At the Cutting Edge


Modularity makes the difference in Edge Data Centers

Modularität ist entscheidend für Edge-RZ

Four out of ten German companies state that they want to put an emphasis on automation in 2018 in order to balance their workload with reduced cost of production. At the same time, automation means more data volume and it requires a higher processing power from the operating IT. According to Thomas Sting, manager of the DATA CENTER GROUP, regional computer service centers, so-called Edge Data Centers, are an interesting solution for mainly small to medium-sized businesses. They get the chance to use modern technology like the IoT efficiently and avoid additional financial burdens at the same time. 

Experts say that the operators of Edge Data Centers have to adjust to the client's requests as well as the highest security and high-availability standards with a modular technical concept in order to meet the future requirements for decentralized locations of, mostly, manufacturing businesses. Sting: "Surely, Edge Data Centers will play a big part in the automobile industry. The construction of suitable and decentralized highly available data centers is going to be a fundamental premise though, because in order to minimize data transfer times and cost, smaller Edge Data Centers have to develop pretty close to the user."

By now, every machine already communicates with their user by an application or Human-Machine-Interface (HMI). The amount of data increases. "Machine streets will need more and more processing power in the course of digitization and automation. Next to security and high-availability, modularity is added as another crucial feature, which has to do with the respective adaptability to always changing client demands of Edge Data Centers", says Sting. 

It is clear to the experts that not only the "edge" part but also the "data center" part has to be guaranteed. This means that dependencies will increase immensely. Concurrently, more requirements concerning security will appear. The data volume must be controlled by faster and better data processors and will increase the need for failure safety, energy efficiency, cooling and the processing power itself. 

The latter must be cascadable. That way, companies are able to factor in the possibly growing or reducing IT-infrastructures from the start. However, the determining thing is securing the running operation and hence, a modular construction is useful. Sting: "It will hardly be possible to use today's structures of Cloud Data Centers since the Edge-Computing-Model was basically developed as an answer to problems like short latency periods or high availability. Admittedly, global Cloud Data Centers can be adjusted easily regarding their performance, but they are located in huge server farms. Somewhere. Internationally. And that includes all disadvantages of country-specific data protection laws and state controls."

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