Networks Europe Issue 19 January/February 2019 - Page 36

36 PRECONFIGURED INFRASRTUCTURE locations are temporary or short term, realising an ROI may often prove difficult. Creating a room that has a suitable power infrastructure, climate control, security and so on can become a major part of switching on a new location, whether that be office space, factory or logistics facility. Preconfigured cabinets can be delivered to site prebuilt with all of the attributes of a traditional data centre or server room. This means building modifications are minimised and in many cases eliminated all together. In a leased location these benefits are doubled when the lease ends and the facility has to be returned to its original state. When designed and deployed correctly, cabinets and physical infrastructure within are far less obtrusive to the building. If leased, this leads to significant cost savings both at the beginning and end of a lease period. Because infrastructure services are integrated into the cabinet this also means that they become redeployable assets enabling a greater ROI; components such as cabling and HVAC plant which are often disposed of at the end of a lease, are easily moved, as part of the cabinet, to a new location. From an accountant’s perspective, this definitely ticks boxes. From a design point of view, the concept of preconfigured cabinets also makes life a lot easier. With defined configurations for switch, compute and cabling distribution cabinets a building block approach can be taken, things like lengths for inter-cabinet truck cables become a known quantity from the outset, leading to a greater degree of precision, faster deployment and improved adherence to best practices. IT assets from particles, contaminants and fluctuating power quality. Outdoors, protection from the elements and unwanted human interference is required. Preconfigured cabinets for edge computing, as well as integrating physical infrastructure services, should isolate the IT assets from the outside environment and vice versa. In an office environment, staff need to be protected from noise and heat created by the IT assets. And in a factory environment, IT assets need to be protected against air contaminated with particles and chemicals? Another challenge presented by the move to the edge is the fact that IT assets often need to be located in places that are not designed to house them. Organisations are faced with the prospect of having to make environments fit for purpose. This is usually expensive. As many of these Summary While preconfigured cabinets bring limited value when deployed in purpose-built white space, once out at the edge the concept solves a number of very real challenges while also reducing costs. The case for preconfigured cabinets in edge data centres is a strong one. Cabinets that come pre- fitted with connectivity infrastructure, power distribution, cable management and raceway, cooling, fire suppression and rack monitoring functionality – all based on the client‘s specific IT needs – enable organisations to deploy services rapidly, using a single physical infrastructure platform. This incorporates multiple services without having to consider interoperability, working with multiple vendors and managing concurrent installation works, often in sensitive environments. From a financial perspective, preconfigured cabinets offer a number of compelling benefits. When designed and deployed correctly, the cabinets and physical infrastructure within are far less obtrusive to the building. If leased, this leads to significant cost savings both at the beginning and end of a lease period. A modular approach at all levels means preconfigured cabinets are assets which can easily be redeployed as needed, increasing the potential ROI. This scope is likely to increase as IoT and technologies like 5G open up opportunities for new applications that require local compute capabilities. n