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Future Vision Tech Center

Shrinking the data center enlarges some CSP challenges

The notion of data centers in a suitcase exposes several challenges. First, the performance and functions of these miniature data centers must be monitored and enhanced once the performance starts to degrade.

For these performance monitoring capabilities to be achieved, one would think that continuous connectivity with the network must be maintained. But that's not necessarily the case. Depending on the use cases supported, these edge computing devices need to function independent of the core network. This means that local data handling, computation, analysis and insights generation to drive operations need to be performed without direct connection to the network – think of this as autonomous (or zero-touch) operations.

For CSPs, that could send shivers down their spine because they could be stripped of potential revenue opportunities associated with managing and maintaining the edge cloud by other players in the edge computing value chain. However, there’s an "aha" moment for CSPs if they realize that they are one of the few players in this edge computing game that can support mobility use cases. And that’s a sweet spot they must take to market.

A second operational challenge CSPs should consider is how to secure these miniature data centers. Functions of these mini data centers must be tracked in realtime to ensure they do not become a breeding ground for cyberattacks targeted at the overall network.

As important as edge computing is to the full realization of 5G, it comes with challenges that CSPs must be prepared to address, otherwise, they stand the chance of missing out on some significant growth opportunities.

— Adaora Okeleke, Senior Analyst, Omdia

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