Edge computing and micro data centers are key trends, accordingto Kevin Brown, vice president of innovation and CTO for the IT division at Schneider Electric. Brown talked to TechRepublic's Senior Writer Teena Maddox at the Innovation Summit North America in Atlanta and the following is an edited transcript of the interview.
Brown said, "There are always many trends that are hitting the data center industry, but the biggest one we see recently is this trend towards edge computing and micro data centers. It's clear that's with our dependence on IT, and particularly, new generations coming on, with higher expectation for the availability and performance of IT, we need to rethink what's happening at the edge, which I really like to think about as the first point of connection that you are interacting with from, whether it's your phone, your tablet, your PC."
"What used to be called server rooms and wiring closets, we see now becoming mission-critical data-center assets. And that's really forcing the industry to rethink about, how is the ecosystem going to work together to deliver these? And what are the management tools that we need?" Brown said.
Brown said, "We think there's a great opportunity to improve the manageability of these systems by moving into a cloud-architecture. And then, third, how do we start applying artificial intelligence, so that we can make this much more manageable?"
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"When you start thinking in terms of thousands of micro-data centers that are now mission critical, the challenge for the industry is: How do we deliver them? How do we service them? And then, most importantly, how do we manage them? And that's really what we've been doing with our eco-structure IT software platform: designing it to enable this trend we see happening. So certainly, there's going to be a lot of big-cloud data-centers out there, big regional-edge data-centers. But there's also a lot of action on this edge, whether it's for retailers, or 5G rollout with Telco. The demands for the company to provide solutions there is a pretty good opportunity."
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Teena Maddox is a Senior Writer at TechRepublic, covering hardware devices, IoT, smart cities and wearables. She ties together the style and substance of tech. Teena has spent 20-plus years writing business and features for publications including People, W and Women's Wear Daily.