Defining Your Edge – Re-Thinking the Concept of Micro Data Center Designs

Defining Your Edge – Re-Thinking the Concept of Micro Data Center Designs

By Sam Prudhomme, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Subzero Engineering

For many years the industry has been in a deep discussion about the concept of edge computing. Yet the definition varies from vendor to vendor, creating confusion in the market, especially where end-users are concerned. In fact, within more traditional or conservative sectors, some customers are yet to truly understand how the edge relates to them, meaning the discussion needs to change, and fast.

According to Gartner, “the edge is the physical location where things and people connect with the networked, digital world, and by 2022, more than 50% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside the data center or cloud.” All of this data invariably needs a home, and depending on the type of data that is secured, whether it’s business or mission-critical, the design and location of its home will vary.

Autonomous vehicles are but one example of an automated, low- latency and data-dependent application. The real-time control data required to operate the vehicle is created, processed and stored via two-way communications at a number of local and roadside levels. On a city-wide basis, the data produced by each autonomous vehicle will be processed, analyzed, stored and transmitted in real-time, in order to safely direct the vehicle and manage the traffic. Yet on a national level, the data produced by millions of AVs could be used to shape transport infrastructure policy and redefine the automotive landscape globally.

Each of these processing, analysis, and storage locations requires a different type of facility to support its demand. Right now, data centers designed to meet the needs of standard or enterprise business applications are plentiful. However, data centers designed for dynamic, real-time data delivery, provisioning, processing, and storage are in short supply.

That’s partly because of the uncertainty over which applications will demand such infrastructure and, importantly, over what sort of timeframe. However, there’s also the question of flexibility. Many of the existing micro data center solutions are unable to meet the demands of edge or, more accurately, localized, low-latency applications, which also require high levels of agility and scalability. This is due to their pre-determined or specified approach to design and infrastructure components.

Traditionally, the market has been met with small-scale, edge applications, which have been deployed in pre-populated, containerized solutions. A customer is often required to confirm to a standard shape or size and there’s no flexibility in terms of their modularity, components, or make-up. So how do we change the thinking?

A Flexible Edge

Standardization has, in many respects, been crucial to our industry. It offers a number of key benefits, including the ability to replicate systems predictably across multiple locations. But when it comes to the edge, some standardized systems aren’t built for the customer – they’re a product of vendor collaboration: One that’s also accompanied by high-costs and long lead times.

On the one hand, having a box with everything in it can undoubtedly solve some pain points, especially where integration is concerned. But what happens if the customer has its own alliances, or may not need all of the components? What happens if they run out of capacity in one site? Those original promises of scalability, or flexibility disappear, leaving the customer with just one option – to buy another container. One might consider that that rigidity, when it comes to ‘standardization’, can often be detrimental to the customer.

There is, however, the possibility that such modular, customizable, and scalable micro data center architectures can meet the end user’s requirements perfectly, allowing end-users to truly define and embrace their edge.

Is There a Simpler Way?

Today forecasting growth is a key challenge for customers. With demands increasing to support a rapidly developing digital landscape, many will have a reasonable idea of what capacity is required today. But predicting how it will grow over time is far more difficult, and this is where modularity is key.

For example, pre-pandemic, a content delivery network, with capacity located near large users groups may have found itself swamped with demand in the days of lockdown. Today, they may be considering how to scale up local data center capacity quickly and incrementally to meet customer expectations, without deploying additional infrastructure across more sites.

There is also the potential of 5G-enabled applications, so how does one define what’s truly needed to optimize and protect the infrastructure in a manufacturing environment. Should an end-user purchase a containerized micro data center because that’s what’s positioned as the ideal solution? Or, should they customize and engineer a solution that can grow incrementally with demands? Or would it be more beneficial to deploy a single room that offers a secure, high-strength, and walk-able roof that can host production equipment?

The point here is that when it comes to micro data centers, a one-size-fits-all approach does not work. End-users need the ability to choose their infrastructure based on their business demands – whether they be in industrial manufacturing, automotive, telco, or colocation environments. But how can users achieve this?

Infrastructure Agnostic Architectures

At Subzero Engineering, we believe that vendor-agnostic, flexible micro data centers are the future for the industry. For years we’ve been adding value to customers, and building containment systems around their needs, without forcing their infrastructure to fit into boxes.

