System Innovation and part Edge Data Center plays, Part 5

Many think of the edge locations as an obvious move to improve the performance of services that benefit from low latency like cellular networks with edge data centers. The cellular site and its role in the overall system is complex and hard for most to understand how it works. Below is a video on system innovation that goes over some of the concepts that experienced system architects think about.

New and Old Networking Topology for Edge Data Center's for Cellular, Part 4

Most who are working on edge data centers are not networking people and edge data centers are  thought of an expansion of existing data centers. An example is the application to Cellular Sites/Towers and many thinking that micro data centers will show up at all the cellular sites and many more will show up.

Data Foundry has a nice post on Edge Data Centers.

data processing power at the edge of a network instead of in a cloud or a central data warehouse.
— https://www.datafoundry.com/blog/5-ways-to-define-edge-data-centers/

This is a common description of what the edge data center is. But what few ask is what is the network topology for edge data centers. below is an example of cellular network.

744px-GSM_ArchitecturePL.svg.png

When you look at this diagram there are many that assume that the complex network is bypassed by putting content on the edge.

As part of the movement to 5G there are many changes coming which includes a Network Function Virtualization. If you think the cellular network is going to change to support 5G, then check out this Network World post from 2014.

Clos networks is one of those enduring concepts that we will undoubtedly see again and again in the evolution of networking technologies.
— https://www.networkworld.com/article/2226122/cisco-subnet/clos-networks--what-s-old-is-new-again.html

Take a test to measure your statistical and risk literacy

Running data centers and IT is so many times about making decisions related to risks. BBC has an article on risk and uncertainty.

Whether you are a doctor trying to decide whether to trial a new treatment, a CEO trying to forecast business post-Brexit, or you simply want to know how to interpret the weather forecast, the capacity to weigh up different potential outcomes is essential for good decision-making.

Unfortunately, many people are surprisingly bad at this. Luckily, a very short test – called the Berlin Numeracy Test – now allows you to assess your ability to cope with risk and uncertainty.

Before you read on, you might want to try the test yourself. It takes just five minutes to complete and at the end you will discover how your own “risk literacy” compares to the average person.
Click here to measure your risk literacy
— http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180814-how-we-should-think-about-uncertainty

Here is a test the BBC article references. Dr. Edward Cokely is the sponsor of the research.

What is the purpose of this research? The purpose of this research is to advance the science for informed decision making, which aims to make information about the risks and consequences of decisions more intuitive and understandable for diverse decision makers.
— https://ousurvey.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1XMoRYdGvZ7GdlH

I took the test at 3a in the morning when I couldn't go back to sleep. Pleasantly I got a perfect score. The study cautions me I should still take care and may want to double check your calculations or seek additional advice when ic comes to important decisions involving risks and statistics.

These are good words of advice for data center projects. It would be interesting if everyone took the test to give them feedback on their statistical and risk literacy.

Google's data center AI puts safety first just like airplanes fly-by-wire while saving 30% of cooling energy

Google has a post on its latest application of AI from the Deepmind group to its data center cooling systems. The tech media nicely covered the post. Here is a full coverage link.

 https://news.google.com/stories/CAAqOQgKIjNDQklTSURvSmMzUnZjbmt0TXpZd1NoTUtFUWljLWRIc2pJQU1FVG02XzQzUkI2OGhLQUFQAQ?hl=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US%3Aen

https://news.google.com/stories/CAAqOQgKIjNDQklTSURvSmMzUnZjbmt0TXpZd1NoTUtFUWljLWRIc2pJQU1FVG02XzQzUkI2OGhLQUFQAQ?hl=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US%3Aen

Google choose to emphasize the system was designed for safety as indicated in the title of their post.

Safety-first AI for autonomous data center cooling and industrial control
— https://www.blog.google/inside-google/infrastructure/safety-first-ai-autonomous-data-center-cooling-and-industrial-control/

The following graphic illustrates the safety principles used like a fly-by-wire system. 

DME_DCIQ_v08-05.max-1000x1000.png
While traditional mechanical or hydraulic control systems usually fail gradually, the loss of all flight control computers immediately renders the aircraft uncontrollable. For this reason, most fly-by-wire systems incorporate either redundant computers (triplex, quadruplex etc.), some kind of mechanical or hydraulic backup or a combination of both. A “mixed” control system with mechanical backup feedbacks any rudder elevation directly to the pilot and therefore makes closed loop (feedback) systems senseless.[1]
— https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly-by-wire#Efficiency_of_flight

It has been a pleasure watching Jim Gao make progress with with AI in data center cooling and you can bet there will be much more coming.

Perspective on the Edge Data Center from Dell, Part 3

It can be hard to get a perspective on how companies are developing their edge data centers. Reading through the websites and listening to sales pitches talk about the current offering explains the current, but rarely provides a perspective.

One way to get a perspective is to look at what has been presented in the past. Thanks to Youtube it can be easy to find the history.

Here is one example from Dell's data center group.

Here is a video from 2017 with Ty Schmitt and Mark Bailey discussing their edge solution.

Now shift to 2018 and here is Mark with another video.

If you are looking at an edge solution check out the youtube videos from the edge data center team and watch what they have been saying over the years. These videos can provide a perspective that the website and sales person neglect to explain.