Another buzzword or a critical element of an IT infrastructure? We will now explain the growing importance of Edge solutions, how GSS can help you implement Edge infrastructure, and how we are perfectly positioned to do so on a global scale.
Why we commit ourselves to anything Edge
Throughout the past decade, we have seen multiple new narratives in IT which promised radical platform shifts and significant changes to the consumption of IT. Often accompanied by a ton of new buzzwords. Some actually delivered, others disappeared as quickly as they arrived. We have always been constructively critical of new IT architectures or solutions making bold yet vague statements such as “unprecedented levels of operational agility”, “unlocking the power of data” or “driving innovation and drastically shorten time to market”.
Occasionally, there are trends which are truly important to us as they demonstrate real value to our customers. Edge is one of them, and here is why we are committing ourselves to anything Edge: our ‘global reach, local touch’ approach perfectly aligns with multiple important prerequisites to successfully deploy and manage Edge solutions. We are therefore ideally positioned to offer solutions and support our clients with their Edge environment.
How we define Edge
Cloud has been one of the most significant platform shifts in the history of computing. It has significantly reduced decentralized, local on-prem infrastructure by offering an attractive alternative proposition of infrastructure being available instantly, perfectly scalable to align to the business, freeing up resources to spend time on more valuable tasks and projects. However, with industry adoption of cloud maturing we are learning more and more about the limitations of Cloud, both economically and technically.
Edge largely covers all IT infrastructure which is deemed not suitable to the Cloud. In other words: all IT resources required in close physical proximity to either business users or processes. Often also as a result of technical bandwidth or latency limitations, but also data privacy and autonomy require data storage and processing power closer to users and things (as in Internet of Things). Various type of Edge servers and gateways are to fulfil a critical role as intermediate between cloud or enterprise data centers and people, devices, and workloads at the Edge.
Successfully deploying Edge Computing – critical success factors
Multiple analysts and system integrators have published their guides to successful Edge Computing deployments. While such documents are highly informative, they predominantly focus on Edge architectures and technology. And while some refer briefly to Edge deployment complexities, few actually acknowledge the global, geographical challenges related to deploying Edge solutions. Which is remarkable since Edge (by definition) typically requires on-prem infrastructure assets across large numbers of sites across countries or even continents. Deploying CPE (customer premise equipment) devices for SD-WAN solutions or IoT gateways to obtain sensory data from inside production processes is rarely done for just one or two sites, especially within larger enterprise organisations.
On top of such a global scale, it’s the type of location which often presents complications: we’ve deployed IT infrastructure stacks on 87 tanker vessels and remote production plants in Latin America and Asia Pacific for customers, which obviously requires a different approach compared to installing IT in office or data centers. With IT hardware vendors predominantly focused on a local-to-local approach and (niche) IoT solution providers lacking experience and/or resources to execute global deployments at scale, this is where our global solutions have proven to be valuable.
Stating the obvious: successful edge deployments require focus and attention to detail. Whether it concerns pre-staging appliances providing predictive maintenance software or including the appropriate cabling for gateways deployed in your production facilities. Validating nitty gritty details up front and aligning all of this between Corporate IT, local operational teams, infrastructure- and software providers requires commitment and dedication. Focusing on efficiency has led many IT providers to always default to a “path of least resistance” mentality. However, similar to beautiful mountain views from the Edge (pun intended) on top of a cliff aren’t easily accessible. It’s the last mile of the journey which is the hardest.
Suppressing our allergic reaction to fancy buzzwords, Global Edge System Integrator nowadays describes our value proposition better in comparison to Value-Add Reseller.
Helping your organisation
We have supported many of our customers in deploying innovative Edge solutions globally. If you are also facing potential challenges, do reach out to our team. We are eager to learn about your Edge and IoT objectives for 2022 and beyond. We always love exploring the possibility of partnerships with innovative solution providers who might require our help in deploying infrastructures. Contact us to pick our brains!