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Data Centers on the Edge – News of the Week, 5/12/17

Posted by Anthea Strezze on May 12, 2017 10:43:01 AM
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Unsplash_3doqwdctgsm-paz-arando_1200crop_squaredetail.jpgWhat does “edge data center” mean to you? Looking at the first two articles today, I would say it’s any concentration of networking capacity located according to where it’s needed, no matter how challenging it is to accomplish it. That means an edge data center can be as small as a rolling suitcase, or as big as it needs to be. What matters is bringing that computing power closer to where it’s needed, so that availability is no longer impacted by latency or unreliable infrastructure.

American Red Cross to get Portable Edge Data Centers 

Datacenter Dynamics | Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox reports on the new portable technology kits that are being built for the American Red Cross to provide on-the-spot LTE wireless, onboard compute and a three node cluster. Essentially, each PTK is a portable edge data center, and they will enable staff to coordinate and log blood donations and transfusions, with IoT tagging of all blood units from donation point to receiver. These new kits will ensure that the Red Cross has the technical tools they need to manage disaster response and donation drives efficiently, regardless of the infrastructure damage a disaster might also have caused.

Finding New Data Center Frontiers 

Datacenter Dynamics | While they might not be “edge data centers” in the general way, Sebastian Moss shares the interesting challenges of building data centers on (or beyond) the “edges” of established technological infrastructure. Countries such as Chad, Angola, the Ivory Coast and Papau New Guinea offer a whole new set of challenges to anyone trying to build and maintain a data center. From insects to earthquakes to unreliable power grids, data center set-up in emerging markets pushes the edges of ruggedized technology and creative problem solving.

The Fat New Pipes that Link Facebook Data Centers 

Data Center Knowledge | It’s not exactly an edge, but I thought this article from Yevgeniy Sverdlik about the latest news from Facebook was interesting. It includes a rather dramatic chart comparing the massive growth in the volume of traffic going between their own data centers, vs. the relatively flat growth in external traffic, such as Internet connections to users. He goes on to discuss the benefits of having separate fiber backbones for internal and external traffic, which include increased security and the ability to optimize protocols.

Next week, Fiber Mountain will be trekking out to Las Vegas to exhibit at Interop ITX. If you’re attending, be sure to visit us at booth #334, and stay tuned for our new product announcement and blog posts during the show!

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Topics: Interop, data center, edge computing