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Engineering Partnerships Offer The Best Of Both Worlds

Historically, Cloud service providers have had only two hardware options when implementing edge compute solutions for their applications.

The first option is to buy a product designed and sold by a commercial off the shelf (COTS) vendor. The second? Design a custom product with the Cloud service provider’s own engineering team.

Each option misses the mark in certain aspects, which is why Intequus has created a third option: Joint Solution Development (JSD).

Read on to learn about the limitations of COTS and in-house custom products, and how Intequus JSD can give you the best design and service at competitive prices.

COTS products mean no customization

An off-the-shelf solution from a COTS manufacturer can be inexpensive and quick-to-market.

If a cloud service provider can find a COTS solution that aligns with their specific requirements,
development time may be as short as a few days instead of a few months. This could be a good solution for initial beta-testing in an R&D environment or a product that does not require a unique feature set.

However, for edge use cases like a CDN, narrow component selection and lack of customization can result in imbalanced input/output (I/O). I/O imbalance leads to poorer throughput as well as shorter hardware lifespan. (For more information on optimizing your hardware check out How Custom Engineering Improves Edge Server Performance.)

A COTS manufacturer may likewise not offer the exact components that an edge application needs, or may have additional unnecessary components. To achieve the best performance, the hardware solution needs to be engineered according to the needs of the application. COTS suppliers also tend to have reduced post-sale service and support, which could present the cloud service provider with customer service or warranty challenges in the future.

In-house custom designs are costly

A Cloud service provider can design its own fully customized product to be built by a contract manufacturer.

In this scenario, the Cloud service provider undertakes all of the development activities and provides the specifications for the product to maximize application performance. This path requires a large investment of engineering resources and can be time-and-cost-intensive.

Depending on the specific product requirements, this approach could require multiple engineers full-time over multiple months. Each iteration of the design or requirements would require additional material purchases and additional time for testing.

A custom in-house design is a viable option if the Cloud service provider has a full complement of engineering resources with plenty of capacity, the necessary expertise, and a large budget to manage all aspects of product and system development from ideation through the handoff to production.

When should organizations choose Joint Solution Development?

If a Cloud service provider has specific needs that are not being met by a COTS supplier or a custom solution costs too much and takes too long, Intequus offers a third, proprietary option called Joint Solution Development.

This is a collaborative approach to designing edge solutions that leverages the strengths of both the cloud service provider and its technology partner. The resulting custom hardware offers the best features of COTS and in-house design options.

During the development process, the expertise, activities, and resources are shared between the Cloud service provider and Intequus in order to achieve the best outcome. Joint Solution Development hinges on the combined knowledge and skillsets of both organizations to maximize speed to market, customization, and reduce overhead cost.

Intequus full-service custom manufacturing relies on direct relationships with component manufacturers, a solutions lab for testing, and expert engineers in all disciplines of compute technology. The resulting solution is faster to market and more cost-effective than an in-house solution while meeting all of the requirements and giving the customer control over the design. Intequus custom engineering is also backed by Program and Lifecycle Management programs that support even the largest organizations.

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Want to learn more about Intequus Joint Solution Development? See our white paper, Joint Solution Development: A Superior Approach To Designing Cloud Hardware Solutions. Or, contact us at info@intequus.com.

About Intequus

Intequus is the only turnkey edge infrastructure provider with 30 years of custom hardware engineering experience. Our global logistics, continuous program management, and unparalleled lifecycle support simplify scaled hardware initiatives and ensure fast, reliable service for your users. By handling every stage of your edge hardware needs, Intequus ensures that you can stay focused on your business and your customers.