Most companies in the consumer and industrial space are undergoing a digital transformation to at least some extent as they seek to gain business efficiencies and opportunities from Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and more. In the process, they’re finding they need more compute power not just in centralized data centers but in myriad distributed locations, creating the need for industrial edge data centers.
Whereas once a server or two and some network switches would suffice to meet local computing needs in a retail store, manufacturing plant, warehouse, or healthcare facility, the trend toward digital transformation changes the equation. IIoT sensors and devices generate massive amounts of data that must be processed in or near real time by AI/ML and other applications in order to generate business value. In many cases, these include customer-facing applications intended to drive interactions and sales.