How To

How To Plan and Build an Edge Infrastructure


If your business goals require you to deliver applications to your customers faster and with a higher level of performance, then the solution is not likely to be surface-level. You need an infrastructure-level solution that can allow you to deploy data and apps anywhere, including to the extreme edge of the network.

The resulting edge infrastructure can revolutionize your business, but implementing it requires thorough planning and certain considerations. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Edge computing is a growing area of IT that brings faster, more stable performance to the end user of an application.
  • When planning the design of an infrastructure focused on the edge, IT teams must account for components pertaining to computing and networking functionality as well as centralization of all edge functionality.
  • When building and implementing edge technology, it is crucial to do so on a platform that maximizes scalability and cost-efficiency.

What is edge infrastructure?

“The edge” refers to an IT architecture in which computational tasks occur at the periphery of a network, closer to the client’s physical location. As a result of this, edge computing creates a faster and lower-latency experience for the end user.

Edge infrastructure, then, is an IT infrastructure built with optimal edge computing as its priority. When your organization prioritizes the edge during infrastructure design, you commit to providing the best possible experience for the user and operating in a future-proof environment that will continue to facilitate high performance, even as the infrastructure scales with business growth.

The benefit of building an edge-focused infrastructure is to provide a faster, more stable service to customers at a lower cost to the enterprise. It also bypasses certain bandwidth constraints and mitigates the risk of certain types of system failures.

A report from Grand View Research valued the global edge computing market size at USD $11.24 billion in 2022, with a projected compound annual growth rate of 37.9% from 2023 to 2030. These figures illustrate the relevance of the edge in modern IT as well as the importance that businesses should place on the establishment of edge infrastructure in their ongoing operations.

Plan for a complete foundation of components

At the core of every edge deployment are applications that the enterprise aims to deploy and manage across multiple sites. The infrastructure you plan to build should be one that will accommodate your apps and ensure application mobility.

The infrastructure itself also needs to include the right computing and networking components to enable your enterprise-specific use cases. These use cases might include remote monitoring, cloud streaming, or low-latency content delivery.

As with any IT venture, edge deployments must also contain security components that protect sensitive data. This should be a centralized security solution that extends to all edge sites.

When designing a strategy for combining these components into a complete and functional edge infrastructure, the concept of centralization should remain at the forefront. When a variety of tasks or applications are running at various locations at the edge of a distributed network, it is more important than ever to consider Nutanix as a platform that provides a single central control plane from which to comprehensively manage and monitor the entire infrastructure.

Build and implement a complete edge infrastructure

Edge implementation entails meeting challenges such as identifying data and application requirements, undertaking constant evaluation and testing, and efficiently rolling out updates as needed. Adopting the use of AI and machine learning at the edge can help overcome these challenges as they arise.

Scalability should also be a built-in feature of edge infrastructure. As your organization and operations grow, it may become necessary to scale up your infrastructure across thousands of edge sites.

When designing infrastructure for edge computing, it is important to recognize that edge use cases are different from those seen in other types of infrastructure. It is crucial to tune or configure applications for these edge-specific cases, and to ensure that the infrastructure itself will accommodate these new configurations.

There is also the cost-efficiency side of things to consider. In determining the potential ROI of building and deploying edge infrastructure, a vital factor is understanding the overall infrastructure, application, and management costs as they pertain to the edge.

Establish edge infrastructure on the best hybrid multicloud platform

Planning and building an edge-focused infrastructure requires designing an architecture of mission-critical components and implementing that design without stumbling over the edge-specific challenges that are likely to arise. These processes can be exceedingly difficult without a cloud platform in place to provide the right foundation and the level of scalability and agility needed for seamless edge operations.

Nutanix offers a hybrid multicloud solution that can facilitate the security and management of applications and systems at the edge while also providing flexibility in deploying cloud-native containerized workloads at the edge as well. With Nutanix, you have your choice of a cloud-based edge operating model without the risk of vendor lock-in.

The very concept of edge infrastructure stems from the need for businesses to have data and applications anywhere and everywhere. With Nutanix Cloud Platform serving as the foundation of your infrastructure, the goal of efficiently delivering workloads to the edge can be a highly attainable reality.

Learn more about leveraging hyperconverged infrastructure at the edge as well as how to build a private cloud that can serve as the basis of an edge network.

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