Edge Computing Innovation of the Year
Schneider Electric 6U Wall Mount EcoStruxure Micro Data Center is the industry’s first wall mounted edge computing solution, allowing customers to deploy pre-integrated, secure and resilient computing infrastructure at any location quickly and predictably.
The 6U Wall Mount Micro Data Center comprises a single-rack enclosure with built-in remote monitoring and management services, physical security, UPS, power distribution and cooling. It adheres to industry standards, allowing customised solutions, featuring best of breed technologies, to be assembled in support of edge applications. It meets the challenges of connectivity, speed of deployment and space constraints, with simplified installation across remote and distributed locations, including retail, manufacturing, automotive and Telco environments.
Taking up zero floor space, and 60% less intrusive than traditional rack enclosures, it can be installed with a minimum of disruption to existing IT operations. It comes with shock-resistant packaging, integrated dust filters and fan ventilation making it a versatile solution for distrubuted locations including light industrial environments.
The solution is pre-tested and interoperable with IT vendor products including Scale Computing’s HC3 Edge for retail and Cisco HyperFlex. With greater interoperability between the IT and physical infrastructure, customers can specify their system utilizing components from different vendors with the reassurance it will work predictably from the moment it is operational. Hyperconverged solutions, such as HyperFlex with 6U, reduce time to market by 50% and engineering costs by 35%.
Built-in UPS and cooling ensures that the IT and networking will operate reliably regardless of changing power or environmental conditions. Making use of the same IoT technology it exists to support all components contain network enabled sensors that facilitate remote management.
Schneider Electric’s next generation data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) software, EcoStruxure IT, enables 24/7 remote monitoring and management from any location at any time. This is crucial for edge deployments that lack permanent IT staff on site. Included in EcoStruxure IT is a new Device Security Vulnerability Assessment, which helps customers identify and report vulnerabilities, prevent risks and comply with best-practice security policies and regulations.
Overall, it allows organisations to respond rapidly to new business opportunities, deploying IT resource to any location where it will operate efficiently, securely and be monitored or managed remotely. In this way, high-quality digital services can be assured in locations where permanent IT staff may not be available, with service and maintenance being managed via cloud-based software with support staff being able to react quickly, as needed.
Schneider Electric’s experience is that successful edge computing strategies rely on three key elements: standardisation and efficiency of products and deployment methodologies; a high degree of physical and cybersecurity; and sophisticated remote management capabilities. In a survey carried out by analyst firm Canalys in 2018, between 70% and 90% of respondents rated each of these as important factors.
The 6U Wall Mount is based around industry standards to facilitate the integration of customised solutions comprising best-of-breed combinations of compute, networking and UPS elements from multiple vendors. The small form factor and wall-mounted nature of the enclosure, as well as the robust packaging and built-in filtering features, allow simple installation in space-constrained locations such as those typically found in edge computing environments.
To defend against cyberattacks, suffered annually by an estimated 61 percent of small and medium businesses,* the 6U Wall Mount comes with Schneider Electric’s Device Security Vulnerability Assessment software built in. It includes assessment of all Schneider Electric connected devices with updates to expand vendor-neutral capabilities.
The software reduces the risk of a security breach and saves time by helping users determine threats and engage in preventive measures before damage is incurred. Specifically, it helps customers identify and report vulnerabilities, prevent risks, comply with security policies and regulations, and understand the industry best-practices for security.
Remote monitoring and management are provided by Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure IT and Asset Advisor next-generation DCIM software. This cloud-based software allows any connected edge installation to be managed remotely from a central console to overcome the need for skilled IT personnel to be permanently located on site.
The software constantly monitors both IT and infrastructure elements respond to status alarms, schedules routine maintenance and deploys remote service personnel using mobile access devices to attend any problems. EcoStruxure IT also makes use of data analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to identify trends, proactively anticipate end-of-life issues and schedule updates in an efficient manner, thereby improving the systems reliability and reducing the total operating costs of all edge installations.
With IDC expecting that 80bn devices will be connected to the Internet by 2025, the need for edge data centres will only accelerate to meet the demands of servicing a wide array of innovative digital services based on IoT technology. The reliability, security and flexibility of edge computing solutions such as 6U Wall Mount EcoStruxure Micro Data Center will be crucial in fulfilling those needs.
It is truly an innovative solution, allowing customers to rapidly deploy edge computing solutions in space-constrained locations, with the peace of mind that the system will keep business critical applications online,