Living on the Edge? You Need Remote Power Management

RJ Tee
April 24, 2017

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Your business is currently in the process of decentralizing its core network and migrating to the “edge” of the network. The goal is to push your servers closer to key markets, in order to eliminate long-haul data transmissions. In doing so, you hope to reduce operating costs and minimize latency for your customers.  

Rest assured, your business isn’t the only one doing it. Edge computing has quickly emerged as one of the top data center trends, and we only see this pattern accelerating as the need for high-speed connectivity increases over the next 10 years.

So, here at Server Technology, we support your initiative. But here is one thing to keep in mind:

If you’re not careful about power management, you could be in for a rude awakening once your edge facilities are up and running. We have seen many businesses decentralize their networks intending to save money and improve performance, only to learn the hard way that it can lead to massive spikes in electricity consumption — and unexpected outages.

Here are some challenges you will face while migrating to the edge of the network:

Regional complexities:  Decentralizing your network and opening small hubs in areas like New York City, Los Angeles or Houston means you will have to navigate new electricity markets — with varying rates, energy choices and regional constraints. Cities and towns will also have diverse environmental regulations that you will need to be aware of. For instance, you may have water restrictions that you need to adhere to.

Costs and regulations aside, you may also have to overcome new environmental challenges. For example, opening an edge data center in a place like South Florida or Nevada will subject your facility to higher temperatures. Your servers will be at increased risk of overheating.

Repairs: Servers require periodic maintenance, and they will occasionally need to be shut down. This means that you will have to hire new technicians. Do you have the extra resources to hire data center power maintenance crews in every region that you move to?

Server utilization: You’ll want to beware of “zombie” servers that run in the background unnoticed, silently eating into your monthly budget. It can be very difficult to track electricity consumption across multiple facilities. It’s important to collect real-time and historical power usage data at the rack level if you want to keep operating costs at a manageable level.

Server Technology offers a powerful line of intelligent, horizontal data center power distribution units. Server Technology also offers the Sentry Power Manager, which provides real-time power usage and environmental metrics directly from a centralized, Web-based console.

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