How edge networking and IoT will reshape data centers
The Internet as we have all known it mirrors the design of old #mainframes with dumb terminals: The data path is almost entirely geared toward data coming down the network from a central location. It doesn’t matter if it’s your iPhone or a green text terminal, the fast pipe has always been down, with relatively little data sent up. ADVERTISING The arrival of IoT threatens to turn that on its head. IoT will mean a massive flood of endpoint devices that are not consumers of data, but producers of it, data that must be processed and acted upon. That means sending lots of data back up a narrow pipe to data centers. [ Related: How to plan a software-defined data-center network.] For example, an autonomous car may generate 4TB of data per day, mostly from its sensors, but 96% of that data is what is called true but irrelevant, according to Martin Olsen vice president, global edge and integrated solutions at Vertiv, a data center and cloud computing solutions provider. “It’s that last 4% of what’s not true that is the relevant piece. That’s the data we want to take somewhere else,” he said. So does this mean a massive investment in rearchitecting your network for fatter pipes into the data center? Or can the advent of edge computing take the load off central data centers by doing much of the processing work at the edge of the network? What is edge computing? Edge computing is decentralized data processing specifically designed to handle data generated by the Internet of Things. In many cases, the compute equipment is stored in a physical container or module about the size of a cargo shipping container, and it sits at the base of a cell tower, because that’s where the data is coming from. Edge computing has mostly been to ingest, process, store and send data to cloud systems. It is the edge where the wheat is separated from the chaff and only relevant data is sent up the network. If the 4% Olsen talks about can be processed at the edge of the network rather than in a central data center, it reduces bandwidth needs and allows for faster response than sending it up to the central server for processing. All of the major cloud providers – like @AWS, #Azure or @Google #Compute Engine – offer #IoT services and process what is sent to them. [ Take this mobile device management course from @PluralSight and learn how to secure devices in your company without degrading the user experience. ] In many cases, the edge can perform that processing discard the unneeded data. Since cloud providers charge by how much data they process, it is in the customer’s financial interest to reduce the amount they send up for processing.