Intelligent Data Centres Issue 01 | Page 38

EXPERT OPINION THE EXPONENTIAL GROWTH OF DATA FROM THE VARIOUS APPLICATIONS AND DEVICES WHICH CAN BE FOUND EVERYWHERE IS FORCING US TO RETHINK TODAY’S NETWORK STRUCTURES. networks everywhere and will require integrated cooling, sound insulation, UPS, access control and remote monitoring. Given the likely locations for their deployment, they would have to be climate- resistant, closed and shielded and designed for maximum density and compactness. Paradigm shift in network planning The edge trend is leading to a paradigm shift in the way we design, provide and monitor networks as specific security, connectivity and bandwidth requirements will have to be taken into consideration. Infrastructures will have to be designed with the ability to spread computing power on a wide scale and support software defined WAN (SD-WAN). This means that service providers will have to adapt their business models. The base stations of cellular phone network providers will be particularly suitable as sites for edge data centres. Because with the introduction of 5G technology, mobile communication antennas will become locks for enormous amounts of data. Hubs or gateway exchanges of cable and telecommunication networks are also a possibility. 38 Issue 01 The exponential growth of data from the various applications and devices which can be found everywhere is forcing us to rethink today’s network structures. Weak subnetworks can slow down the entire communication chain. Bottlenecks in network interfaces, transmission and computing capacities are to be avoided at all levels to be able to guarantee a smooth flow of data traffic. Decentralised mini or micro data centres can reliably connect IoT devices on short links and can easily be scaled when local IoT networks grow, thus serving as the backbone for Smart City infrastructure. They can replicate cloud services and business-critical processes on site and buffer bandwidth-intensive applications such as mobile HD video. And, if cloud connections falter or fail altogether, the networks, servers, memories and devices at the edge will continue to work. Edge data centres can even form geo- redundant groups if they are sufficiently networked and thus promote the security and availability of services in extreme conditions. By decentralising and preparing for this paradigm shift in networking and data centre deployment, service providers can build the infrastructures upon which the host of next-generation services for the Smart City can be realised. ◊