The global pandemic has led to a shift in focus for many enterprises across Asia Pacific. Resiliency and continuity have taken primary importance, as many strive to provide high-quality services to support the increasing reliance on technology. Distributed IT – or edge IT – which previously was a support to core data centers, has now taken on a more important role in ensuring the availability of services. This is evident in a recent IDC survey among Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) enterprises:
- 48% said the immediate shift to work-at-home has put pressure on resources to support remote locations;
- 37% said they have shifted more workload to the cloud or managed services providers;
- 27% said they have relied more on colocation providers for remote services due to limitations brought by lockdown measures and safety protocols.
Without a doubt, edge IT applications will take on a more important role in a post-COVID19 Asia Pacific. According to IDC, by 2023, over 30% of new infrastructure deployed will be in edge sites rather than in corporate data centers. And this number is seen to increase further in the next couple of years.
Looking Ahead: Key Considerations for Edge Sites
With the growing emphasis on the role of edge IT, how should enterprises plan their strategies moving forward? Below are some suggestions.
1. Invest in a ‘single pane of glass’ to monitor your edge sites
One of the things this pandemic has taught us is to prepare for the unexpected. Having a data center business continuity plan is crucial to ensure availability of services even in critical moments. While cybersecurity is important, don’t neglect to have a strategy for physical security of your data center – both edge and core. During lockdowns, the challenge of deploying IT personnel has caused some issues. Having a “single pane of glass” to monitor all sites remotely from the comfort and safety the home can give many businesses today the competitive edge.
2. Plan for redundancy and security for any eventuality
Invest in intelligent monitoring solutions to protect your edge data centers against any threats. Early detection of issues can help staff move proactively to address challenges, such as moving to battery power, sending technicians in for proactive repairs or switching traffic to another site as equipment is replaced.
3. Don’t forget the core
There’s no denying of the growing role of edge data centers, but it is also important not to neglect the core. It is important to understand that edge IT is not independent of the core. Rather, it should be treated as an extension. A mismatch between the core and the edge can lead to downtime and unexpected service interruptions, while inadequate resources can lead to a mismatch between service levels and the infrastructure. Having a standardized IT infrastructure can help avoid this gap and ensure seamless connectivity between the core and edge.