Enterprise Edge Computing Challenges and Opportunity

 Each Enterprise Edge computing use-case type (Different Flavors of Edge Computing) presents different challenges and opportunities. As mission critical applications and data are spread to the Edge it introduces scale and performance challenges requiring Edge solutions to function efficiently and reliably no matter how many Edge instances a client introduces. Each Edge computing use-case has its own unique challenges and opportunities, but the following are, to varying degrees, common to each Edge computing type. 

Scale

  • Challenges: The number and distribution of Edge computing locations makes administration, monitoring, data management, security, status understanding and visualization of the Edge a challenge both technically and organizationally.  
  • Opportunity: New intelligent software architectures are needed that holistically manage highly distributed heterogeneous environments, accomplished by collecting, unifying and processing data from a wide range of sources. This management abstracted layer delivers simplified ‘low touch’ monitoring and administration to eliminate the need for human interaction. 

Performance

  • Challenges: Monitoring and managing the Edge performance to/from the consumer/end-point and to/from the Edge to the cloud/data center. 
  • Opportunity: Technology providing an end-to-end view, internal to, and to/from the Edge. This includes transactional performance to the end-point, the data flow from the Edge to the Cloud / Data Center and the performance of the data repositories in all locations. 

Control

  • Challenges: Edge locations run ‘lights out’ resulting in challenges to manage physical access, control IT equipment, manage the environment (power/cooling), track equipment and assess, isolate and remediate issues especially when the network is impacted or unavailable. 
  • Opportunity: Motion detection with low/no touch technology providing a holistic view and control of the Edge infrastructure environment and computer equipment that can function, at acceptable levels, even when there’s an impact on the power and network.

Security

  • Challenges: Aspects of control (access), and all areas of access, threat and data security.
  • Opportunity:  Security solutions providing a unified view of physical, network, access and data, with automated responses or a security service that provides ‘total’ security without needing the client’s involvement. 

Organization

  • Challenges: Managing Edge, the same way as a traditional data center with different teams responsible for ‘slices’ of the infrastructure creates significant inefficiencies in respect to support, costs, skills, resources and business availability. 
  • Opportunity: Technology that views the Edge holistically, consolidates and unifies data from multiple sources, turning data into information that is relevant to multiple roles. Providing mechanisms for collaboration and information sharing ensuring everyone responsible for the Edge is aware of Edge state. Advanced correlation, AI and analytics used to make information actionable and support automated activities.  

Heterogeneity 

  • Challenges: Infrastructure diversity (different IT and environment equipment) creates fragmented visualization, control and management resulting in high costs (including: skills, resources, resolution time) and the creation of Edge equipment ‘silo’s’.  Complexity will increase exponentially with every custom Edge location added. 
  • Opportunity: Technology is required that views, manages, monitors and processes data from multiple Edge sources providing holistic Edge management without creating equipment or domain silos. Accomplished with products that manage ‘above’ the individual Edge components, integrating, abstracting, processing data, irrespective of what equipment is used. This allows enterprises to choose equipment from multiple vendors without impeding the business or Edge efficiency. The technology allows enterprises to change without impact, evaluate and compare different vendors equipment, have the information to negotiate price and support and avoid vendor ‘lock-in’. 

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