Edge computing is the key to keeping up with user needs. Technology requirements for media, deep learning, and gaming continue to expand. That’s why organizations continue to pour more money into their edge infrastructure. IDC expects edge computing spending to top $176 billion in 2022, representing an increase of nearly 15% over the previous year.
The point is that edge computing is both an investment necessity and an opportunity to gain a leg up. This is why many organizations believe that business longevity depends on their ability to meet customer demands at the edge. However, deploying edge infrastructure is a major undertaking. So we wanted to share five tips for a well-rounded edge server strategy.
1. Make Hardware Repeatable and Predictable
Edge hardware is heterogeneous by nature since customer needs and wants vary by region, industry, and use case. Even so, consistency is the key to successfully deploying and managing your edge infrastructure. How can you create consistency in this environment?
Think about deploying devices at scale. While you may not be able to narrow edge hardware down to a single model, you can likely choose a handful of standard designs that fit your use cases. Creating consistency will make maintenance and support more feasible as you deploy hundreds of edge devices.
2. Think About Your Software Needs at Scale
Consistency with hardware will facilitate software management. Using disparate dashboards for separate nodes is impractical and undoable at scale. Since your hardware is dispersed, you need a centralized dashboard that is adaptable and extendable. These capabilities will facilitate growth at the edge. The last thing you want is to invest in new software every time your organization experiences growth. Your management solution needs to:
- Manage a large number of devices
- Be configurable and extendable for future growth
- Let you manage security across edge devices
3. Create a Fully-Integrated Security Strategy
Security cannot be an afterthought. An unfortunate side effect of leveraging an edge strategy is that you’ll increase your network’s attack surface. So, security at the edge needs to be just as robust as in the data center. Thankfully, when done correctly, you have the added security of separate nodes that can be isolated from your system during an attack.
A strong security solution will leverage endpoint security for all of your nodes — protecting them from known threats using a constantly updated security database in the cloud and actively searching out new threats using AI capabilities.
4. Allow Your Strategy To Be Agile
Edge infrastructure will vary more than traditional data center architecture. To create a successful strategy, you need room for flexibility. We’ve discussed practical ways you can make hardware more flexible while keeping consistency. But the biggest challenge can be changing mindsets. It’s easy to get hung up on traditional server designs and try to force these to work for your edge needs. Doing so will only create inefficiencies and raise costs. By being open to new strategies and system architectures, you’ll make your business more resilient.
5. Use Change Management To Improve Adoption
Changes at the edge will impact your people. IT managers must use change management techniques to help employees embrace changes and give them the training they need. This management is essential to maintaining proper security and ensuring that new technologies don’t cause debilitating operational inefficiencies.
Change management requires leaders to account for all stakeholders, create open feedback channels, and communicate at each stage of the process. If you don’t have leaders that are qualified to manage change, it may be beneficial to bring in an expert to handle the transition.
Your edge server strategy involves more than hardware. Your people, software solutions, security concerns, and business goals must also be aligned. Despite the work, there are solid reasons to move forward with edge infrastructure.
Modern Computing Is on the Move
If you want to boost your organization’s computing capabilities, you need to be present at the edge. Most industries are focusing their efforts there to improve data storage, processing, and analytics capabilities. They are keenly interested in using big data to extract business insights, and the faster they can do this, the more valuable those insights are. So, how do you go about harnessing edge computing?
Bringing in an expert is better than going at it alone when it comes to edge computing. An expert business partner that understands the intricacies of edge computing can help you remove hurdles before they become a problem.
Hurdles like design, deployment, maintenance, and support at the edge are what Intequus specializes in. We can help you design and deploy hardware solutions that are repeatable and robust. And our extensive experience in program management allows us to support and maintain that hardware across the globe. If you want to strategize your edge deployment, let’s talk. We’ll help you create a plan that aligns your goals and company resources.