Where critical infrastructure, limited IT staff and availability connect
As corporations grow, they’re finding that their computing infrastructures expand, creating more points of potential failure – none scarier than at the end of the network. For many companies, it’s at this end of the network – or “Edge” – that their most critical operations occur, whether it’s unmanned machinery operating 24/7/365 or an increasing network of users requiring more processing. In most cases this part of the infrastructure has little IT staff on hand to ensure that everything continues to run as planned. This computing at the edge – aka Edge Computing – poses many challenges for industries such as manufacturing, transportation and telecommunication. No challenge is bigger than ensuring that the applications (and servers) are always available for their critical operations to run.
Compute needs for edge computing
There are many levels of availability to consider throughout the infrastructure, but with edge computing, top-shelf high availability solutions, and in many cases, fault-tolerant solutions are the only way to ensure the best results. Edge computing requires multiple levels of compute. While many of a company’s operations can function and remain flexible due to their proximity – or direct connection – to the data centre, applications running at the edge aren’t always able to utilise the compute power and reliability the data centre can provide to help ensure data integrity, analyse the information and deliver suggestions necessary for expected operational efficiencies. The solution that drives edge computing must be able to not only provide the processing power to perform the operation, but also be able to allow the analysis for those that require the data to make improvements on all processes involved. With properly planned edge computing, less data has to travel the network resulting in fewer bottlenecks freeing up the infrastructure to bring more computing power to the end of the web it’s creating.
IT simplicity for edge computing
In addition, the staff (if any) typically found managing the operations where edge computing occurs won’t necessarily possess the level of technical expertise required to fix system failures. Therefore, the servers that run these critical applications must have built-in redundancy to ensure business continuity. Most companies implement some level of disaster recovery planning, but with edge computing recovery might not be an option.
Stratus Technologies ensures availability for edge computing applications
Stratus Technologies is the leader in availability. We’ve pioneered solutions that enable the always-on world to be exactly that – Always-On.
Stratus’ newest solution, ztC Edge, was specifically designed with the edge in mind. It is a virtualised, fully-integrated, self-protecting industrial computing system that can be set up in under 30 minutes. It is the first fully virtualised and self-monitoring edge server that is rugged enough for manufacturing plant floors yet requires little or no IT resources to deploy and maintain. Its ability to manage up to three virtual machines, each running different industrial or IIoT applications, combined with its cloud-based self-monitoring services, allows industrial companies to ensure the availability of business-critical industrial applications in a seamless and cost-effective manner.