A new Black & Veatch white paper examines the emerging deployment of edge computing and its impacts on data center infrastructure planning. Developed in partnership with DCD (formerly DatacenterDynamics), the white paper analyzes drivers, use cases, and strategies to prepare for the edge computing evolution.

With edge computing, data is processed where it is first generated — closer to the edge of the network and away from the hyperscale computing, memory and storage core, or cloud. The emergence of edge stems from advances in data processing, analytics and networks. Coupled with the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, mobile technologies and machine learning, these applications can enhance customer experience and present new avenues for revenue generation. However, to realize these benefits, networks will need to be designed accordingly.

“We have created such a considerable volume of data, and that led to the shift towards the cloud for batch and data processing. Edge computing can supplement data center capabilities by providing more of a peer-to-peer network — a more direct way to share and store data to cope with the rise in devices and optimize information transfer across networks,” said Brad Hardin, Black & Veatch’s chief technology officer.

Edge technology will be an important component of smart infrastructure as it combines embedded sources of data collection to a network backbone. This network will be able to make data-based decisions locally and in real-time, but will require holistic planning to prevent the emergence of disparate systems. The paper features recommendations for developing smart, scalable, data center infrastructure, and analyses of solutions based on geographic location and network requirements.

“There is an emerging consensus that the design of edge computing units will be modular. This trend will affect data center design given that edge information technology needs to operate from integrated software definitions and protocols,” said Rob Nash-Boulden, director of Data Center Strategy for Black & Veatch.

“We found that interest in edge increased by 50% in the last year. However the significance of edge to an organization depends on how much they outsource data hosting/processing needs. Understanding this correlation is critical for data center operators,” said George Rockett, chief executive officer, DCD.

The paper can be downloaded for free here.