How Edge Computing Is Changing The Future of Data Centers

Edge computing is rapidly advancing and becoming increasingly sophisticated. As it continues to evolve, it’s set to have a significant impact on data centers. Let’s take a closer look at five noteworthy trends on the horizon:

Data Centers Transform into Dedicated 5G Providers for Enterprises

When we talk about edge computing, it’s impossible to ignore its close relationship with the 5G network. Edge computing plays a crucial role in supporting data-intensive applications like artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). With the advent of 5G, these technologies are poised for even greater heights.

Engineers are currently hard at work integrating telecommunications capabilities into edge data centers. In the not-so-distant future, we might witness these facilities becoming dedicated 5G providers for businesses. This solution could empower telecommunications providers to embed data centers into customer-facing cloud environments by leveraging technologies like Kubernetes containers. This could also open the door for enterprises to offer personalized 5G access to their employees and guests.

Growing Computing Demands Fuel the Need for Mobile Data Centers

Edge computing brings data processing closer to the source, reducing the distance information needs to travel. Much like how Wi-Fi beamforming enhances the user experience with stronger, faster, and longer-range signals, edge computing delivers better performance through reduced latency. Some companies are even exploring the concept of mobile data centers to bring computing closer to users.

These mobile data centers typically fit into shipping containers or are compact enough to be towed on trailers. While data center providers strategically select their locations, they can’t always be where their customers need them. Mobile data centers could step in, particularly for large-scale events like the Olympics or the Super Bowl, where technology-driven experiences and interactive apps are the norms. They could also address connectivity challenges in remote areas.

Tackling Growing Infrastructure Demands with Edge Computing

Many companies adopting increasingly resource-intensive computing applications soon realize that their existing data center infrastructure falls short. Here, edge computing comes to the rescue, offering a solution to current and anticipated challenges. Edge computing achieves “cloud offload” by reducing the network traffic traveling to and from the cloud.

With edge computing, businesses can extract value from data faster as it’s processed closer to its source. Additionally, companies have the option to reduce data size before sending it to the cloud. These advantages make a compelling case for relying on edge infrastructure, particularly when traditional data centers are stretched to their limits.

Edge Computing Aligns with Sustainability Goals

Alan Conboy of Scale Computing highlights how technologies like edge computing can significantly reduce the environmental footprint of IT operations. With compact “data center in a box” solutions that consume less power for operation and cooling than a single refrigerator, businesses can enhance their green efficiencies. Collectively, these small changes can lead to substantial environmental benefits. Mobile edge data centers, in particular, hold promise in supporting corporate sustainability objectives.

Robotic Security Guards for Edge Data Centers

Advancements in AI and the IoT have diminished the need for extensive human staffing within data centers. While humans still play a role in daily operations, their involvement often revolves around confirming recommendations made by advanced management platforms. In this context, Switch, a technology infrastructure specialist, is exploring the deployment of robots to patrol edge data centers and other mission-critical facilities.

These robots boast features like bullet-resistant exteriors and night-vision capabilities, making them ideal for perimeter security. Their presence could prove invaluable, especially as some data center providers are moving towards smaller on-site teams. Robots can swiftly detect and report issues, prompting human intervention when necessary.

Connecting the Dots

The relationship between data centers and edge computing is a recurring theme in discussions about the future of technology. This overview of emerging trends sheds light on why these two topics are so closely intertwined. One thing is clear: analysts and tech enthusiasts should closely monitor these developments, as they often shape and influence each other.