Home » Blog » 10 Things to Consider when Choosing an Edge Solution
The edge is changing; CAPEX & OPEX costs, scalability, the number of devices and tools that make up the environment, and the speed of deployment, all need to be taken into consideration for the evolving EDGE.

Many of these devices and tools are outdated, sit in silos, and were never designed for the complexities of today’s smart infrastructures.

We now have more advanced solutions that can be applied to legacy systems as well as new data flows using edge computing, cloud computing, machine learning, and AI to provide new capabilities, reduce complexities, and further drive operational efficiencies.

1. Ease of Deployment

Is your EDGE solution simple to deploy? Can your Smart Hands get the job done? Will they be able to keep the devices up to date at each location without issue? Is Zero Touch Provisioning via WAN (IPv4 and IPv6) supported? There’s nothing more satisfying than plugging in a device, and having everything just work.

2. Safety / Keeping your Data Center Safe

EDGE devices can potentially serve as a backdoor into your data center… What happens if someone uses the EDGE device to connect back to your data center and gain unauthorized access to the network? Does your solution have the proper security features in place to ensure that not only do the proper people have access, but also validate that the access is coming from an authorized location?

3. Centralized Remote Management

Can your EDGE devices be supported by an SDN, remote management or Out-of-Band solution? Does it allow you to manage all devices locally, and at each of your EDGE branches/locations? Does the solution give you a 360° view of the entire network infrastructure without the need and complexity of a high-level management platform?

4. Notifications and Actionable Data

Because it’s very costly to have IT support staff present in every one of your locations (local and remote), you need a solution that provides data logging, notification, and automation capabilities to help reduce, or eliminate, the need for onsite IT staff, or expensive remote hands at every site… You need to be informed of configuration changes and possible security risks. Receive notifications and take proactive steps to ensure uptime, whether it be through human intervention or automation scripts. Will your solution keep up with your needs?

5. Protect your Data

Is you data safe? Does your current or planned EDGE devices support the latest in data, hardware, and storage encryption protocols, and if needed, a kill switch?

6. Multi-function EDGE Device

How do you reduce the number of devices at each EDGE location you have to maintain and periodically update to help reduce power, cooling and space costs? Is there a Multi-function Edge device that provides Switching and Routing capabilities as well as VNF support and on premise vCPE, Firewall, VPN, Compute, Storage, and Failover to Cellular so I have a 24×7 virtual IT presence?

7. Telemetry

Does your solution collect critical data points, allow you to inspect data logs, build an audit trail of actions and have a dashboard for visualization KPI’s?

8. Scalability

Does your EDGE solution allow you to easily grow and rapidly scale to meet business needs; Or is it complicated, cumbersome and an overall hindrance? Can it grow with you or will it need to be replaced as you scale? Your EDGE solution needs to be easily replicated across the various branches, offices, and retail locations.

9. True Solution Cost

CAPEX and OPEX – What is the initial cost of your solution and what would it end up costing to implement, maintain, and manage? There’s money to be saved if a solution costs less to maintain. Low initial costs generally come with hefty hidden fees – Training, maintenance and operational costs all add up, and in most cases, end up costing you more in the long run. A “set it and forget it” type of solution that adds automation capabilities may have a higher initial cost, but results in a tremendous savings because it doesn’t need to be replaced as often or have dedicated staff to operate and maintain.

10. Vendor Neutrality

What good is an EDGE solution if it doesn’t play nice with other EDGE location devices? You’re at the mercy of the various device vendors, their timetables and patch schedules and applications. You need a solution that adapts to your requirements, is built on an Open Platform and allows you to integrate seamlessly with other solutions.

Bottom Line

Check out ZPE Systems family of solutions for your Data Center, Lab, and Edge location requirements. You’ll be glad you did!

Need More Information?

If you would like more information on how the Nodegrid family of Open Infrastructure Management Solutions address all the needs of Edge networks, contact a ZPE solution specialist by giving us a call -or- sending us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.