Companies are building edge data centers at a furious pace to support the Internet of Things (IoT) and digital transformation efforts that demand compute power close to end-users. At the same time, they’re coming face-to-face with the need to manage equipment at these facilities, including UPS monitoring to ensure data center uptime.
Steady edge data center growth
It’s hard to overstate the pace of activity at the edge. The most recent Cisco Visual Networking Index estimates one-third of all service provider network capacity will be concentrated at the network edge by 2022, up from 17% in 2017. Researchers at Global Market Insights expect the edge data center market will keep pace, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 20% from $4 billion in 2017 to $14.3 billion in 2024.
Most of these edge data centers are located in sites which are dispersed over large geographical areas, like retail stores, distribution centers, manufacturing facilities and the like, or even outdoors, such as to support utility applications. As such, it’s not feasible to have scarce (and expensive) IT personnel on-site to manage most of these facilities.
Yet, edge data centers are just as important as centralized data centers because they support business-critical applications that demand consistent uptime. Edge data center uptime is vital to keep business operations humming along to ensure exceptional customer experiences and to mitigate disruptions in the revenue stream. That means companies need a way to remotely manage the facilities, including UPS monitoring.
Monitoring is lacking for edge infrastructure
While some IT groups have tools that enable the remote management of computers, servers, and network components, the same is not always true for supporting infrastructure like UPSs. But UPSs do demand attention, including periodic maintenance to ensure batteries are healthy and to make sure they will be able to supply backup power when called upon.
According to IDC, more than 60% of end-users want outside help to manage edge deployments. That’s not a surprising statistic given how difficult it is to hire skilled IT technicians these days. Turning to a third party is likely more cost-effective.
It’s also a prudent step, given that today most UPSs aren’t monitored by anyone, so companies only find out about problems when they result in downtime due to a UPS failure. That’s an unsustainable model when companies are counting on their edge data centers to deliver on business benefits coming from IoT and other applications.
Monitoring & Dispatch Services
Schneider Electric is stepping in to fill the void with its new Monitoring & Dispatch Service. Under the service, Schneider Electric, upon installation, will take care of managing and servicing the UPSs throughout their lifecycle.
As an upgrade to the standard factory warranty, the Monitoring & Dispatch service includes, 24×7 monitoring of the UPS by experts in our global service bureaus, troubleshooting when an alert is detected, and, if needed, next business day on-site remediation, including a new battery or UPS, if required.
The idea is to proactively monitor UPSs and address issues before they cause downtime. Think of it as downtime prevention — which is increasingly important in the IoT era.