- Micro data centers facilitate data processing and storage at the network edge or wherever the user needs concentrated computing power.
- Edge computing plays a crucial role in effectively implementing several embedded applications such as Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and deep learning.
The question of where businesses should store their data is evolving as industries depend more on data for day-to-day operations. As enterprises transition to the cloud, high latency and bandwidth difficulties substantially impact regular operations.
Organizations are forced to use Edge computing power due to the growing demand for real-time data. For better performance, keeping the processing close by is essential, and many businesses use micro data centers (MDC) for their edge computing requirements.
This blog highlights edge computing and how data centers drive the revolution in edge computing.
Diving into Micro Data Centers
A micro data center provides the operations of a traditional data center in a compact unit of rack-mounted IT equipment isolated from the cloud data center or centralized enterprise. Being a highly integrated alternative to IT closets or small server rooms, micro data centers offer specific applications across the network. The composition and placement of these micro data centers are managed to fit a wide range of applications, ranging from a small office cabinet to a shipping container that protects racks in harsh, remote surroundings.
Micro data centers facilitate data processing and storage at the network edge or wherever the user needs concentrated computing power but lacks the capital, business case, and space for a fully-equipped data center. The real-time data processing insights can be easily accessed to immediately act on for leveraging business agility and competitive advantage. Besides, these data centers are easy to deploy and can be incorporated with few routers switching between data sources and servers.
What is Edge Computing?
Edge computing plays a crucial role in effectively implementing several embedded applications such as Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and deep learning. Since traditional data centers cannot meet these application requirements, the Edge Micro-Data Center (EMDC) comes into the picture.
By embedding intelligence with systems, i.e., to the edge, it becomes feasible to generate highly autonomous and decision-oriented capabilities. This reduces reliance on centralized systems by providing other significant advantages concerning lower prices, reduced latency, and energy savings.
Examples of early utilities of edge computing include robotic surgery, autonomous vehicles, augmented reality in manufacturing, and drones. The operational requirements of these applications are met by integrating edge infrastructure such as EMDCs.
Edge computing can reduce response times in mission-critical applications to facilitate real-time operations. The cloud serves the role of a memory unit in data storage while peripheral nodes process large data volumes, thus improving sensitivity and overall data security. Edge computing technology can effectively enhance the range of services and applications by natively supporting AI instead of solely depending on AI in the cloud.
Various modern-day applications such as smart manufacturing, industry 4.0, 5G, smart cities, robotics, and machine vision thrive on edge computing technological approach.
Enabling Edge Computing with Micro Data Centers
With industries heavily relying on data for daily operations, the question of data storage has been evolving. As organizations are adopting cloud storage, the issues of bandwidth and latency are influencing their daily functions. Many enterprises observed that their operations require crucial applications that use robust real-time analysis, which the cloud and centralized data centers can no longer serve.
The increasing requirement for real-time data has been compelling organizations to adopt edge computing. Many companies use micro data centers for edge computing requirements by keeping the processes integrated to enhance performance.
The following advantages of edge computing can be reaped by using micro data centers:
- Data Security
Security becomes a primary concern when it comes to dealing with sensitive, confidential data. Despite devices being adequately secured, a safer architecture actually lowers the chances of a data breach. The dispersed edge computing architecture makes it challenging to accord over traditional models. It also becomes feasible to cut loose a single breached area without the need to shut down the overall system.
A large number of networks work with restricted bandwidth. Increasing bandwidth is expensive and does not necessarily resolve all the issues. On the other hand, Edge computing effectively lowers bandwidth by reducing the overall traffic volume reciprocating in central servers. Redundant processing tasks and narrowing hindrances are discarded by IT so that users can take advantage of faster resultant performance.
Traditional networking mandates data to be transmitted to centralizing servers for processing. The servers then revert with instructions in case of any response. This altogether causes a delay.
Micro data centers with edge computing can deliver quick response time across more traditional models. As it processes crucial functions close to the user, it can cause considerable delays in operation.
Domains Leveraging Edge Computing and Micro Data Centers
Most enterprises work with real-time processing and also use 5G technology, sensors, IoT, etc. These industries often encounter issues of latency and bandwidth limitation. Edge computing integrated with micro data centers resolves these hurdles by curbing data travel. Although beneficial to most organizations, edge computing is crucial for industries utilizing cutting-edge resources and smart devices. To name a few, energy, retail, manufacturing, telecommunications, transportation, healthcare, and gaming can be precisely mentioned.
With the emergence of 5G, many companies now demand micro data centers’ processing resources. Besides, these enterprises will likely undergo a digital transition and require processing power to stay in the competitive market.
Major Benefits of Micro Data Center
Being compact-sized, micro data centers exhibit a powerful performance delivery to help organizations across the domain to enhance their digital strategies. The primary benefits are as follows:
1) Quick Integration: Micro data centers’ compact assembly and faster deployment timelines show they are quickly operational, whether pre-assembled or customized. The flexibility in cost and construction of a micro data center makes it suitable for operational requirements and expenses.
2) Space Compatible: Micro data centers are suitable for limited-space applications in retail stores, factory floors, remote industrial sites, or cellular towers. Due to compact integration and size, they are handy and portable compared to other equipment installed in the server closet. Another advantage it serves is that the installation can be shipped to a different location where IT personnel are not available, and some constraints prevent on-site installation.
3) Availability: Micro data centers can be configured for any degree of availability according to the application requirements. Though the risk of downtime can be lowered, the cost increases due to higher availability.
4) Remote Coordination: The configuration and design of micro data centers are suitable for remote devices and power management. With remote coordination capabilities, managing and monitoring micro data centers in highly isolated locations become easy, negating site travel expenses and the wait for in-demand technicians.
5) Effective Cooling Systems: The advanced micro data center design helps enhance cooling efficiency. Well-curated airflow management coupled with cooling systems can lower energy waste and other problems caused by exhaust air recirculation.
6) Scalability: Micro data centers can support current and future requirements. They can be easily upgraded or extended at any given time. Major updates include enhanced power capacity, increased battery backup runtime, management features, redundancy, and provisional cooling.
The small-footprint data hubs, such as micro data centers, will be an integral segment of future IT operations. The integration of edge computing and micro data centers can simplify major technical hurdles and make the system operations quicker. End-users’ accessibility to storage and computational resources can be facilitated with micro data centers. Moreover, the cost of operation, installation, and deployment time reduces with surging scalability and resilience.