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The importance of highly available industry edge solutions

Around the world, edge computing is emerging as a linchpin of digital transformation initiatives. From remote locations within airports, seaports, or transportation networks for rail or road traffic, to dangerous or inhospitable niches located on factory floors, IT infrastructure is increasingly deployed to support the multitude of digital systems making their way into our lives.

The rise of industrial edge computing 

Depending on requirements, edge computing solutions might be used to oversee production, ensure safety, enable low-latency data collection, or even manage advanced Smart factories. What are the top considerations that businesses deploying edge computing solutions should watch for? 

We outline some of them here:

  • Highly available: Often deployed to oversee mission-critical systems, edge deployments must stay up. This places the onus on failure prevention rather than failure recovery, which calls for robust hardware paired with a resilient software stack to keep systems running.
  • Security and privacy: The ever-present threat of cyberattacks means that physical security cannot be ignored. Measures can range from physical locks to the requisite monitoring systems to support post-incident security audits.
  • Standard systems: Standardisation can bring operating costs down significantly and serve to ensure the availability of components.
  • Remote operation: The hard-to-access locations of these edge systems call for the ability to manage them remotely. And with multiple edge deployments becoming the norm rather than the exception, remote capabilities also translate into an ability to scale deployments with the same manpower base.

A partnership to deliver proven solutions

To deliver a robust edge environment, Schneider Electric partnered with Stratus Technologies which has a complete, comprehensive, and proven range of edge solutions. The hyperconverged systems Stratus offer enable compute, storage, and networking to be incorporated into a single, integrated platform for deployment at the edge. 

Designed and built for industrial environments, the systems are easy to install and operate as well as offer the option of zero-touch provisioning. In this way, Stratus bridges the gap between IT and operational technology (OT), enabling the continuous availability of business-critical applications.

On its part, Schneider Electric has a long history of providing resilient power protection solutions such as uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to keep edge systems running. This ranges from UPSs that are designed for every kind of usage scenario and environment to microdata centre enclosures designed to house – and secure – the required edge systems and power protection infrastructure.

In addition, Schneider and Stratus worked closely with industrial operations software vendor, AVEVA to detail the optimal configuration for the operation of the software on Stratus platforms and Schneider enclosures. This allows organisations to quickly deploy a complete edge solution, confident that it will operate well. 

By working together, Schneider, Stratus, and AVEVA ensure that companies can deploy powerful industrial edge deployments with the same level of power and security protection that is available within a typical data centre. 

To learn more about the unique requirements of an industrial edge deployment, check out this white paper titled “Industry 4.0: Minimising Downtime Risk with Resilient Edge Computing” here.

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