Recently, our CEO Jeff Ready gave a presentation outlining why edge computing is a challenge for many organizations and discussed how Scale Computing can significantly reduce the cost of running at the edge. Below is a highlight of that talk, and you can also watch the full presentation below.
Traditional Challenges of Edge Computing
Edge computing is anywhere mission critical applications are running, outside of the datacenter. Because they exist outside of the datacenter, you can’t make assumptions that your applications have reliable internet, reliable power, or IT staff to troubleshoot to ensure optimal uptime. In addition, the edge environment is different from a datacenter in that it likely has noise, temperature, and storage limitations.
Why IT Costs are Multiplied at the Edge
The two biggest costs in IT are downtime and people. At the edge, the primary issues that cause downtime are system failures, maintenance windows, interoperability issues, expansions and upgrades, ransomware, backup recovery time, and DR planning and testing. Ransomware is particularly dangerous because the average amount of downtime for solving an attack is 4 weeks.
There are also people costs associated with a lack of on-site resources, training across systems, deployment time, system maintenance, application upgrades, and security overhead. All of these costs make traditional edge deployments either extremely expensive or altogether impossible.
Technical Challenges at the Edge
In addition to higher costs, there are also numerous technical limitations at the edge, the most important being the lack of room to accomodatelarge rack mount servers that can handle all required applications. Traditional networking also requires expensive switches which consume large amounts of power and take up even more space.
Delhaize Uses Scale Computing to Run on the Edge
Delhaize is a grocery store chain based in Europe with stores across Europe, Asia, and North America. The company generates $80B a year in revenue with approximately 8,000 locations. In store operations include POS, customer loyalty, inventory, IoT, scales, and cameras.
The company faced a number of market challenges before engaging with Scale Computing:
- Significant competition from internet/ecommerce companies which meant they needed an IT infrastructure devoid of any Amazon relationship
- Consumers demand a seamless experience between online and “live” shopping experiences
- Innovation drives the use of more intelligent applications, improving customer experience’
- 35 year-old POS system
Their primary objectives were to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO), increase security and data protection, improve business continuity, and introduce a future-proof platform for digital transformation projects. Over time they had built an assortment of point solutions with dedicated bare-metal servers running those applications. After a significant hack, they realized they needed to consolidate their range of solutions onto one flexible and secure platform.
“Since deploying Scale in March of 2018, we have had zero minutes of downtime in any store.” – Rolf Vanden Eynde, Head of Infrastructure Innovation Planning, Delhaize
All-in, leveraging Scale Computing to build out their edge computing infrastructure cost $11,000 while ensuring all apps were running in less than 30 minutes and stores were fully cut over and operational in less than 4 hours. They no longer needed separate backup or data protection software because its all included with Scale.
Modern Datacenter Virtualization
Scale Computing provides an autonomous, self-healing application platform that is built for edge computing. It is a completely integrated platform with:
- Software-defined storage (SDS), Software-defined networking (SDN), and Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI)
- Virtualization and Containers
- Backup and Disaster Recovery
- Extremely lightweight and flexible “rack-mounted” servers, cloud, edge devices
If you’d like to learn more about how Scale Computing can enable edge computing for your business, contact us today or start your free trial. In addition, you can watch Scale Computing CEO Jeff Ready’s full presentation below.