*This article summarizes key points from the eBook Edge Computing Demands New Approaches to Server Design, Deployment, and Support.

Edge computing is on the rise, and organizations like the Linux Foundation expect businesses to spend more than $700 billion in edge-related capital investments over the next decade. However, the impact of those investments can be enhanced or stunted by the level of care that businesses devote during the planning stage.

Some may be tempted to simply purchase high-performance components like CPUs hoping that this will increase overall performance. However, buying the most high-end products with no thought to compatibility is a recipe for disaster. To get the best balance of performance, energy usage, and cost, businesses must build machines that are purpose-built and have all their components working together harmoniously.

For maximum performance, businesses must consider all stages of server design, deployment, and support. Let’s briefly look at a few of the challenges businesses may face when investing in edge computing.

Achieve Harmonious Server Design and Optimization

Computing has changed dramatically over the last decade, and latency continues to become a higher priority in many sectors. Think of streaming, whether that be for gaming, television, or sports. For these use cases, data has a half-life of mere seconds, making the impacts of poor latency even more dramatic. This means that streaming data must be used on the fly to maintain its value. Traditional server infrastructure doesn’t suit these use cases as it’s built with storage density in mind instead of speed.

The key to great server design is balance. Consider four of the main server components: CPUs, storage, networking, and the system bus. Theoretically, the more powerful components used should result in better performance, but that’s not the case when parts are matched up incorrectly. For example, a network interface card that’s too fast for the other components is a waste of money as you will never use it to its full potential.

Additionally, differing use cases can affect your component decisions. Consider the system bus, which supports communication between the CPU, memory, storage, and networking interface. In I/O intensive situations, a multi-bus solution is usually a better choice than a single high-performance internal bus. However, when performance requirements are lower, a single bus setup will decrease costs and simplify hardware maintenance. Therefore, teams must ensure that hardware works together harmoniously and matches each specific use case to get the benefits that come from fully optimized edge hardware.

Aim for Sustainable Deployment and Support

IT staff training a new employee on server maintenance.

Deploying the hardware and maintaining it across its lifespan can be much more challenging than developing and building the product in the first place. This is because businesses must consider logistics, training, repair difficulty, and documentation, among other things.

Business leaders should design for simplicity and remote manageability. This is especially important since edge servers are widely dispersed and are often housed in shared facilities, many of which may not have dedicated support staff. By designing hardware in a modular way, it’s possible to streamline training across the organization and catalog troubleshooting results for easier issue resolution in the future.

Prepare for the Future of Edge Today

Cloud, fog and edge computing will continue to become more intertwined as modern computing evolves. Now is the time to prepare your organization for the future of computing. Server design, deployment, and support are just a few of the factors business leaders should consider protecting their edge computing investment. Download the full eBook to learn more about how you can plan, deploy, and maintain your edge infrastructure.

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