The edge of the network is changing. The rudimentary IT closets of the past are being replaced by robust computing sites more closely resembling mini-data centers, complete with the need for sophisticated infrastructure support typical of a traditional data center. These are powerful network assets, increasingly demanding tight integration with core sites in order to deliver full network functionality to end users anywhere, at any time.

But make no mistake: These are not traditional data centers. Any suggestion that an edge deployment would take months – or even weeks – to execute would be met with disbelief and a closed door from any edge-dependent organization. No, these edge deployments must happen quickly, virtually in real time to meet spikes in demand. For that reason, edge computing tends to be deployed with scalability in mind – stand it up fast and add capacity as needed.

The infrastructure must be just as scalable, and speed and agility is critical. Today’s customers demand capacity increases in timelines measured in days, not weeks. That has spawned the introduction of quick-delivery modules that can add UPS capacity on demand, designed for installation and maintenance without network interruption. These systems are increasingly configurable, with output voltages and battery run times tailored to a site’s specific needs. And, as with everything at these more mission-critical edge sites, they can be monitored and controlled remotely, enabling the lights-out operation necessary in edge deployments.

In the past, the edge of the network typically was populated with equipment either designed for a larger facility, data center or dumbed down for ease of use. That’s no longer the case. As the edge expands with more dedicated IT equipment, infrastructure for those systems is following suit – delivering power, cooling and management capabilities capable of making the edge an extension of the network core.

About the Author

Jack Pouchet is a recognized industry innovator and thought leader with more than 30 years’ experience in mission-critical infrastructure. As the vice president of business development for Vertiv global solutions, Jack works closely with major OEMS, large data center owners, and leading mission critical engineering firms to help improve day-to-day business and operational efficiencies while ensuring reliability, resiliency, and availability. His extensive experience in OEM power supplies, power generation, distribution, power product sales, and marketing allows Vertiv to have a unique end-to-end perspective of the entire AC and DC power path.