Why 5G, AI, and the cloud will be critical to managing a future full of micro data centers

Edge-computing and micro-data centers are key trends, Kevin Brown, Vice President of Innovation and CTO for the IT division at Schneider Electric told TechRepublic’s Teena Maddox at the Innovation Summit North America in Atlanta. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.

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There are always many trends that are hitting the data-center industry, but the biggest one we see recently, is this trend towards edge-computing and micro-data centers. It’s clear that’s with our dependence on IT, and particularly, new generations coming on, with higher expectation for the availability and performance of IT, we need to rethink what’s happening at the edge, which I really like to think about as the first point of connection that you are interacting with from, whether it’s your phone, your tablet, your PC.

SEE: From cloud to edge: The next IT transformation (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

What used to be called server rooms and wiring closets, we see now becoming mission-critical data-center assets. And that’s really forcing the industry to rethink about, how is the ecosystem going to work together to deliver these? And what are the management tools that we need?

We think there’s a great opportunity to improve the manageability of these systems by moving into a cloud-architecture. And then, third, how do we start applying artificial intelligence, so that we can make this much more manageable?

SEE: Internet of Things Policy (Tech Pro Research)

When you start thinking in terms of thousands of micro-data centers that are now mission critical, the challenge for the industry is: How do we deliver them? How do we service them? And then, most importantly, how do we manage them? And that’s really what we’ve been doing with our eco-structure IT software platform: designing it to enable this trend we see happening. So certainly, there’s going to be a lot of big-cloud data-centers out there, big regional-edge data-centers. But there’s also a lot of action on this edge, whether it’s for retailers, or 5G rollout with Telco. The demands for the company to provide solutions there is a pretty good opportunity.”

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