Edge computing is the practice of processing data closer to where it is generated, rather than sending it to a centralised cloud or data centre. Edge computing can offer many benefits, such as:
However, edge computing also poses many challenges, such as:
To overcome these challenges, you need rugged edge servers that can deliver high-performance computing and advanced security in any environment. But how do you choose the best rugged edge servers for your edge computing needs? Here are some factors to consider:
Rugged edge servers come in various form factors, such as rackmount, compact, small, and modular. Depending on your deployment scenario, you may need different form factors to fit into your available space and enclosure. For example, if you need to deploy your servers in a vehicle or a remote site with limited space, you may prefer compact or small servers that are lightweight and mobile. If you need to deploy your servers in a data centre or a rack cabinet, you may opt for rackmount servers that offer more storage and expansion options. If you need to deploy your servers in a modular system that can be easily configured and scaled, you may choose modular blade servers that provide flexibility and efficiency.
Rugged edge servers need to support various applications, such as artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, signals intelligence (SIGINT), and C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance). These applications require high-performance computing with the latest server-class components and technologies, such as:
Rugged edge servers should also offer configuration flexibility and scalability to meet your changing performance needs. For example, you may need to add more memory, storage, or network interfaces to your servers as your data volume or complexity grows. You may also need to upgrade your processors or GPUs to support newer or more demanding applications.
Rugged edge servers need to withstand harsh environmental conditions, such as dust, humidity, temperature extremes, shock, and vibration. These conditions can affect the performance, reliability, and lifespan of your servers. Therefore, rugged edge servers should have advanced thermal and mechanical design features to ensure resiliency and durability in any environment. For example:
Rugged edge servers need to protect your data from current and emerging threats, such as cyberattacks, physical tampering, or unauthorized access. These threats can compromise the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of your data. Therefore, rugged edge servers should have advanced security features to ensure mission resiliency and security in any environment. For example:
To illustrate how rugged edge servers can address the challenges and benefits of edge computing, let us look at a case study of oil rig monitoring. Oil rigs are complex systems that generate large amounts of data from various sensors and devices. This data needs to be processed quickly and securely to support real-time decision-making and optimisation. However, oil rigs are also located in remote and harsh environments that pose many challenges for conventional IT systems.
To overcome these challenges, a leading oil company deployed rugged edge servers on their oil rigs. These servers are compact and small form factor servers that can fit into tight spaces and withstand shock, vibration, extreme temperature, and dust. They support DC power plus NEBS or MIL-STD standards for deployment in various environments. They offer front or rear I/O port access for deployment flexibility.
The rugged edge servers also provide high-performance computing with Intel Xeon processors for parallel computation and accelerator technology for faster decision execution. They include an optional nano server sled that can function as an in-chassis witness node for native 2-node vSAN cluster. They have advanced security features, such as cryptography, secure boot, and physical protection.
By deploying rugged edge servers on their oil rigs, the oil company was able to achieve the following benefits:
Rugged edge servers are essential for edge computing, as they can deliver high-performance computing and advanced security in any environment. When choosing rugged edge servers for your edge computing needs, you should consider factors such as form factor, performance, resiliency, and security. You should also look for case studies or examples of how rugged edge servers have been deployed in similar scenarios to yours. By doing so, you can find the best rugged edge servers that can meet your specific requirements and expectations.