Standard Models for Edge Infrastructure Deployment Defined by Vertiv Research

Vertiv (NYSE: VRT), a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and business continuity solutions, has released the findings of an in-depth research project to identify edge infrastructure models. These pre-defined models are meant to assist organizations in moving toward a more standardized approach to edge computing deployments, with the goal of reducing costs and shortening deployment times.

Vertiv Research’s report, Edge Archetypes 2.0: Deployment-Ready Edge Infrastructure Models, expands on Vertiv’s edge archetypes research and taxonomy, which was first released to the industry in 2018.

Edge sites are further classified in the new study by characteristics such as location and external environment, number of racks, power needs and availability, site tenancy, passive infrastructure, edge infrastructure supplier, and number of sites to be installed.

  • Device Edge – The compute is located on the end-device itself, either integrated or in a freestanding form that is directly coupled to the device, such as in AR/VR gadgets or smart traffic lights.
  • Micro Edge – A compact, self-contained solution that can be as little as one or two servers or as large as four racks. It can be installed on a company’s own premises or at a telco’s location, with popular applications including real-time inventory monitoring and network closets in educational facilities.
  • Distributed Edge Data Center – This may happen in a data center on-premises (either a pre-existing enterprise data center or network room or a new standalone facility). It might also be a tiny, dispersed data center or colocation facility on a telco network or at a regional location. Manufacturing, telecommunications, healthcare, and smart city applications all use distributed edge data centers.
  • Regional Edge Data Center – A data center facility that is not situated in a major data center hub. Because this is generally a building that is purpose-built to house computing equipment, it shares many characteristics with hyperscale data centers, such as being climate-controlled and regulated, as well as having high security and dependability. This approach is prevalent in retail applications, and it acts as a data processing middleman.

Channel Partners and IT Management Professionals

Three years ago, the emergence of edge archetypes improved our knowledge of the edge. It was the first official attempt to organize edge applications in a way that would assist businesses avoid reinventing the wheel with each edge deployment, based on knowledge gathered from across the industry. Other organizations and industry organizations have been working in parallel – frequently with Vertiv as a collaborator – to develop standard methods and technology to enhance the knowledge and efficacy of the edge since then. These latest forms of edge infrastructure are the natural next step.

“As the edge matures and edge sites proliferate and become more sophisticated, creating edge infrastructure models is a necessary step toward standardized equipment and design that can increase efficiency and reduce costs and deployment timelines,” said Martin Olsen, global vice president, edge strategy and transformation for Vertiv. “Edge sites will continue to require some customization to meet users’ specific needs, but these models streamline many fundamental choices and introduce some much-needed repeatability into edge environments. This research is especially useful for specifiers, such as channel partners, and IT management professionals.”

The Edge Market

Photo Martin Olsen, global vice president, edge strategy and transformation for Vertiv
“As the edge matures and edge sites proliferate and become more sophisticated, creating edge infrastructure models is a necessary step toward standardized equipment and design that can increase efficiency and reduce costs and deployment timelines,” said Martin Olsen, global vice president, edge strategy and transformation for Vertiv.

Edge locations will require modifications based on variables such as environment, use case, legacy equipment, security and maintenance, corporate data center operations, and communications capabilities, according to Vertiv’s study, which was conducted with the help of analyst company STL Partners. However, these modifications are achievable within the context of edge infrastructure models, and they do not negate the models’ standardization benefits.

“By adopting the four infrastructure models, edge players across the ecosystem can derive an array of benefits, including accelerating go-to-market and expediting deployment of sites,” said Dalia Adib, director, consulting and edge computing practice lead, STL Partners. “The edge market is experiencing growth and this can only be bolstered by introducing some level of standardization to the language we use for describing the edge.”

The research also analyzes certain major sectors’ edge infrastructure requirements, such as manufacturing, retail, and telecommunications, and their preferred edge infrastructure solutions. The study includes suggestions for organizations and solution providers implementing edge infrastructure in addition to defining edge infrastructure types.

Vertiv also created an online tool to assist clients, channel partners, and others in determining the best infrastructure model for their applications when planning, selecting, and deploying edge locations. The report and tool are available here.

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