5 Things to Know Before Going to the "Edge"

FrankYang-headshot Frank Yang May 9, 2018

Checklist 360x203Our society loves lists. Grocery, honey-do, laundry lists. They keep us focused and organized, and research shows that if you write something down, you’re more likely to remember it later on. After my previous blog “CommScope Definitions: What is Edge Computing,” I thought it would be good to make a list for you to further consider your edge data center.

To help plan, here are the five things to know to “get to the edge:”

1.Location: Customer experience with latency is a primary factor to site placement. The edge data center should be placed at the location that helps reduce traffic to the centralized data center in the cloud. Since data is stored on the site, regulatory compliance must be considered during site selection.

2.Power: Power redundancy typically is a “must-have” for traditional data centers. For edge data centers, redundant power grid feeds may or may not be available or too costly to have. Edge data center power systems may have to leverage existing power systems.

CLICK TO TWEET:What kind of lists do you like? We just made one for an edge data center.

3.Heating and Cooling: Cooling is a key consideration for traditional data centers. For edge data centers, heating must be considered for some climate scenarios. Edge data centers may need to re-purpose existing cooling systems. Cooling design options may be limited.

4.Design: Edge data centers can be placed in various environments, including untrusted environments. Can the edge facility be secured and made safe from lightning or floods, for example? Are they requirements for remote provisioning and management? These variables can impact the physical design.

5.Physical Layer Infrastructure: The edge data center connects users, devices and/or machines and “bring masses of data from edge inward” to the core within the required latency. Connectivity resiliency in both directions is important. With the expectation of explosive data growth at the edge, it’s recommended to provision enough connectivity and bandwidth for future proofing.

If planners can check these five “boxes,” they’re well on their way to a successful edge data center. And there’s obviously a lot more detail to these items. The full checklist can be found here. In the meantime, what else should data center planners be looking for?

About the Author


Frank Yang

Frank Yang is manager, Market Strategy Development, for the ISP Fiber business unit of CommScope. Frank leads the market strategy development for data center, central office and enterprise campus markets. Prior to CommScope, Yang worked at Dell and was responsible for server hardware development. He serves as Marketing Chair for Next Generation Enterprise Cabling Subcommittee of Ethernet Alliance. He received a Master of Electrical Engineering from Texas Tech University, and has several patents, articles, white papers and publications under his name. Frank is a frequent speaker at various global and national level opportunities, for example, Data Center Summit, Ethernet Technology Summit, OFC conference, the Ethernet Alliance’s Technology Exploration Forum, Cable Installation and Maintenance (CI&M) Webinars, BICSI conference, etc. Frank holds CloudU, Cisco Certified Network Design Professional (CCDP) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certificates.