed where it’s first generated – closer to the edge of the network and away from the hyperscale computing, memory and storage core, or cloud.

With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, mobile technologies and machine learning, the report suggest that these applications may be able to enhance customer experience and present new avenues for revenue generation.

To fully harness these benefits, the white paper states networks need to be designed accordingly.

“We have created such a considerable volume of data, and that led to the shift towards the cloud for batch and data processing,” comments Brad Hardin, Black & Veatch’s chief technology officer.

Hardin says that edge computing can supplement data center capabilities by providing more of a peer-to-peer network.

That means, says Black & Veatch, a more direct way to share and store data to cope with the rise in devices and optimize information transfer across networks.

According to Black & Veatch, edge technology is set to become an important component of smart infrastructure as it combines embedded sources of data collection to a network backbone.

This network will be able to make data-based decisions locally and in real-time, but will require holistic planning to prevent the emergence of disparate systems, claims Black & Veatch.

“There is an emerging consensus that the design of edge computing units will be modular. This trend will affect data center design given that edge information technology needs to operate from integrated software definitions and protocols,” explains Rob Nash-Boulden, director of Data Center Strategy for Black & Veatch.

“We found that interest in edge increased by 50% in the last year. However, the significance of edge to an organization depends on how much they outsource data hosting/processing needs. Understanding this correlation is critical for data center operators,” adds George Rockett, CEO, DCD.

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