Finding Locations for Edge Data Centers

The edge data center market is enjoying a pleasing development. R&M reports on reasons and trends in its specialist magazine Connections No. 56. Edge data centers bundle and process certain applications, amounts of data and types of data on site. It would be too time-consuming, too expensive and simply too much trouble to process these in a distant cloud and remote hyperscale data centers.

Edge data centers are going to be needed on virtually every corner in the future. And that means market opportunities not only for established operators. Those interested should start reserving locations at the latest from 2019 or start planning and laying FO lines.

  • Even cities, as well as regional utilities and cable network providers, can offer edge services. Or can become co-operation partners of large suppliers and provide infrastructures.
  • Industry, trade, banks, media companies, logistics suppliers or traffic carriers could discover the potential of this market.
  • Real estate dealers will also benefit from attractive possibilities.
  • Wind power plants, solar parks, railway stations, and highway service areas could well have suitable areas or spaces as well as the proximity to fiber optic links.
  • Former enterprise data centers can be repurposed or modernized and used for edge computing.

The proximity or direct connection to fiber optic links and network node points is imperative. Edge data centers need redundant and synchronous fiber optic hyperconnectivity in every direction: to the cloud, to cellular phone networks, to neighboring edges and to the users.

Heeding technical requirements

Looking for and finding the right location is followed by the planning which involves taking a range of technical requirements into consideration. Edge data centers will often have to cope with a lack of space and harsh environmental conditions. They have to be positioned at protected, discreet, dry places.

The following must be planned: interruption-free power supply, fire protection, air-conditioning, cooling, sound protection, dust protection, vibration protection, locking, and access control. What is important is to plan sufficient space for high count fiber cables and cable management. It is also sensible to construct edge data centers which will provide decades of operating time.

Sturdy, low-maintenance micro or container data centers completely equipped for autonomous operation are possible solutions. Ultra-high-density cabling is a must. Cabling and connectivity technology should be designed to be self-explanatory and repair-friendly. Installers and technicians should be able to operate the systems intuitively.

Uncompromising remote monitoring and fully automated infrastructure management can help to guarantee interruption-free operation. Forward-looking solutions will master more than the accurate documentation of the ports and cables or the real-time detection of faults and tampering. They have to be able to be used for the management of access control, working instructions, MAC plans, software, resources, assets and service levels. And danger prevention, predictive maintenance, and cost control are also all desirable features.

R&M solutions for edge data centers

For this purpose, R&M developed the modular, high-density turnkey solution EdgeGo and the fiber optic distribution platform Netscale.

It is very difficult to grip connectors with highly dense cabling. A push-pull mechanism as used by R&M’s Quick Release connector family simplifies patching.

The hardware and software solution R&MinteliPhy helps with automated infrastructure management.

All over the world, R&M experts help in the planning and realization of edge data centers.

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Dr. Thomas Wellinger

By Dr. Thomas Wellinger

Market Manager Data Center