The speed at which we create this data is increasing at a bewildering rate. It has been estimated that we now create as much data in a single day as was created from the beginning of time until 2010! With the Internet of Things (IoT) any electrical/electronic machine/device will be capable of connecting to the internet and capable of creating data, so the situation is only set to escalate.

With all this data from all these devices the concept of Edge computing is to achieve lower latency and push the computing power closer to the source of that data.

Large mega data centres will house the essential information securely. However, we also know that it makes logical and practical sense to filter and process the data as close as possible to its source. With this in mind, there will be a growing number of organisation specific micro and small data centres operating at The Edge. Organisations today, are already starting to create their own edge data centres, using them to store and process their data local to the organisation while the important data is moved offsite to the Cloud.

The micro or Edge datacentres of the future will attach to office and homes and their availability will need to be protected by electricity and therefore the utilisation of an Uninterruptible Power Supply system (UPS).

By defintion Edge computing facilities will be prevalent and small. The latest generation of power protection equipment is modular in design, with a range of module ratings, small in size, highly efficient and offering flexibility and redundency in a very small footprint. Nine 9’s availability is possible due to high module reliability and “hot swap” capability meaning systems do not need to be switched off, or transferred to external bypass to replace a module.

While technology improvements are always possible, when a UPS is almost 100% available and 100% efficient, there is not much further for the technology to go. However, UPS energy storage in the form of lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries will be a game changer. This is because Lead-Acid batteries in common use are relatively large and heavy and their use may be limited in the Edge data centres of the future.

Li-ion batteries however, typically require less than half the physical space of the equivalent Lead Acid blocks and are less than 25% of the weight, they also operate at higher ambient temperatures so require less or no cooling. This means some of the environmental, floor loading and structural challenges of introducing a micro data centre into an existing SME on, say, the top floor of a London building will simply disappear.

In the future the introduction of Edge computing will see facilities managers needing to help support “local” micro and small data centres for organisations of all sizes. A well designed micro and small data centre will last an organisation several generations of IT equipment whereas a poorly designed micro and small data centre could cost an organisation a lot of money in terms of poor availability, wasted infrastructure and running costs.

CumulusPower CENTIEL’s scalable and flexible true modular three-phase UPS system that combines class leading availability and efficiency that makes it perfect for use in small, medium and large data centers. However, not every application requires a modular UPS and for these applications and so we also offer our PremiumTower range. It has the same Swiss build quality and innovative technology seen in CumulusPower but comes in a lower cost, stand-alone cabinet, ranging from 10kW – 120 kW suitable for Edge applications. CENTIEL’s full range of UPS are all Li-ion ready.

Centiel supports the data centres of today and those 10-15 years into the future.

Article originally featured in Tommorrrow’s FM Magazine

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