Companies need a quick and simple solution to establish new data centers directly where the data is generated because the digital transformation is increasing the amount of data to be managed. The best solution is presented by modular edge data centers. The retail example reveals how processes that use data can optimize points of sale, and why this forces the existence of decentralized computing resources.
The edge data centers are computer systems that act in a decentralized manner and offer computing power wherever the data originates directly. They are continuously located to the sources of the data, which helps, exceptionally, to rapid initial treatment of the data. Besides, they are linked to data centers in the cloud for further processing. The software in connected data centers uses this data in real-time to perform analyses that need a lot of computing power.
More frequently, data is key to face-to-face stores.
The extra computing power allows organizations to evaluate data related to customer behavior and plan the use of resources more quickly and accurately. For example, a company can compare the sales of its national branches using social platform surveys to find out trends. In this way, when customers enter an establishment, they, as long as they have previously consented, can be identified through their smartphones to obtain offers specially designed for them. To do this, you also need a computer system that offers a live response and can access huge amounts of data.
In general, edge data centers help companies to analyze all customer data so sales can be optimized. They can intelligently connect subsidiaries between them that are distributed worldwide with regional warehouses and a nuclear data center so that the availability of items at the point of sale (POS) is optimal.
Companies can, in this way, make use of the intelligently interconnected edge computing to increase the availability of items, optimize logistics and use customer preferences to regularly improve the presentation of products in the POS, by putting an example. The continuous and rapid availability of data obtained through edge computing allows you to manage customer behavior more effectively. If required, it could also be done once every 24 hours, based on live data.
Business managers can also use the extra computing power and track live supplies to optimize the management of their supply chain. In this case, long-term analyses help identify sales patterns to alert well in advance when some items are immersed in bottlenecks. Without predictive analyses of this nature, there is a risk that customers will switch to the competition because they do not find what they are looking for.
Computer infrastructure connected in the POS
Merchants carry out the installation of sensors connected or use cameras to examine movement patterns to inspect stocks and customers. This is generating an Internet of Things (IoT) that uses a significant volume of sensors and data sources to create a continuous data flow. Retail chains use sensors, for example, to identify shelf locations where an item has more output. This also takes into account the development of the supply chain, to the point where an establishment automatically reorganizes new items. In a few years, organizations that will use edge data centers will be seen more frequently to propagate the essential IT infrastructure in the POS. According to the IDC consultancy, edge computer systems could manage and examine 40% of IoT data for the entire industry in 2019.
What kinds of edge data centers are available to companies?
The edge server colocation is configured so that companies can adjust as they want and require using pre-configured and standardized modules. The air conditioning control and power supply modules, stable racks and robust safety components are already coordinated. This is key in places that do not have a specific concept of building safety, such as access controls or waterproof cameras. If the dust, dirt or moisture have setbacks at the site (for example, because industrial production is carried out in the same place), the racks would have to have a high protection category, such as IP 55.
The system’s edge comes in a wide range of cooling capacities depending on demand and application area. Edge gateway systems, for example, consolidate data directly on the site and then begin transferring to data centers in the cloud at the next stage of the chain. However, preliminary examinations can also be carried out near the data source. For example, more modest systems in commercial establishments can do tasks such as adding sensor data in a department store, a supermarket or a shopping center at the beginning, while powerful edge data centers can also be used to significantly increase the computing power at the location that corresponds to it. The latter can be sued if merchants want to provide their customers with ready-made presentations of their products that are based on virtual reality and augmented reality.
The technology used in these types of cutting-edge designs can vary considerably: from a basic service rack to a rack with special security with an extra cover that acts as protection. If more power is required, the response must be a high-performance edge data center that focuses on a modular data center in a container format with protection against fire and weather changes. The installation of such a solution is carried out in the immediate environment of the location where the data is produced, both inside and outside the building. The output power it supports is up to 35 kW per rack with the appropriate cooling technology.
The steel walls of the computer containers make them characterized by great stability and safety. The outstanding mobility of these also contributes to their flexibility. A fact that means that the installation of data centers with a lot of power can be done anywhere, either in the domains of the same company or in a warehouse.
The configuration conditioned by demand
The first thing to do is to specify the business objectives that are associated if the edge systems are used to increase the power of local computing. Technicians with proven experience in the field and computer experts make use of this information to establish the required software. After this, it can establish the configuration of an edge data center based on this list of demands. A set of criteria must be considered during this procedure. For example, edge systems must be able to be used simply and quickly to comply with technical demands immediately. When the manufacturer provides a turnkey system and is ready to be used with refrigeration technology in which only a connection to the power supply and network technology is required, we are in front of the perfect scenario.
To reduce operating costs to a minimum, the edge system has to work automatically and, as a rule, should not demand maintenance. This necessitates complete supervision that covers power, cooling and fire detection and extinction. Various factors such as location and fault protection required by the system determine the protection that is needed. It is also key to use a monitoring system that covers the doors of the rack and the sides. The extra benefit of the electronic closure system is to identify which personnel has accessed the system and at what time. Throughout maintenance that is carried out remotely or in emergencies, the system may have to be shut down completely. This means that an interruption of the power supply will have to be carried out.
Edge improves security
The installation of the edge server colocation is carried out behind two access doors in compliance with the highest security requirements. A security room of this class provides the highest protection to protect the system from fire or a heavily polluted environment. In outdoor spaces, it must also be ensured that the protection supports reliable computing operation in a wide range of temperatures; from -20 ° C to + 45 ° C, for example.
The Email Shop is one of the suppliers that have deployed a modular concept for these variable demands. Companies can use this system by modules and assemble the perfect solution for their requirements. When looking for a solution, The Email Shop addresses the issue globally and works with partners such as ABB, HPE, IBM and the German cloud service provider in NOVO. This allows customers to get the services they demand from a single source. The edge system that is obtained as a result, predefined, standardized and all-in-one, can be extended with active computer components and “as a service” options in a turnkey solution. The retail sector and commercial establishments may, in this way, use data that is constantly updated so that the customer experience is optimal and can make it faithful over a long period.