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Buyers Guide to Edge Infrastructure Management Solutions

White Paper: Schneider Electric

The New Era of Edge Computing It is fair to say that Edge computing is becoming a new norm alongside the traditional centralized data center. “Edge computing delivers the decentralized complement to today’s hyperscale cloud and legacy data centers.” Gartner - The Edge Completes the Cloud: A Gartner Trend Insight Report, 14 September 2018. As the Edge moves from a buzzword to a tangible computing ecosystem that needs resources, tools, and love, more and more questions around monitoring and management of distributed IT equipment arise. While familiar with critical facility management, many of the IT, facilities and data center managers with whom we speak are still figuring out how they will manage remote, increasingly critical, edge computing environments. • “Do we need a new tool to manage our edge infrastructure, or can we make do with what we already have?” • “If we do need a tool, which one?” • “And how to choose the right one?” Whether this is your first time looking for an IT infrastructure management solution, or you’re looking to expand your organization’s existing capabilities, this guide will provide you with experts’ advice to make the best possible choice. We’ve done our best to create a resource that’s relevant regardless of size, industry or maturity. We’ve tried to keep this guide vendor-agnostic, but, because we’ve been helping IT managers like you for over 30 years, we’ve selectively sprinkled in links to tools that might be helpful if you want to dig deeper on certain questions. We hope you find it helpful! This guide shares the key steps companies should take before buying and deploying an edge infrastructure management solution.

Practical Guide to Ensuring Availability at Edge Computing Sites

White Paper: Schneider Electric

Deployments for distributed IT are typically relegated to small confined rooms, closets, or even on the office floor. However, as businesses grow and rely more on edge computing applications, IT downtime has a greater impact on the business. An interview with a small food distributor exemplifies this sensitivity. As this food distributor gained more customers, they realized it wasn't possible to fulfill orders accurately and on time without their IT systems. Downtime of these systems would not only interrupt their distribution schedules, but would cause restaurants to place last minute orders. Restaurants need only a few missed deliveries to have a good reason to seek a new distributor. The following are some example causes of downtime that were uncovered in this research: • The wrong server was unplugged. The IT admin thought he had traced the correct power cord to the tower server. The "rat's nest" of power and network cabling significantly increased the likelihood of this error. Dual-power supplies later became a standard specification for critical IT gear to avoid this type of human error. • A server error for high temperature forced a shutdown of the system. • A few pieces of IT gear turned off during a brief power outage. It was later discovered that the equipment was never plugged into the installed UPS. This was most likely due to the disorganized cabling behind the rack. • A cleaning person unplugged a server to plug in the vacuum cleaner. • A power outage caused all the systems in a branch office IT rack to go down. The IT admin arrived later to discover that the UPS had been signaling for some time that it had a bad battery that required replacement.   As with many businesses, especially small businesses, it takes a downtime event or a series of close calls to finally invest in improving the availability of IT operations. In many cases, this spurs new IT upgrade projects. An upgrade project is the optimum opportunity to assess the physical infrastructure required to support IT, however, our research suggests that IT managers often lack the time to research and specify an appropriate solution and the plan for deploying it. We addressed these two needs in two papers. This white paper provides practical guidance on how to improve the IT availability at these sites, while White Paper 174, Practical Options for Deploying Small Server Rooms and Micro Data Centers, describes a practical plan for deploying a micro data center at one or more locations. Furthermore, you should perform a health assessment to ensure old equipment is modernized as discussed in White Paper 272, A Framework for How to Modernize Data Center Facility Infrastructure.

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