Vertiv survey shows enterprise expansion of edge infrastructure at the expense of legacy data centers

Vertiv survey shows enterprise expansion of edge infrastructure at the expense of legacy data centers

A new survey by critical infrastructure systems provider Vertiv suggested the edge component of the data center ecosystem will see a fairly significant net-new buildout over the next four years. The buildout is occurring as companies move beyond traditional edge infrastructure in support of remote offices and towards purpose-built infrastructure that supports IoT, robotics and other advanced applications.

According to the new data, 34% of the 156 industry professionals surveyed said they were either planning or engaged in significant edge deployments. Roughly 25% of them also confirmed they had already deployed new, purpose-built edge sites.

All told, participants project the percent of IT infrastructure deployed on the edge to grow from the current 21% to 27% in five years. During the same period, respondents expect the percent of centralized, on-premises IT infrastructure to decrease by 22%, while the percent of resources in the cloud increases by 32%.

In addition, on average, survey participants anticipate a 150% increase in core sites and increased activity in the cloud, showcasing a solid trend of computing resources substantially increasing across existing networks.

“The next five years will reshape the data center landscape, shifting more and more computing to the edge while buttressing the enterprise facilities at the core of modern hybrid networks,” explained Martin Olsen, global vice president for edge strategy and transformation for Vertiv.

“This survey makes clear the urgent demand for computing closer to the end-user. The future of computing is about speed and latency, and the only way to meet the need is to build out the edge of the network.”

The data seems to reflect the results of the State of the Edge 2021 report, which in March 2021 predicted $800 billion infrastructure investment would go towards edge applications by 2028. Vertiv’s new research builds on a separate survey Vertiv released in the second half of 2021, focusing on “Edge Archetypes.”

More power to the edge

How big is the edge that Vertiv is talking about? Results showed that 29% percent of sites analyzed featured between 5 and 20 racks, and 13% had more than 20 racks, highlighting an increase in power needed.

Chart: Rack size and power requirements for edge deployments
Source: Vertiv

Additional trends in the report referred to sustainability, with more than three-quarters of sites (77%) using or planning to use energy-efficient UPS systems. Security and availability were concerns noted by survey respondents, which the report claimed could be potentially jeopardized if the number of sites grows without security-conscious planning.

Vertiv has also recently partnered with Columbus Crew to deploy its edge infrastructure at the Lower.com Field stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

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