There is a lot of noise in the IT and data centre industry around Edge Computing, though it can be a daunting topic to the uninitiated. What is it, why is it the flavour of the month, and what does it mean for the humble cloud? 

In this quickfire blog, we will provide all of these answers and more in a bid to debunk ‘the Edge’.

Edge is just smaller servers in branches, right?

Edge servers may be smaller in order to fit into smaller cabinets or spaces, but they can also be as big as those in cloud data centres. Ultimately, it all boils down to the need for local processing power. .

So Edge is going to replace the cloud?

You should think of the Edge as an extension of the cloud, rather than its replacement.  Sometimes the need for instant processing results means you can’t afford any delays in waiting for a response from the cloud or indeed any break in communication, especially in those applications relating to life affecting decisions (e.g. medical or traffic management). 

So the Edge is only required for time critical applications?

No, there are other reasons why Edge Compute is more efficient and/or economic. One example being data aggregation from IoT devices:with some applications using thousands of IoT sensors in a location it is often more effective to aggregate and summarise the data before transmission to the cloud, saving on both bandwidth and congestion.

Do we lose some of the benefits of cloud by using Edge, i.e.security and resiliency?

When it comes to security and resiliency, the same ideals should be taken down to the Edge. After all, we still need redundant power supplies and physical and virtual security controls, so the mechanisms remain the same. 

We still need to monitor the environment and devices in these small server rooms (or cupboards) as we would in the data centre, so DCIM (Data Centre Infrastructure Monitoring) is just as important in making sure that temperature, humidity and power is not affecting the effectiveness of these resources.

Schneider Electric has partnered with a number of major compute manufacturers to provide solutions that provide this in often unmanned locations.As Elite partners of Schneider Electric, and having years of expertise in the Server Infrastructure space, Comtec are ideally positioned to help you with your Edge requirements. Speak to a member of the team today at  sales@comtec.com, or call 01737228100, if you’re ready to embrace the Edge.