When cloud-based services arrived, they were supposed to free us from the tyranny of rigid and inflexible premises-based IT solutions. And to a large extent they did, adding flexibility and driving down costs. But recently, due to the high volume of data and challenges with latency, security and privacy, many companies are realizing they need regional data centers, too.
“Getting rid of dated IT infrastructure, servers and keeping your data, networks and systems all in one central cloud server is certainly attractive,” says Clemens Jargon, Sr VP High Flex Division at Mycronic. “Most companies have a lot of data they don’t need to store locally.”
Avoiding lag time
“The problem arises when you need ‘instant data’ being generated in real time from smart sensors or users,” says Clemens. He notes that accessing this data from the cloud can tie up a lot of bandwidth and involve considerable lag times. This is totally unacceptable for sectors like the financial markets and industrial manufacturing where split-second trades, or seamless machine-to-machine connectivity is essential (IoT).
We’re seeing a trend towards building smaller, more regional data centers out closer to facilities.
Clemens Jargon, Sr VP High Flex Division
Closer to the source
“Edge computing solves this by bringing computation and data storage out closer to the source of data where it can be acted upon quickly. So today we’re seeing a trend towards building smaller, more regional data centers out closer to facilities. Or in some cases, building more intelligence into the machines to do some computing there,” says Clemens.
He continues: “The problem is that machines don’t always have the power to store resources or perform advanced analytics and machine learning tasks. Although cloud servers have the power to do this, they are often too far away to process the data and respond in a timely manner.”
5G is a key prerequisite
“If the cloud is more centralized, edge computing is more decentralized,” says Clemens. “With edge computing, the storage and applications are located somewhere between the data source and the cloud. Edge computing is vital to achieving the full potential of 5G and is being enabled by powerful CPUs in local computers.
Supporting edge computing
Mycronic supports edge computing by investing in the flexible, full-line SMT solutions and specialized systems for efficient handling of the complex circuit board assemblies required for data centers. These include industrial dispensing, coating, jet printing, inspection, electrical tests and related technologies. The 5G strategy is interrelated to this since edge computing is a key prerequisite for the success of 5G.
Key trends shaping the future
NOTE: This is the sixth of seven articles on key trends shaping the future
of the electronics industry – and how to capitalize on them.
- AI is the secret weapon for higher productivity
- Cars are smart phones on wheels – are you ready?
- East and West: two ecosystems emerge
- 5G technology fuels connectivity and innovation
- Automate or die: the brutal reality
Text: David Gray
Published: 2 november 2022