What Are Edge Systems and Why Do They Need to be Ruggedized?
Apr 19, 2021
Edge computing involves high-performance servers being located near users so that computing and analytics are closer to the source of the data creation, as opposed to relying on a remote data center. A “rugged edge” COTS server is designed and built with internal and external components capable of withstanding extreme environments.
Edge computing has grown in popularity because it reduces latency and enables real-time data processing while lowering costs and reducing bandwidth needs. In military and industrial applications, these computing installations may be located:
Onboard ships and planes
In freight containers
On a factory floor
On an oil rig
In a gas refinery
These environments require more ruggedization than a typical enterprise server location. Rugged edge COTS servers and other computing technologies may be exposed to extended temperatures, shock and/or vibration and even battle situations.
Harsh Environments that Necessitate Tough, Powerful Server Solutions
An example of a typical rugged edge application would be in a shipboard data center, where the server could be mounted in shock-isolated racks for additional protection. The server may provide video distribution for a carrier group’s defensive systems, taking advantage of legacy I/O for some sensors and modern I/O for others.
The system could be used for:
Identifying and tracking objects
Applying inferencing to gain visual understanding of the nature of the object
Raising alerts if needed
In another application example, intelligence and situational analysts may be deployed remotely in the field connected to a feed from a UAV. In that scenario, the rugged COTS server may be mounted in a transit case, providing sensor processing from a variety of inputs.
Sensor inputs can include:
Radar and infrared
Microphones that listen for gunfire or mortar fire
Triangulation of the audio feeds to identify and track the actual source
Rugged edge COTS servers can also be placed in more static remote sites for military and non-military security needs in non-staffed sentry posts. This application may use a variety of sensors (cameras, microphones, infrared) to restrict or permit entry, based on pre-defined parameters or inferred characteristics.
In addition to being tough enough to withstand all types of environments, these systems must also offer:
Adequate storage space
The right types of connectivity (wired and wireless) options for the end-user’s needs
Operational reliability within power consumption constraints
Appropriate performance capabilities for the application
Suitable mounting for the environment
Secure, tamper-resistant features to prevent theft and brute-force attacks
SMART Embedded Computing RG1000
Up to 1TB DDR4 per processor
Full height, ¾ length PCI Express slots
Up to 4 hot-swappable EDSFF E1.S SSDs
Up to 32TB storage
Software support includes CentOS, Ubuntu, RedHawk, Red Hat, Microsoft Windows and VMware
The compact, rugged, rack-mounted SMART Embedded Computing RG1000 is a 1U rugged COTS server. It boasts the leading edge of commercial Intel® processor technology while also supporting the long lifecycles demanded by military and industrial applications.
This rackmount server is designed to fit in industry-standard 19-inch frames, and at only 20 inches deep, it packs a lot of functionality into a compact package.
This rack-mounted server is ruggedized to meet challenging extended temperature, shock and vibration environments.
Optional crypto-offload devices can remove the computational burden of cryptographic and compression/decompression operations, enabling the server’s processors to focus on the core applications.
Intel® QuickAssist Technology
(Intel® QAT) provides a software-enabled foundation for security, authentication and compression. This technology significantly increases the performance and efficiency of standard platform solutions. Applications include symmetric encryption and authentication, asymmetric encryption, digital signatures, RSA, DH, and ECC, and lossless data compression.
Tier 1 DRAM
Sister division SMART Modular Technologies sources Tier 1 enterprise-grade memory DRAMs directly from the top three DRAM suppliers. These are built into modules using SMART Modular’s state-of-the-art assembly equipment.
The modules undergo a rigorous and comprehensive 3-part enterprise testing process which includes stress, temperature and time parameters.
SMART’s unique and proven screening process using custom-built test equipment and software results in only the highest quality, most reliable memory modules shipping to customers.
Rugged COTS Customization Options to Fit the Needs of Military, Industrial and Security Clients
SMART EC has a team of experts who can enhance the design of the RG1000 Rugged COTS server with different processor SKUs, mounting technologies, cooling methodologies or other technologies while retaining the COTS design.
For more information including technical specifications, please download the RG1000 Rugged COTS Server datasheet or contact SMART EC to speak with an expert about your design.