Why “the edge” is plural, not singular


Make sure your knowledge isn’t rough around the edges

With a plethora of buzzwords constantly swarming the IT industry, staying apprised of the latest catch phrases can be an ongoing challenge. Case in point: the “edge.” While the IT term currently ranks among the most buzz-worthy, many solution providers don’t fully understand that there are actually a variety of edge definitions. In fact, Gartner recently classified five types of edge environments: the regional data center, local data center, compute, gateway and device edge.

Eaton makes it easier for partners to offers solutions for edge environments.

Eaton makes it easier for partners to offers solutions for edge environments.

When you talk to IT pros who are knee-deep within the complexity of buzzwords like “the edge,” it’s important to be able to delve deeper – not only to demonstrate your knowledge and credibility, but also to add real business value.

While the regional data center edge is occupied by colocation providers and MTDC, and the device edge encompasses products such as autonomous vehicles and wearable devices, we at Eaton want to help bolster your knowledge on the three edge environments where channel partners can really add value:

1. The local data center edge

Essentially a data center in a single rack located in a remote place, this type of edge is being driven largely by artificial intelligence (AI), latency problems and a desire to improve customer experiences. The local data center edge faces challenges that include higher power requirements and the need for access control within the rack, coupled with limited staff to oversee the equipment. IT managers are seeking solutions to help them organize, protect and manage their environments, such as secure rack enclosures, outlet-level metering PDUs, scalable and pre-assembled rack UPSs that facilitate quick installation, and remote infrastructure management capabilities.

2. The compute edge

This type of edge, where hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) really makes sense, is being fueled by greater local compute requirements of distributed IT environments, as well as an increase in integrated systems that can be deployed and managed easier. Space limitations, cluster shutdown and remote management are among the prime challenges that IT pros must address in this edge zone. Solutions they typically seek include vertical, wall mounted enclosures, UL/IEC-certified cybersecurity, space-saving rackmount UPSs, environmental sensors and remote infrastructure management capabilities.

3. The gateway edge

The next generation of network closets has packed a multitude of access points, as well as WLAN replacing cable networks, leaving IT pros scrambling to protect what lies within the gateway edge. Challenged by space limitations, access security and a lack of on-site staff, this sector needs vertical wall-mount enclosures, smaller UPS solutions, lithium-ion batteries that afford a “set-it-and-forget-it” mentality, and solutions providing cybersecurity and remote management.

Because Eaton understands the multiple types of edge applications, we are uniquely positioned to deliver the end-to-end power solutions your customers need, regardless of which environment they are supporting. And as our partner, you not only have access to provide these critical solutions, but the ability to go beyond the buzzwords and stand out from the other vendors who can’t answer the real-life questions.


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Hervé Tardy

Hervé’s Headlines

As an integral part of modern technology, the power category is an everchanging — and yet absolutely vital — part of your organization. In an effort to help you stay apprised of both the latest innovations and the issues most likely to impact your business and uptime, Eaton’s own vice president and general manager of the Distributed Power Quality business, Hervé Tardy, will be delving into pertinent topics in a monthly blog.


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