The internet is getting bigger, data usage has never been greater and cloud computing is now massive. To cope with all this data we would expect to see even bigger data centre structures right? Wrong. In fact, the trend has gone towards micro data centres.

Whilst this may seem like a quirky oxymoron that surely can’t be right, there is a very logical explanation and one which experts are referring to as the ‘Edge’ – the space between the cloud and standard network frames.

The growth of the ‘Edge’ has been driven by the evolution of technology based applications and the continued demand for data analytics and storage. As consumers our mounting intolerance towards latency is also creating challenges for the data centre world. We demand instant response – nothing is worse than watching the little loading circle whirl around our screens.

Even though the cloud is the most efficient place for data processing, it does take time to reach the cloud and during peak periods, drawing information down from the cloud can be a challenge. Taking some capabilities out of the cloud and bringing them closer to the end user will help eliminate latency issues.

Developing ‘Edge’ infrastructure resources will definitely pick up pace in 2017 as users seek to overcome not just problems with latency but also bandwidth restrictions, security breaches and monitoring boundaries.

This will see a new era of data centres – edge data centres to be precise. In simple terms, these are essentially over flow data centre facilities to support already existing larger structures that won’t cost £thousands. They are typically small facilities used to supply secondary locations or a space for alternative networks that are housed alongside an organisations own main network.

Whilst, some manufacturers and suppliers have tried to market tailor made ‘edge’ data centre solutions, the more savvy amongst us are wondering if we really need to reinvent the wheel and over complicate what should and needs to be far more straightforward and cost effective.

This is where the adoption of micro data centres comes in. As a relatively low-cost and quick to deploy solution, the industry’s appetite for avoiding complicated and costly construction works is evidently growing. After all, we don’t always need to build rooms for data centres when there is a much simpler solution at our finger tips – designing a data centre for the room.

Micro data centres by their very nature are small, compact systems that house all the components of a traditional data centre in one prefabricated unit. The more advanced solutions such as those from Huawei have been developed as intelligent, fully integrated cabinet systems. For example, the Huawei FusionModule series combine UPS, PDU, rack air conditioner and monitoring equipment.

Fully expandable, these one stop equipment room solutions are simple, efficient and reliable. They are ideal for tier 1 and tier 2 constructions within a plethora of industry sectors including financial subsidiaries and branches, educational institutions, hospitals, public security bureaus and commercial retail stores.

Modular data centre technologies not only offer a very practical solution to addressing the growing need for data centres but also provide greater TCO clarity. Advanced micro data centre solutions deliver very impressive TCO results as all the components are designed to work in harmony and ultimately deliver the most efficient long term operational values.

Whether they are deployed as low-cost and quick-to-assemble upgrades to existing IT facilities in SME organisations, or deployed at the ‘Edge’ of a network to complement cloud computing structures, whilst supporting the reduction of superfluous internet traffic and minimisation of latency, micro data centres will play an essential role in the computing landscape of the future.

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