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Data Center Edge Survey by Vertiv Reveals Four Edge Archetypes

by Katy Plant on May 4, 2022


Data Centers on the Edge

A New Business Strategy: Edge Archetypes

Physical infrastructure may not be the first thing that comes to mind when noodling over your business strategy. Yet your power, cooling and enclosure equipment all collectively work together to support your computers, which in turn host the countless applications you rely on every single day. Strategic decision-making regarding your physical infrastructure hasn't always been necessary. A recent Data Center Edge Survey by Vertiv, however, has proven to the data center industry that these decisions are even more important at the edge, given that many deployments are in locations requiring additional support and protection.
So what does that mean for you? Reading, interpreting and understanding the results of surveys like these will help you learn how to navigate edge infrastructure. Because, trust me, we know it can be complicated. With more than one definition of edge floating around, each industry has the opportunity to take their own broad and varied approach.


With that being said, enterprises are continuing to explore and be challenged by edge computing deployments. People like you are having to make educated choices based on the value of their existing infrastructure, while also purchasing investments to support tomorrow's demand.

Continue reading to learn about some of the archetypal use cases that appeared in what Vertiv reported.


vertiv logo horizontal


Vertiv Edge experts, in conjunction with an independent firm, gathered a diverse group of professionals to report on their own edge activity throughout various interview sessions. The final report has provided a taxonomy for categorizing edge use cases while defining four distinct edge infrastructure models:

  1. Data Intensive

  2. Human-Latency Sensitive

  3. Machine-to-Machine-Latency Sensitive

  4. Life Critical

This framework was developed alongside a wide range of industry practitioners, data center experts, solution providers and industry bodies across Smart City, Healthcare, Manufacturing and Retail applications. 


The Edge Ecosystem presented by Vertiv

Edge Archetype One: Data Intensive

This edge archetype describes the use cases where the amount of data makes it impractical to transfer over the network directly to the cloud, or from the cloud to the point-of-use, because of data volume, cost or bandwidth issues.
Examples of Data Intensive use cases included: 
  • High-definition content delivery
  • Data-intensive video streaming
  • The smart home
The smart home, for example, must be able to support multiple data-intensive devices and systems at the same time, including entertainment, HVAC systems, and security.
archetype one; edge

Edge Archetype Two: Human Latency Sensitive

This edge archetype describes the use cases where services are optimized for human consumption
Examples of Human Latency Sensitive use cases included:
  • E-commerce
  • Payment processing
  • Natural language processing
  • Smart retail
archetype two; edge

Edge Archetype Three: Machine-to-Machine Latency Sensitive

This edge archetype describes the use cases where services are optimized for machine-to-machine consumption.
Examples of Machine-to-Machine Latency Sensitive use cases included: 
  • Automated financial transactions (commodities and stock trading) 
  • Smart grid technology (electrical distribution network)
  • Smart security systems
archetype three; edge

Edge Archetype Four: Life Critical

This edge archetype describes the use cases where human health and safety is impacted directly, and thus where speed and reliability are paramount.
Examples of Life Critical use cases included:
  • Autonomous vehicles and drones
  • Electronic health records
  • Cyber medicine and personalized medicine (genome mapping)
  • Self-monitoring devices 
  • Smart transportation
  • Autonomous robots
archetype four; edge

Finding Your Edge Is Easier Than Ever

As the edge of your network becomes more sophisticated and mission critical, all of your hard work will inevitably pay off. With just one glance at this report from Vertiv, it appears evident that taking a haphazard approach to site configuration is not a great idea. We know that uneducated decisions today can only lead to inefficiencies and expenses down the road; ultimately, we understand that's an unsustainable path for your edge site. 
If you are currently having to make an important decision surrounding equipment selection and architecture, download the full Edge Archetypes 2.0 report to start. Making a smart decision this year about your edge equipment, so that your deployment optimizes site efficiency and savings. 
To get started, simply tell us about your edge. 

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Contact your local Accu-Tech Representative to learn more about these solutions, or visit the Vertiv vendor webpage.

Topics: Data Center edge vertiv edgearchetype

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