Keep it simple: The key to digital transformation at the edge
The secret of successful digital transformation at the edge is to keep it simple, autonomous and protected, says Pieter van der Merwe, regional manager, Africa & Middle East at Stratus.
Addressing a webinar on edge computing presented by Stratus in partnership with ITWeb, Van der Merwe said edge computing was picking up in South Africa as enterprises moved into the next phase of their digital transformation journey.
He said that part of successful digital transformation was to identify which applications and workloads should run at the edge, which could run in the cloud, and which should be kept in on-premises data centres or a private cloud.
“At the design phase, organisations need to assign criteria to workloads and applications, deciding which are default, non-critical and critical or mission critical, and based on that, decide which platforms to deploy the applications on,” he said. Priority should be given to those applications where latency or failure could risk human life or the organisation’s reputation or revenue, he said.
Noting that edge computing now took place in environments as diverse as on space shuttles, down mine shafts or at sea, he said growing data volumes were being generated at the edge, making it more important to process data at the edge before transmitting information into the cloud.
“Once you’ve changed the raw data at the edge into information, that is when you want to move it into the cloud to make it available globally, and this is where the debate about data sovereignty comes in. If you have concerns about data sovereignty, you may want to create your own cloud,” he said. However, it is crucial to protect and ensure continuous availability of data at the edge, in the data centre and in the cloud, he said.
For mission critical applications, edge platforms have to be simple, easy to manage, and protected with seamless failover and embedded security, he said. They must also operate autonomously, carry out full stack monitoring, predict health and do automated administration and be managed remotely.
Stratus highlighted its solutions including ztC Edge – a zero-touch, reliable, secure, highly automated computing platform, and ftServer for continuous availability.