Hybrid Digital Infrastructure Management for Edge Data Centers

It’s no surprise that the global edge computing market is expected to reach $9 billion by 2024, according to a study by MarketsandMarkets. Edge computing provides many benefits for enterprises including the ability to reduce latency, minimize the risk of network downtime, improve load distribution across networks, and better connect to remote enterprise locations.

Once centralized networks are morphing into networks of distributed, dynamically interconnected systems spanning clouds, microservices and software defined networks. As a result, distributed edge data center sites, which are rooms with only a few racks or even “data centers in a box”, are becoming a more critical component of the dispersed IT required in today’s environment. Gartner considers edge computing to be one of the 10 most important IT trends in 2020.

Compute, storage, and network connectivity at the edge is needed to deliver high quality services with geographically distributed resources. As edge computing becomes a strategic technical requirement, enterprises must figure out how to incorporate it into their operations. Edge data centers, which perform regional processing and caching, will become more prevalent with the surging demand for low-latency connections. Centralized hubs, where processing for primary applications occurs, will remain the core of the data center’s network.

Benefits of Edge Computing

Since edge computing moves workloads and applications closer to end users, it allows data to be processed closer to where it is created instead of sending it across long routes to central data centers or clouds. This makes it possible for businesses to give users the level of service they desire. Not only does it enhance customer experiences, it enables organizations to offer new services faster and more efficiently at a lower cost.

In addition to performance, edge sites provide more security and uptime than traditional forms of network architecture. As computing power, data, and applications are distributed across numerous devices and data centers, it is much more difficult to crash an entire network, for example through a DDoS Attack. Since more data is processed on local devices and is not transferred back to a central data center, edge computing also reduces the amount of data that is at risk at the same time.

Edge computing even offers more scalability and versality. Edge sites can partner with companies in desirable markets to introduce new services to the market without having to restructure their IT infrastructure. This presents new opportunities for companies to drive growth in a more cost-effective manner as adding new devices won’t impose too much on network bandwidth.

Edge computing also makes it easier for companies to comply with legal regulations, such as the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Since the GDPR came into effect, companies have only been allowed to store personal data in the public cloud under certain conditions. Additionally, critical data must be stored securely and inaccessible to other countries or locations. This applies, for example, to banking applications and personal data, for which many countries have issued very strict compliance requirements. Edge sites are a good solution in both cases.

Unified Resource Management for the Edge

In order to remotely monitor the large amount of geographically distributed IT resources, IT departments need to evaluate, manage, and optimize the entire data center infrastructure from the central data center to the individual edge locations. Therefore, the appropriate infrastructure management solution must be able to create transparency at all levels. This includes the exact location of all edge locations and their connection to the main data center, including the building infrastructure (power, cooling, floor space), the IT infrastructure (networks, servers , storage), connectivity (physical cabling infrastructure and logical circuits / bandwidth) and the services (software, applications). It’s crucial to have a detailed overview of the current situation in order to understand the effects of planned changes before making them.

Insight into all physical and virtual assets and their dependencies, manufacturer-independent and neutral, can only be achieved through unified resource management with a uniform data model. With the help of 3D representations and simulations, IT managers can then visualize the information stored in a central database and simulate changes. FNT Software provides a dynamically updating database that ensures data consistency and accuracy, which is critically important for planning, operation and fulfillment teams who rely on that information to make business decisions. This approach ensures the greatest level of data accuracy for the upcoming changes.

To remotely monitor the large amount of geographically dispersed IT assets, data centers need to centrally manage and optimize the entire data center infrastructure from the central data center to each edge site, and even beyond. With FNT’s central data repository in place, network managers can receive immediate insights into all the data connections in their networks and data center infrastructure, independent from the underlying hardware vendor technology.

Such unified resource management is critical because network issues are no longer confined to a single data center site, or a lone network element. A holistic understanding of how all network resources work, both individually and as part of the network fabric, is required.

Oliver Lindner, Head of Business Line DCIM at FNT Software, discussed unified resource management for edge networks in Mission Critical Magazine. Read the full article here.