Edge Computing and Smart Sensors: The Perfect Fit

Elie Byrne
July 02, 2024

edge-computing-and-smart-sensors-the-perfect-fit - https://cdn.buttercms.com/ZKae82LBSka8EcvwRjp7

Edge computing is one of those terms that can be ambiguous. Depending on whom you ask, edge computing might refer to a special form factor server used in a department store's POS system, an edge gateway appliance, or a collection of servers and storage in a Telco closet. 

But all these edge computing devices share a common characteristic: they don't live in a data center.  

By its very nature, edge computing resides outside the conventional, central data center. It may live in a dedicated space, a micro data center or a server closet, but often, edge hardware is expected to function without data center environmental controls. The edge hardware might live under a counter, or in a cable landing station. Edge computing devices end up in many strange places, from street corners to oil rigs to autonomous weather stations and even in airplanes. 

And all those places share another common characteristic: they typically don't have on-site personnel constantly monitoring and managing the hardware. Instead, monitoring and managing is done remotely. 

Unfortunately, because we're not able to cram 24x7 IT personnel into the bellies of airplanes or weather stations, how can you determine if the edge environment is suitable for the IT hardware? Edge computing environments could be, and often are subject to temperature shifts, they can be dusty, they can be damp, they can experience vibrations or shocks. It's very likely the edge hardware WON'T be placed in the kinds of dedicated, secure, temperature-controlled locations that the hardware was designed to work in. Edge environments can be, and often are, out of tolerance for the IT hardware. 

How do you know if the environment is acceptable? Of course, server monitoring through remote connections can help. Your administrator, thousands of miles away from your hardware, can monitor server functionality through a baseboard management controller. However, the server hardware doesn't tell us anything about ambient temperatures outside the server, humidity, vibration, or other important environmental factors. Lacking data about these factors is a problem because all of those factors can impact server functionality, reliability, and lifespan. 

Fortunately, Legrand has a solution. Our DX2 SmartSensor portfolio is a collection of small, plug-and-play environmental and security sensors that can be deployed throughout any edge computing environment. With SmartSensors, you can monitor different environmental conditions including temperature, humidity, airflow, differential pressure, water leaks, vibration, and even contact closure or motion. Plug-and-play with our suite of Xerus-based Rack PDUs, they provide rich environmental data that can be drawn into your DCIM software for expanded environmental monitoring. With SmartSensors, you can, in minutes, have new insights into your edge computing environments without sending out technicians.  

Can you see the advantages of using Legrand's SmartSensors? 

  • They help improve edge computing uptime by providing real-time monitoring of environmental conditions and alerting operators to potential problems before they occur.  
  • They can help improve energy efficiency by allowing your administrators to optimize cooling strategies.  
  • They can help identify unauthorized access to keep your hardware safe and secure.  
  • They can reduce the costs of downtime and disaster. 

In short, they're an obviously beneficial tool for any edge computing environment. To learn more about Legrand's DX2 SmartSensor portfolio, visit us at https://www.servertech.com/products/accessories.