State-of-the-art computing


A sweet sale for sale

IDC expects that by 2023 more than 50% of the company’s new IT infrastructure deployed will be on board rather than in corporate data centers, by less than 10% by 2020. By 2024, the number of apps on board will increase by 800%. This growth is driven by a multitude of industries: cutting-edge computing enables innovations in retail, healthcare and manufacturing. For example, retailers can implement video analysis technologies in a state-of-the-art computer node, or a piece of hardware with storage and networking capabilities, located close to their warehouse locations, that allows them to predict theft.

“The video analytics system operates on-board, analyzing customer movements to detect real-time behaviors that are predictive of theft,” a workload that is not adapted to the public cloud for reasons of speed and cost. , says Paul Savill, senior vice president of product and service management at technology company Lumen, which offers a cutting-edge IT platform. There is no need to implement cutting edge computing at every point of sale. “From a centralized node in a market area, for example, the size of Denver, cutting-edge computing can serve many more outlets in five milliseconds,” says Savill.

There may be consumer privacy issues when it comes to analytics that signal certain behaviors. But with the right practices, such as anonymization, this type of application can be an important tool in the arsenal that many retailers, driven by the blocks and restrictions following the coronavirus 2020 pandemic, struggle to find ways to operate profitably.

“From a centralized node in a market area, for example, the size of Denver, cutting-edge computing can serve many more retail locations in five milliseconds.”

Paul Savill, Senior Vice President, Product Management, Lumen


A major U.S. vendor, with 2019 revenue of $ 16.4 billion, Gap has been a leading user of cutting-edge computing. One of its largest point-of-use use cases is at cash registers or other outlets in its more than 2,500 sales outlets, where millions of transactions are processed. Edge computing allows Gap to get almost up-to-the-second data on sales performance. And during the pandemic, edge helps the retailer keep track of how many people are in their stores.

“Compliance rules for the number of customers allowed in a warehouse change based on how each state and each county was in the pandemic situation,” says Shivkumar Krishnan, head of warehouse engineering at Gap, referring to regulations intended to limit the spread of deadly disease. “So, to ensure that capacity is not exceeded, we had to make sure that we measured occupancy almost in real time.”

Processing data on a peak node eliminates the numerous failure points that exist from the store to the cloud, according to Krishnan, all from switches, routers, the telecommunications circuit and the cloud providers themselves. The advantage gives the retailer full ability to handle all transactions in each store, and they only go to the cloud if the board fails. Krishnan can remotely monitor and manage most of the vendor’s more than 100,000 devices used for sales and other warehouse operations.

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