We believe users should have the flexibility to utilize their choice of best-in-class data center components, including the IT stack, the uninterruptible power supply (UPS), cooling architecture, racks, cabling, or fire suppression system. So by taking an infrastructure-agnostic approach, we give customers the ability to define their edge, and use resilient, standardized, and scalable infrastructure in a way that’s truly beneficial to their business.

By taking this approach, we’re also able to meet demands for speed to market, delivering a fully customized solution to site within six weeks. Furthermore, by adopting a modular architecture that includes a stick-built enclosure, and the ability to incorporate a cleanroom, and a walk-able, mezzanine roof, users can scale as demands require it, and without the need to deploy additional containerized systems.

This approach alone offers significant benefits, including a 20-30% cost-saving, compared with conventional ‘pre-integrated’, micro data center designs.

For too long now, our industry has been shaped by vendors that have forced customers to base decisions on systems which are constrained by the solutions they offer. We believe now is the time to disrupt the market, eliminate this misalignment, and enable customers to define their edge as they go.

By providing customers with the physical data center infrastructure they need, no matter their requirements, we can help them plan for tomorrow. As I said, standardization can offer many benefits, but not when it’s detrimental to the customer.

 

Click here to download a pdf version of this article.

AisleFrameCold Aisle Containmentdata centerData Center ContainmentData Center Infrastructure Managementedgeedge data centerEssential Micro Data CenterHot Aisle ContainmentInfrastructure Conveyancemicro data center
Subzero Engineering Launches ‘Essential Micro Data Center’, Allowing Users to Define Their Own Edge

Subzero Engineering Launches ‘Essential Micro Data Center’, Allowing Users to Define Their Own Edge

  • Turnkey solution is building and infrastructure agnostic, providing 20%-30% cost-savings compared to other solutions in the market.
  • Standardized solution meets demanding timescales, shipping within as little as 36 hours, while fully customized micro data centers can be delivered, installed and operational in 4-6 weeks.
  • Provides flexible micro data center system for colocation, 5G, retail, enterprise and industrial applications.

 

October 13, 2021Subzero Engineering, a leading provider of data center containment solutions, has today introduced its Essential Micro Data Center, the world’s first modular, vendor agnostic and truly flexible modular micro data center architecture. Available for order in the United States of America, United Kingdom and Europe, the Essential Micro Data Center meets customer demands for a standardized, premium quality, cost-competitive and quick-to-install edge infrastructure system, that provides a reduced total cost of ownership of between 20%-30%.

Based on its Essential Series and AisleFrame product lines, the Essential Micro Data Center is a small-footprint, on-premises data center, engineered for distributed and remote infrastructure environments. Its modular architecture includes white-glove installation and support, power, cooling, infrastructure conveyance and containment. All of which are housed within a pre-fabricated, factory-assembled, modular room, and shipped flat-packed to site.

With increased requirements for real-time data processing, low latency, greater security and automation, the Essential Micro Data Center ensures predictability and performance for distributed applications. Furthermore, its customizable, modular design offers a fast, flexible and easy-to-build micro data center system, perfectly suited for colocation, 5G, retail, enterprise and industrial environments.

 

Strength, security, customization

The Essential Micro Data Center is comprised of two-parts including a physically secure, modular room containing critical power and cooling infrastructure, and Subzero’s high-strength AisleFrame. Using this approach, the Essential Micro Data Center can support a variety of load requirements and includes built-in, customizable containment, integrated with self-supporting ceiling modules and insert panels available in ABS, acrylic, polycarbonate, aluminum or glass.

The pre-fabricated system can accommodate all ladder racking, busway, fiber trays and infrastructure necessary for micro data center applications, and offers support for hot or cold aisle applications, regardless of cooling methodology. For example, the high-strength ceiling can support a range of cooling systems, including overhead Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) units. This feature offers complete customization for users who can deploy their infrastructure in aisle, row or rack configurations.

Further, its flexible, vendor-agnostic design provides users with the ability to custom-specify their own choice of power and cooling infrastructure. This approach helps overcome the challenge of having to use inflexible, pre-specified power and cooling systems in a containerized system, while retaining the ability to standardize, repeat and scale quickly, as business requirements change.

