As the edge grows and matures, new terminology and definitions can help the industry to streamline deployment and effectiveness.

The introduction of edge archetypes three years ago improved industry understanding of edge computing, and helped organizations avoid reinventing the wheel with every edge deployment. 

Since then, other organizations and industry bodies have been working in parallel to create standard processes and technologies to advance the understanding and effectiveness of the edge.

Now, building on established edge archetypes, a report further categorizes edge sites into four broad infrastructure models: device edge, micro edge, distributed edge data center, and regional edge data center.

The categorization is based on factors including: location and external environment, number of racks, power requirements and availability, site tenancy, passive infrastructure, edge infrastructure provider, and number of sites to be deployed.

The report by Vertiv asserts that edge sites will require refinements based on factors that may include environment, use case, legacy equipment, security and maintenance, enterprise data center operations, and communications capabilities. Also examined are the edge infrastructure requirements of some key verticals, including manufacturing, retail, and telecommunications, and their preferred edge infrastructure models.

Said the firm’s global Vice President (Edge Strategy and Transformation), Martin Olsen: “Creating edge infrastructure models is a necessary step toward standardized equipment and design that can increase efficiency and reduce costs and deployment timelines. Edge sites will continue to require some customization to meet users’ specific needs, but these models streamline many fundamental choices and introduce some much-needed repeatability into edge environments. This research is especially useful for specifiers, such as channel partners, and IT management professionals.” 

According to Dalia Adib, Director, Consulting, and Edge Computing Practice Lead, STL Partners, a firm that participated in the research: “By adopting the four infrastructure models, edge players across the ecosystem can derive an array of benefits, including accelerating go-to-market and expediting deployment of sites.”