Edge Server Hardware - Empowering the Future
Feb 19, 2021
While a strong business case for cloud computing still exists, users demand better performance and greater connectivity from more devices than ever. For example, wearables are changing the face of medicine, and VR and AR apps have created unprecedented entertainment and work experiences.
By relying on larger boxes in fewer locations, traditional cloud infrastructure has failed to keep up with user demand. The result? Network latency. From business-critical CRMs to massive multiplayer gaming environments, users everywhere are staring at screens, waiting for their applications to respond. But they don't have to. In this blog, we will explore how the edge and the evolution of x86 servers make this possible.
Answering the Call - Scalable X86 Servers And SDA
One of the ways companies are slaying the dragon of network latency is not with single, more-powerful boxes in data centers but with armies of smaller, more flexible servers. Thanks to the maturation of software-defined architecture (SDA), x86 servers have grown up and are ready to become business-critical. SDA creates a virtualized layer between the user and the network. Within this layer resides the application and user interface, all of which can run independently of specific machines on the network. As a result, companies can maintain a consistent, seamless user experience while adding servers and other hardware, as needed, on the backend.
A component of SDA, software-defined storage, allows for the dynamic growth of databases. And software-defined networking now allows both physical and virtual servers to connect and work in concert. Overall, SDA architectures allow networks of smaller boxes to act in much the same way that larger single boxes did.
But the Challenge is Not Just the Server - It's the Network
As previously mentioned, the proliferation of real-life IoT devices and mobile computing explosion has forced companies to reimagine service delivery. Even the best-built technology can fail when coupled with sub-optimum network architecture.
Older designs are cloud-first. In other words, to access applications, users must connect across a sometimes vast network to a central cloud data center. This configuration worked fine until the needs of users grew, causing latency problems. Often they find themselves trying to squeeze in-office performance out of a mobile network that was not designed for it.
Edge Computing - The Answer to Network Latency
Thanks to edge computing, companies can now create data-first architectures. In the edge computing mindset, the processing load is placed not in the cloud but a network of smaller edge servers placed in vast geography. These facilities sit physically closer to users themselves, like bank ATMs but for data processing, storage, and delivery. Within edge facilities sit smaller, rugged, x86-based servers networked and eager to take on local or regional users' processing loads. Therefore, to provide better application performance, processing takes place closer to the user.
And edge architecture is becoming pervasive. Multiple telecom companies are stepping in to make edge computing a reality, and they're doing it in two ways. Thanks to the latest generation of mobile devices and the buildout of sophisticated network towers, 5G data is becoming a reality. Second, thanks to Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC), telecom companies are building scalable servers ready to take on edge processing. Therefore, you might say that robust and scalable servers are coming (or already reside) in an edge data center near you.
With Better Servers in More Locations, the Applications are Endless
The net result of next-generation edge server technology is lower latency and better performance for users. Suddenly they can do more with your application in more places than ever. And as you can guess, this comes not a moment too soon, given today's remote environment.
As mentioned, lower latency doesn't just make current applications better. Better network speed and access fuels the creation of ever-powerful mobile applications. Telehealth, autonomous vehicles, VR applications, and multiplayer gaming are just a taste of the breakthrough technology that the edge server revolution is fueling.
Let Our Server Experts Serve You
According to Dell Technologies experts in their 2020 Server Trends and Observations Brief, "the server wins." Smaller, nimbler x86 environments deployed on the edge are the way of the future.
Yet, as exciting as the possibility of edge server hardware technology is, many companies don't have the expertise to deploy it by themselves. After all, their focus is on their core business. That's where a trusted partner like UNICOM Engineering can help. We can ensure you receive the scale and support you deserve as you focus on growing your business. To learn how you can leverage the edge to deliver your solution and open new possibilities for your users, contact the UNICOM Engineering team today!