“The Essential Micro Data Center’s flexible design makes it a perfect fit for customers searching for an alternative to the obstinate and expensive, pre-integrated solutions currently available,” said Sam Prudhomme, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Subzero Engineering. “Our vendor-agnostic approach to component specification, combined with rapid speed of and installation and lower TCO, ensures customers can truly define and scale the edge on their own terms.”

The Subzero Engineering Essential Micro Data Center joins its recently launched Essentials Series, demonstrating the company’s commitment to delivering customer-focused, efficient and precision-engineered digital infrastructure solutions.

To learn more, click here.

AisleFrameCold Aisle ContainmentData Center ContainmentData Center Infrastructure Managementedgeedge data centerEssential Micro Data CenterHot Aisle ContainmentInfrastructure Conveyancemicro data center
Polar PDU Local Features and Display

Polar PDU Local Features and Display

A centrally located LCD screen displays critical data such as voltage, current, power, power factor, line input, and alarm notifications. Initial deployment of the PDUs is made seamless by immediate availability of data via the LCD screen for IP setup and load balancing. The LCD’s text rotation feature allows vertical PDUs to be installed with input cords at the top or bottom of cabinets.

1. Proprietary auxiliary ports for use with Cabinet Access Control.

2. Temperature and humidity monitoring ports for use with optional environmental probes. When in use, temperature and humidity settings are displayed on the LCD screen.

3. Network connection on Monitored and Switched models can be accessed remotely to monitor and control power usage using a web browser.

4. USB port for firmware imports.

5. Serial ports for linking up to 32 PDUs. Once connected, all PDUs with the Secure Link are automatically discovered by the primary unit.

Which Polar PDU is right for you?

Which Polar PDU is right for you?


Basic Polar PDU
Application: For high-density data centers and equipment rooms that require reliable power distribution.

Select a Basic PDU when no power monitoring is required.

Key Features:

  • Basic Power Distribution
  • High ambient temperature ratings up to 149°F (65°C)
  • Locking outlet options available*
  • UL/CE Listed

 

Monitored Polar PDU
Application: For the remote power monitoring of PDUs. Ideal for use in data centers and equipment rooms where monitoring of power at the breaker/PDU level is important for availability purposes.

Select a Monitored PDU when you want to monitor total power usage.

Key Features:

  • Basic Power Distribution
  • Inlet metering
  • Branch circuit metering
  • Networking
  • Cabinet Access Control
  • Secure Link IP consolidation
  • Built-in web interface
  • Remote PDU monitoring
  • Built-in local display of total voltage, current, power, and power factor
  • High ambient temperature ratings up to 149°F (65°C)
  • Locking outlet options available*
  • UL/CE Listed

 

Monitored Plus Polar PDU
Application: For the remote power monitoring of PDUs and outlets. Ideal for use in data centers and equipment rooms where monitoring of power to individual IT equipment is important for power charge back reports.

Select a Monitored Plus PDU when you need to remotely measure individual power used by each piece of equipment.

Key Features:

  • Basic Power Distribution
  • Inlet metering
  • Branch circuit metering
  • Networking
  • Cabinet Access Control
  • Outlet Metering
  • Secure Link IP consolidation
  • Built-in web interface
  • Remote PDU monitoring
  • Remote outlet monitoring
  • Outlet grouping and naming
  • Built-in local display of total voltage, current, power, and power factor
  • High ambient temperature ratings up to 149°F (65°C)
  • Locking outlet options available*
  • UL/CE Listed

 

Switched Polar PDU
Application: For the remote on/off power control of outlets and monitoring of PDUs. Ideal for use in lights out data center and remote sites.

Select a Switched PDU if you need to remotely turn power on or off at each outlet.

Key Features:

  • Basic Power Distribution
  • Inlet metering
  • Branch circuit metering
  • Networking
  • Cabinet Access Control
  • Switched Outlets
  • Secure Link IP consolidation
  • Built-in web interface
  • Remote PDU monitoring
  • Remote outlet switching with local, LED on/off indicators
  • Built-in local display of total voltage, current, power, and power factor
  • High ambient temperature ratings up to 149°F (65°C)
  • Locking outlet options available*
  • UL/CE Listed

 

Switched Plus Polar PDU
Application: For the remote on/off power control and monitoring of PDUs and outlets. A complete power solution for colocation facilities, data centers, and equipment rooms.

