The Edge Data Management: Confluence of Next-generation Technologies

Alok-Ohrie,-President-and-Managing-Director,-Dell-Technologies-India

– By Alok Ohrie, President and Managing Director, Dell Technologies India

Data has been a key enabler of commerce over the past decade, providing analytics and business insights to drive enterprise decisions. Volumes have grown by large magnitude — in 2020, and about 64 zettabytes[1] of data was created or replicated. By 2025 that number is expected to touch 175 zettabytes, more than double the size.[2] The management and processing of such large volumes of data poses a challenge to current paradigms of data analysis.

The data landscape is changing rapidly in terms of the nature and location of information. With increasing volumes of data generated and collected across dispersed locations, data at the Edge is the fastest-growing segment. Today, only 10% of enterprise-generated data is created and processed at the edge, but by 2025, 75% of all data will be processed outside a traditional data center or cloud[3]. This will necessitate a shift from the current models of processing the bulk of non-real-time data in centralized computing and storage locations, to a more distributed, real-time processing model.

The Edge is increasingly emerging as the solution of choice for high-bandwidth, low-latency analysis of streaming data. Edge computing extends compute resources to locations close to the source of data, achieving short-delay and high-throughput processing for large-scale distributed applications. Edge-based data infrastructure can be deployed on-premise or on the last mile of the network to minimize response time, reduce network transmission overhead and optimize operational costs. The upfront investment on the infrastructure rollout is offset by a reduction in costs of transporting large volumes of data and external computing resources over the long run.

The integration of emergent technologies such as 5G, blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence will facilitate edge analytics and open up massive societal and economic opportunities. Logistics and transportation, manufacturing, oil and natural gas, hospitals and retail define typical verticals where AI-at-the-edge can drive transformation at a low Total Cost of Ownership. Data from a study conducted by IDC suggests that worldwide spending on edge computing is expected to touch $274 billion in 2025, growing at 18.7% CAGR.

The proliferation of the edge has been bolstered to a large extent by hardware design improvements and the development of orchestration platforms recently. Edge computing nodes with storage and computing must be rugged, compact, and provide high-quality, reliable network connections. Solutions such as the Dell PowerEdge XR family of servers, built on scalable processors, are OEM-configurable and robust enough to be certified for telco and military use. Edge native design with high availability, high fault tolerance and autonomous bootstrapping characterize today’s edge architecture.

As the edge becomes mainstream, data management and edge solutions will converge and complement each other, delivering exponential growth in revenue shares. Firms are expected to take advantage of the opportunity cost and growth prospects, leading to large scale deployments of new generation applications and edge-based services. Efficient allocation of networking, caching, and computing thus assumes critical significance for decentralized computing and storage.

The evolution of containerization and workload orchestration has facilitated the provisioning of resources and distribution of workloads across edge nodes and heterogeneous applications in response to demand variation. Orchestration platforms offer dynamic allocation of networking, caching, and computing, along with scheduling of hosts and managing of containers. Businesses with a strategic outlook will increasingly leverage next-generation orchestration platforms to optimize costs, resources, and governance. The surge in Edge operations is expected to drive the container orchestration market size from $332 million in 2018 to $1382 million by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 17.2% from 2019 to 2026.

Data management edges will ultimately be designed as modern software-defined offerings. Software-defined models offer exceptional advantages and break the bottleneck of traditional IP networks by abstracting away internal complications from end users, making it easy to configure, scale and evolve enterprise-grade applications on networks. They enable zero-touch configuration and management, and true network programmability via virtualized network functions. Software Defined Subsystems are scalable, flexible and fault tolerant frameworks that have wide applicability and will define next generation network architectures.

Data is at the heart of transformation across sectors today, accelerating innovation in healthcare, financial services, logistics, telecom, energy, and industrial manufacturing. With the abundance of technologies on offer for diverse applications, IT providers must provide streamlined solutions comprising hardware stacks, orchestration platforms and edge data management strategies, so that customers enjoy a seamless end-to-end experience over distributed architecture. As a technology company in step with tomorrow’s needs, Dell provides standardized infrastructure stacks comprising servers, networking, storage, and software that deliver a consistent operating model across the edge and multi-cloud. We are keen to partner with enterprise and enable them to map technological transformation to business value on their path to resilience, productivity, and business continuity.

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