What is an Edge Computing Data Center?

In our first article, What’s the Big Deal with Edge Computing Data Centers?, we describe how edge computing data centers can cut down distance and speed up processing by moving data centers closer to end users to efficiently deliver information. This is in contrast to centralized data centers that are often located thousands of miles away from end users.

How Edge Computing Works

The following diagram illustrates the various layers and components which comprise an edge computing system, including the various locations of edge data centers and their roles in this system.

As we explore the emerging ecosystem of edge computing, it’s important to understand that a specific location can vary greatly depending on the system requirements. Edge conditions for an internet service provider will look different from a cellular carrier or a financial institution or a hospital system.

Components of Edge Computing

Core – The core refers to the central data centers that many people are familiar with. These can be cloud providers, internet services, carrier primary data centers, or corporate central data centers. The core is where large data processing elements that carry the largest computing power in the system are located.

Aggregation Point – Aggregation Points are intermediary processing locations between the core and the far edge of the system. These become important traffic cops in the system directing, and processing information across the network. Some data is too time sensitive to be processed back at the core, and may require immediate processing either here or back at the far edge. Some data is low priority and only requires long term storage. The importance of this point in the system is its ability to make decisions on prioritization. These locations rely on data analytics (which may involve A.I. or ML) to best route or re-route data properly.

Radio/Access Point – Radio or Access Points are where incoming and outgoing data is first received or last transmitted through the edge system. These locations are also data processing capable, and are part of the larger ecosystem able to recognize important data that requires immediate attention (like on-board data for smart or autonomous vehicles as an example). This data may be hyper-critical to be processed and returned to the user, and may not penetrate the system any further than this initial processing point.

This is the second blog in our series An Edge on the Future: Preparing for the Edge Computing Data Center Surge, where we explore why edge data centers are important, the elements that go into the design of edge data center systems and how they increase the ability to retrieve, send, and process information, and how changes to communications with the development of 5G, gigabit WiFi and the fourth industrial revolution are affecting how these systems will function.

Current Events Impacting Your Tech Needs?

As our dependence on virtual communication and collaboration has greatly increased, our reliance on many of the systems highlighted in this blog has been catapulted to the forefront of our daily lives. If your organization or company is seeking advice on how to roll-out, maintain, or upgrade your edge system, we have the experience and expertise to provide support or guidance.

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