Select a Switched Polar PDU to remotely measure and control power at each outlet.

Key Features:

  • Basic Power Distribution
  • Inlet metering
  • Branch circuit metering
  • Networking
  • Cabinet Access Control
  • Outlet metering
  • Switched Outlets
  • Secure Link IP consolidation
  • Built-in web interface
  • Remote PDU monitoring
  • Remote outlet switching with local, LED on/off indicators
  • Remote outlet monitoring
  • Outlet grouping and naming
  • Built-in local display of total voltage, current, power, and power factor
  • High ambient temperature ratings up to 149°F (65°C)
  • Locking outlet options available*
  • UL/CE Listed
Key Features of Polar PDUs

Key Features of Polar PDUs

Secure Link
Secure Link consolidation technology reduces costs and decreases installation time by allowing you to link up to 32 PDUs under a single IP address using standard Ethernet cables. Enjoy features such as outlet grouping, data logging, threshold alarms, and PDU cloning. Adding a second IP address provides failover capability, which allows functioning PDUs to continue communicating if a PDU in the array loses connectivity.

High Ambient Temperature Rating
Designed to withstand the heat loads of any vertical exhaust duct or hot aisle containment environment and allows full implementation of the newest ASHRAE recommendations. Perfect for installation in high-density application cabinets, all Polar PDUs are optimized for use in ambient air temperatures up to 149°F (65°C) at the input power rating (kW), ensuring that they will perform reliably in any hot aisle environment. In addition, Polar PDUs feature a low-profile design that does not block airflow.

Locking Outlets
Polar PDUs with IEC outlets come standard with locking outlets. This feature fastens straight equipment power cords to the PDU without the need for proprietary accessories, allowing you to save on additional accessory costs.

UL Listings/Circuit Protection
All PDUs are UL® 60950 listed and CE marked. They utilize100% rated, slim-profile hydraulic magnetic breakers to minimize nuisance tripping due to temperature variations and minor overloads.

Cabinet Access Control with Polar PDUs

Cabinet Access Control with Polar PDUs

Polar PDU Cabinet Access Control provides an easy-to-use and economical networked electronic lock solution for data center cabinets. Integration with Polar Power Distribution Unites (PDUs) removes the need to power and network the locks separately. Use a single network connection to deliver power, environmental monitoring, and access control.

All PDUs with auxiliary ports (manufactured after March 2017) support Cabinet Access Control. This allows Polar PDUs to provide a networked locking solution for cabinets. Users can remotely control and monitor cabinet access and keep a log for security requirements. One network connection can support up to 16 cabinets or 32 locks.


Key Features

  • Electronic swing handle with integrated sensors for lock and latch status, monitoring and alarm functions
  • Power for lock operation delivered through Polar PDU
  • Remote unlock capability
  • User-configurable unlock time delay
  • High-security lock with mechanical key override
  • Reader recognizes existing employee 125kHz or 13.56 MHz RFID cards
  • Bi-color LED (blue/magenta) to indicate lock and handle status
  • Event logging for auditing purposes, regulatory compliance
  • Integration with LDAP and Radius for added security
  • High temperature rating supports use in hot aisle environments
  • Must be used with Polar PDUs that have auxiliary 1 and 2 ports (PDUs manufactured after March 2017)


Use With

 

For more information view the Polar PDU Cabinet Access Control Tech Sheet.

data center powerPDUsPolar PDUsPower Distribution UnitsPower Management
Power Management from Subzero – Polar PDUs

Power Management from Subzero – Polar PDUs

Polar Power Distribution Units (PDUs) provide the ultimate solution for combining cabinet level power management, environmental monitoring, and cabinet access control in multi-tenant and enterprise data centers. With innovative features such as Secure Link IP consolidation and integrated Cabinet Access Control, Polar PDUs offer the quickest and lowest cost deployment among all intelligent rack PDU solutions in the industry. With high ambient temperature ratings, locking outlets, models that support up to 100 Amps, and a high number of C13 and C19 outlets, Polar PDUs are the ideal solution for any high-density environment.

Check the blog over the next few weeks for more information on our Polar PDUs.

data center powerPDUsPolar PDUsPower Distribution UnitesPower Management