Software applications that enable organizations to innovate and grow are often hampered by the infrastructure needed to run them. Go beyond the limitations of traditional architecture and the cloud and let edge computing power your organization with five best practices shared by Scott Loughmiller, Chief Product Officer and co-founder of Scale Computing.
The advancement of software applications that enable organizations to grow and innovate is often hampered by the limitations of the infrastructure needed to run them. Latency issues, organizational challenges, concerns for IT staff, unreliable Internet connectivity, and the increased flow of data across modern networks are straining traditional and cloud-based solutions. Existing infrastructure has proven insufficient to scale to handle new applications and increased data flows. IT leaders across industries are increasingly looking to adopt cutting edge computing solutions that put them in a better position for future success.
In fact, Gartner I recently predicted that enterprise-generated data generated outside of traditional central data centers will grow from 10% to 75% by 2025. Today, the best companies in almost every major industry are turning to edge computing as they look for new and better ways to make it happen. . Improving business processes, access to information and enhancing customer experience. Their causes are varied and abundant. For many organizations, relying on the cloud for critical applications is not even an option. For other organizations, real-time decision making requires having all the data at their disposal to gain or maintain a competitive advantage. But regardless of the use case, advances in software, networking, and hardware have put edge computing at the forefront of infrastructure design as leaders pursued their ambitious digital transformation initiatives.
As stated in the opening sentence of the latest Forrester Research report on The future of edge computingIn the future, software will run everywhere; edge computing is the way it’s going to happen, and it may not all be pretty. While each instance of edge publishing shares common characteristics, each has its own challenges and considerations. Fortunately, many of today’s solutions make implementing edge computing smooth and simple if you keep some best practices in mind.
If you’re thinking about how to leverage edge computing for your organization, but don’t know where to start, consider the following guidelines as you prepare to begin your “journey to the edge”:
1. Mental shift
More than twenty years ago, the “cloud” appeared and forced organizations everywhere to rethink information technology. Today, edge computing is causing a paradigm shift in the way we think about IT services and how they are built and delivered. While the IT teams are busy
Maintaining legacy infrastructure, container-based and cloud-native workloads are continuously added. This increasing architectural complexity is placing a heavy burden on IT teams, which may fall back as companies look to add these new applications. The resulting friction can hinder organizations from implementing new digital capabilities in a timely manner. As such, a more diversified and scalable IT architecture that does not create additional work for already encumbered IT teams is essential to the future growth of companies. Sophisticated, centralized management platform software packaged for non-IT environments allows organizations to run applications anywhere – while also reducing their IT workload. Develop at the speed and scale you want without the constraints of massive infrastructure and overworked or unqualified IT staff.
2. Plan for physical space and equipment requirements
Is there room in your back office for extra storage? Edge users must consider actual equipment size and power needs, access space, security, climate control, cabling, and other requirements. In contrast to the highly structured and monitored environment of the modern data center, edge deployments are not known to standardize. As an edge adopter, you must carefully evaluate all aspects of equipment needs and the environment in which you will be deployed, including noise, fluctuating temperatures, air flow, dust, humidity, and other ambient concerns that may be present in locations such as distributed retail stores, industrial sites, manufacturing lines, or even Ships at sea.
3. Avoid the pitfalls of shipping and installation
Advanced machines and related equipment must be delivered to wherever the workload needs to be run. But sophisticated locations often face unique challenges, such as disparate geographic areas, unfavorable environmental conditions, or a lack of skilled IT personnel available to troubleshoot problems. You should think about the logistics of how to deliver equipment to these locations and configure it ahead of time to avoid wasting time and resources as the deployment progresses. Choosing an edge provider that pre-installs all required components and ships directly to each location will help simplify the rollout process, reduce potential manual configuration errors, enable a true plug-and-play experience for users, and significantly speed up edge deployment.
4. Embrace rapid deployment and scalability
With the Right Edge Provider, installation should be quick and straightforward, with no advanced technical support or additional software downloads required. Solution providers must design the deployment process to move users from opening the box to creating virtual machines and deploying applications with little effort required. Look for solutions that ensure that even non-technical users are able to understand and perform setup, allowing them to follow simple step-by-step instructions – such as assigning IP addresses, entering an authorization code into a cloud-based web console, or allowing peripherals to self-configure. If you’re looking for scalability, edge computing footprints have the ability to scale quickly within and across thousands of sites without having to redesign anything.
5. Automation of monitoring and management
Finally, with computing infrastructure distributed on the edge, you must carefully evaluate how your organization is monitoring and managing everything. Keep in mind that you will not be able to rely on the 24/7 availability of skilled IT resources to troubleshoot and troubleshoot issues that may arise. For this reason, try to avoid physical intrusions on the site and instead look for automated technologies that enable IT personnel to monitor, configure and manage distributed assets remotely from a central location. Using a device configuration process such as Zero-Touch Provisioning (ZTP) that can be automated from a web-based central console eliminates most of the burden on IT administrators when setting up, maintaining or upgrading an edge system and should be used when possible.
As advances in software applications continue to drive business growth and innovation for organizations and data volumes grow exponentially, the infrastructure needed to run these applications is becoming increasingly essential. Legacy and current cloud solutions have been rendered inadequate as companies struggle with bandwidth, latency, security, and personnel limitations. You need an infrastructure in place that can easily handle the rapid growth and diversity of software applications your business depends on. Organizations that have become early adopters of innovative edge computing solutions and follow best practices for implementation are well positioned to succeed in the future.
More on EDGE computing
Image source: Shutterstock