The vital role of Plug-n-Play Edge data centres in disaster recovery

disaster recovery

Edge computing is increasing exponentially. As our dependence on smart devices grows, so too does the need for data sorting at or close to the point of generation. But what happens if the connection is lost, perhaps due to an earthquake or other disaster? All it takes is a broken fibre cable or collapsed 5G antenna and the most carefully designed Edge to cloud hierarchy could be rendered temporarily useless.

One obvious example where this could be catastrophic is that of medical aid, perhaps in a conflict zone or during a natural disaster. The loss of comms is one of the greatest challenges in such situations. Digital tools and data play a massive role, especially when it comes to coordinating response efforts. Without connectivity, these efforts are magnified a hundred-fold.

The answer is a temporary, wholly portable Edge data centre that can – quite literally – be plugged into a power source (AC or DC) to immediately restore connectivity.

Portable Edge Data Centres

Most Edge data centres are designed to remain in one place. They’re hardwired into a wall and, bar blackouts or other temporary loss of power, rely on mains electricity. The requirements of a purpose-built, Edge server designed to work in emergency situations are somewhat different.

They need to be small and portable, be easily hooked up to a power source and have a condenser to provide reliable cooling, no matter what the ambient conditions.

Zella Pro Rapid 25Enter the Zella Pro Rapid, a complete data-centre-in-a-box solution designed for exactly such a situation.

This small, easily moved, data centre can be connected to any power source and restore connectivity virtually immediately. The benefits of this can and are revolutionising disaster management. Restoring communication and the use of advanced technology, even when the surrounding environment has been destroyed, is key to saving lives.

Some of the crucial needs of a disaster recovery data centre include:

  • Small, easily transportable size
  • Connects simply by plugging into a wall – just like a normal appliance
  • Can work on AC or DC power – can also be powered by alternative energy, such as solar
  • Doesn’t require commissioning of the cooling system – this is served by the included condenser
  • A completely sealed unit, making it impermeable to dust, sand and other airborne contaminants

This rugged, data-centre-in-a-box solution differs from other Zella products, such as the Zella Pro, that are designed for office spaces. This rugged, incredibly secure option is designed to be used in a place where portability is key. As well as disaster recovery, it’s perfectly suited for sport events, oil & gas exploration, construction sites and military use.

rescue operationSecurity issues

Such a data centre will, by means of its designed area of use and portable size, need robust security. Whether it’s used during a wartime scenario or within a natural disaster, it needs to be considered a target by ‘the enemy’. This could be unfriendly forces, looters or anyone who presents a risk to the operation. This means both physical and cyber safety need to be considered. The latter is served by the same staunch fortifications as all of the Zella products. However, its easy transportation could be a concern. Once the unit is deployed, only those with permission can access the physical unit. While it will, realistically, be part of a central command post, it’s necessary to have a failsafe system in case the unit is compromised. In such a case, the ability to completely wipe the system can be carried out remotely by an administrator, should the need arise.

Disaster recovery technology is continually evolving. The Zella Pro Rapid provides the ability to connect back to the grid within days, or even hours, using satellites to communicate with the outside world. Offering the same advantages as the Zella Pro, the Pro Rapid can be produced as per bespoke requirements, depending on customer needs.

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