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The benefits of Edge Micro Data Centres
The increasing consumption of digital services through our mobile devices, our homes, our offices, and countless other applications (i.e. manufacturing, mining, oil & gas, etc.) is changing the way data centres are deployed. As more and more demand is placed on data centres for these services, data takes longer to reach its destination.
In general, the further the distance from the data centre, the longer it will take to deliver its digital services and with increased bandwidth costs. Several IT trends including internet of things (IoT) and content distribution networks (CDN) are driving the need to reduce telecommunications latency and bandwidth costs.
Placing data centers closer to the point of use is known as edge computing. Distributing “micro” data centres closer to the points of utilization reduces the latency and costs from the cloud or other remote data centres. This distributed data centre architecture also provides physical infrastructure benefits that apply to any small data centre regardless of the latency requirement.
There are four main drivers of micro data centre adoption to support edge computing applications, over alternatives such as server rooms and traditional data centres.
A strategy to conserve capital by paying only what you need, when you need it. Micro data centres can more easily be “stepped and repeated” to accommodate growth in IT gear as the need for more compute arises. Once fully utilized, another one is deployed in the same facility or in a different facility depending on the availa- ble electrical, space, and bandwidth capacity. Their standardized, prefabricated nature along with smaller kW increments is fundamentally what makes them a highly scalable solution compared to traditional “stick-built”, purpose-built data centres.
Speed of deployment
Some businesses encounter situations where they need to deploy a computing solution quickly. Since micro data centres are a complete physical infrastructure solution (including the IT gear and, sometimes, the software), it becomes feasible to significantly decrease a project timeline compared to a traditional data centre or server room.
This is because micro data centres eliminate the need to design, specify, procure, and integrate a group of disparate components. The speed with which you can deploy a micro data center is strongly dependent on how standardized it is. The more standardized the micro data centre, the more likely it is to be a stocked item.
In general, the reliability of a data centre is undermined by the extent to which its critical systems are customized. This is why a standard-model vehicle, is more reliable and less costly than a custom-built, one-off vehicle. While larger data centres could be standardized, it’s much easier and practical to standardize smaller ones. This is a key reliability advantage of micro data centres.
Outsourcing to the cloud and colocation
CIOs who decide to move their IT gear from on-premises data centres to collocation facilities, or who decide to outsource applications to cloud providers, are still left with a certain amount of IT gear in corporate and branch offices. Micro data centres are ideal in these cases to support this IT gear because of their small footprint and ability to be placed in an open office area. This allows the existing data centre or server room space to be converted to office space, or leased out.
Capital cost advantages
The biggest capital expense advantage that micro data centres have over building a traditional centralized data centre, is that they can typically run off of a building’s existing physical infrastructure. In many cases, existing buildings have spare power capacity to support a micro data centre both from utility and emergency generator power. In other words, micro data centres can utilise the“sunk costs” infacility power (e.g. switchgear), cooling (e.g. chillers), and core and shell construction, making it less capital intensive than building a new data centre.
The benefits of distributing micro data centres are that they scale as needed, reduce computing latency, and reduce the risk of bringing down the entire data centre operation (i.e. reduce single points of failure). Similar to a distributed IT architecture, if more capacity is needed in the future, another micro data centre is added. Standardizing these micro data centres results in further benefits including reduced deployment time, simplified management, and lower maintenance and capital costs.
Schneider Electric’s SmartBunker FX is a Micro Data Centre infrastructure solution within a secure, insulated and rugged enclosure. Each unit contains UPS, power distribution, active cooling, environmental sensors and remote management software to provide a plug & play solution for easy and secure deployment of your it equipment. Additional options such as fire suppression, industrial cooling, and biometric security allow for increased protection of critical systems.
For more information on Micro Data Centre Solutions contact a member of our team today. Call: 01252 692559 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have 9 UK data centres and Source UPS are our preferred supplier for infrastructure. Their advice is always valuable and well considered. I would strongly recommend Source UPS.