Table of Contents
- Market Categories and Deployment Types
- Key Criteria Comparison
- GigaOm Radar
- Vendor Insights
- Analyst’s Take
- About Alastair Cooke
Edge deployments are among the most dispersed HCI environments, with small clusters at many locations and usually without technical staff readily available. One area of differentiation is between “near edge” and “far edge.” The near edge is a data center that’s not on-premises, while with the far edge, the location typically depends on the function. Near-edge deployments could be in colocation or telco data centers spread around the country or around the world. Far-edge environments might be in trucks, retail stores, or oil exploration platforms. The available facilities vary greatly among these locations and so there is variation as well among solutions.
The usual data center HCI vendors are represented for near-edge environments, which require rack-mount servers and extensive resources. The difference is that there tend to be far more edge locations than on-premises data centers and visiting these locations for maintenance is usually impractical, so hands-off management of large numbers of HCI clusters is essential.
The far edge requires hardware that does not expect the niceties of a data center; power, cooling, and space may all be limited. Far-edge clusters are also more likely to run exclusively custom applications, making Kubernetes a central component either alongside VMs or possibly without any VM-based applications. At the far edge, hands-off management may not be enough; these locations may require hands-off deployment for clusters never visited by IT staff. Finally, far-edge locations may only have intermittent connectivity and must be able to operate for extended periods in disconnected mode. For example, a fishing boat on a two-week expedition might only have internet connectivity when in port.
Whether your environment consists of 500 clusters in 500 telco PoPs, or 10,000 delivery trucks, edge deployments scale out. Policy-based management of large numbers of clusters is vital. Automation of every aspect of operations and application updates is essential.
How to Read this Report
This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:
Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.
GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.
Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.