Imagine that your AI team has a major deadline coming up. Just as they are about to test an application, a key server fails. Your team lead is suddenly hit with a sinking feeling. They’re not going to hit their deadline. At that moment, the team’s day and their experience with your hardware are ruined. This example illustrates why hardware lifecycle management standards need to be maintained throughout the life of your equipment.
Creating a plan that covers every phase of the hardware lifecycle is critical to ensuring a hardware failure scenario doesn’t play out for your team or customers. Considering what might go wrong is key to developing a comprehensive strategy.
Edge hardware can break down for a number of reasons. For example, the usage patterns of people and different computing environments play a role in the longevity of equipment. These factors can make planning for hardwares’ end-of-life (EOL) difficult. In these cases, data is your friend. Historical data can tell you how long equipment has lasted in the past, which, when compared to manufacturer specs, can help you come up with realistic replacement dates.
Your plans should also include contingencies for equipment that is functional but no longer has the performance requirements for current applications. Can that equipment be recycled by giving it a new use or sold to recover some of the profits? How will doing either affect the logistics of your operation?
Finally, edge computing presents a unique challenge since hardware design can differ based on the use case. In addition to calculating longevity, edge hardware requires extra planning for coordinating replacement, maintenance, design differences, and EOL disposal.
Customers may be located in different buildings, regions, and even countries. So, your deployment strategy needs to factor in more than location. For example, once the hardware is on-site, how will it be installed? Hardware configuration, network setup, and security requirements all impact installation.
One tip to simplify deployment is to try and standardize configurations as much as possible. Edge computing can make this a challenge since edge devices can range from IoT sensors to high-performance servers. Try establishing default configurations for a range of customer needs so that you can be adaptable and predictable.
Another challenge with edge hardware is providing support for dispersed infrastructure. This is where monitoring is crucial. Remote hardware monitoring will help you anticipate customer and employee needs so that support is in place before complaints start rolling in. Expiring warranties are another red flag that equipment may be getting closer to EOL.
When you dispose of hardware, you have a responsibility to your clients and the environment. Consider strategies that allow you to recycle hardware or dispose of it ethically. Additionally, you need to protect your customers’ data. Hard drives, in particular, need to be disposed of properly to ensure bad actors can’t recover sensitive information, especially in industries like healthcare and finance. By considering the needs of your customers, you’ll prove that your standards are deeper than profits.
Your customers rely on your applications and service. Don’t let hardware be the weak point in your customers’ experience. At Intequus, we help clients deliver edge hardware and manage the entire hardware lifecycle. That way, they can focus on delivering exceptional service instead of managing infrastructure. Do you want to learn how we can help manage your edge infrastructure? Let’s talk.