TIA working group launches edge data centre research

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The Edge Data Centre Working Group, launched by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) in 2018, has launched a series of research papers to support the continued development of edge data centres (EDCs).

Covering topics from the types of EDCs to physical security concerns, thermal management and considerations for selecting a host site, the series is part of the group’s work to create “critical global standards” for the emerging EDC market.

“As we rely more and more on data and the internet during this pandemic coronavirus outbreak, ensuring we can trust the safety and reliability of the network and data infrastructure is proving more important than ever,” said TIA CEO David Stehlin.

“Edge data centres will be imperative to achieving the low-latency, real-time communication needed to support emerging 5G technologies like autonomous cars, cellular IoT, and smart cities. TIA’s Edge Data Centre Working Group is at the forefront of the industry, pioneering new global standards for this exciting new technology infrastructure,” he added.

For example, one area of research assesses the interaction between facilities on the inner, outer and far edge, and how these centres can support 5G wireless application in a rural environment (see graphic).

Source: TIA

Data from PwC predicts that the edge data centre market will nearly triple by 2024, rising from a value of $4 billion in 2017 to $13.5 billion before mid-decade. The consultancy firm observed that 5G, IoT take up, adoption of SDN and NFV, video streaming and AR/VR would drive the growth, along with closing “the potential 64 zettabyte gap between global data centre traffic and useable data created”

As well as supporting businesses in the agriculture, banking, defence, mining and healthcare industries, EDCs are also critical to the continued development of Industry 4.0.

“Unlike traditional data centres that are often housed in large, specialised buildings far from end users, edge data centres will be distributed closer to edge of the network and could be housed in smaller installations. By decentralising data centre locations, it reduces latency to enable the promise 5G applications,” Stehlin said.


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Established in 2018, the TIA’s working group was established to focus on a range of pressing industry issues, including security, operational risk management, orchestration and scheduling of lifecycle management events across the supplier ecosystem, and open network topology management.

It will also intended to help develop protocols to enable interoperability, authorisation, access and movement, facilitating data services across licensed and unlicensed operator networks.

The group is led by executives from Schneider Electric Secure Power Division, CommScope, EdgeConneX, Crown Castle, and others.

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