Transforming Infrastructure at the Edge

We’re living in the age of the consumer, where everything and everyone is digitally connected. From devices to wearables to driverless cars, Gartner estimates there will be 20.8 billion connected “things” by 2020 and a report by IDC says the digital universe is doubling every two years, reaching 40,000 exabytes (or 40 TRILLION gigabytes) by 2020. At what promises to be a historic event next week, Dell EMC is focusing on that ever-connected world we live in and discussing how companies need to adapt now in order to stay relevant and ahead of their competition.

Our Extreme Scale Infrastructure (ESI) division will be at Dell EMC World in a big way, too. We’ll be talking about edge computing, infrastructure flexibility, and the benefits of moving data centers closer to the end user, along with what that means for carriers, service providers and the consumer. We’ll be showing off some of our latest innovations and capabilities that transform infrastructure at the edge – some of which haven’t been seen publicly before.

But first, let me take a step back to talk about edge computing and why it’s so important. Driven by the Internet of Things (IoT), video-on-demand and big data, edge computing puts data centers closer to the user, at the “edge” of the network. This allows information that is important in our every day lives to be accessed faster – whether it is receiving instant traffic reports on your phone, playing an augmented reality game like Pokémon Go or wearing goggles in the not-too-distant future for a virtual reality shopping experience. For carriers and service providers, edge computing opens the door for massive performance improvements while also creating new service and revenue opportunities.

At Dell EMC World, we’ll demonstrate how we’re taking infrastructure to the edge with our new micro Modular Data Center (MDC). This is exactly what it sounds like: a small, nimble MDC designed for service providers who want to enable edge computing, but don’t need the larger MDCs that ESI has been building for the hyperscale giants for years now. Complete with local compute, storage, and networking as well as integrated power & cooling, these micro MDCs not only provide rapid installation but speed the storage and processing of nearby data versus sending it back to a centralized data center or cloud provider.

The micro MDC we’ll be showing at Dell EMC World is composed of three racks: one IT rack featuring our DSS 9000 rack-scale infrastructure alongside two racks of power & cooling equipment. But the real beauty of MDCs is the modularity that can be tailored to a variety of configurations and workloads based on customer needs. Whether it is placed indoors or outdoors, leveraging outside air or mechanical cooling technologies, built with one rack or 24+ racks, or configured with all IT equipment or a mixture of IT and power & cooling, MDCs provide ultimate flexibility while being managed as a unified software-defined environment.

Speaking of software-defined, our DSS 9000 infrastructure is a leading example of the shift toward software-defined hardware, creating more flexibility in hardware provisioning. Purpose-built for service providers and available to select customers today, the DSS 9000 offers compute and storage sleds, built in networking, shared power & cooling as well as next-generation management via Intel Rack Scale Design (RSD) and Redfish. The combination allows users to allocate shared pools of compute, storage and networking dynamically across workloads as they need them and within the cloud environment of their choice. As an example, we’ll be demonstrating how to quickly deploy an OpenStack cluster with the DSS 9000, Intel RSD POD Manager and OpenStack Fuel at Dell EMC World.

Experts at BI Intelligence estimate that 5.6 billion IoT devices will utilize edge computing for data collection and processing in 2020. We believe micro MDCs outfitted with dense solutions like the DSS 9000 will be an attractive choice for carriers and service providers who are trying to stay ahead of that data deluge in today’s highly digital world. The combination of compute, storage and networking as well as integrated power & cooling – all in a small, flexible data center that can be as little as the size of one-half of a parking space means these MDCs can go almost anywhere and in any environment around the world. That’s truly living on the edge of digital transformation!

ESI once kept such innovations under wraps, but we’re so excited to show you their transformative power that we decided to Go Big for our customers at Dell EMC World. If you’re attending in person, please stop by the Dell EMC Datacenter booth (#B17) to see our fully-outfitted micro MDC and DSS 9000 and learn how they can radically reshape your business today. Or if you have additional questions or would like to learn more, simply reach out to

About the Author: Jyeh Gan

16 year Dell veteran in global leadership roles ranging from engineering to marketing to strategy. Helped start Data Center Solutions (DCS), led Dell Data Center Infrastructure organization and led teams on assignment in Asia.