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Vapor IO announces new architecture for edge data centers

News Analysis
Dec 14, 20172 mins
Data CenterInternet of Things

The modular design of Vapor Kinetic Edge will enable small data centers to be deployed throughout a city.

smart city abstract
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Vapor IO, the data center technology startup previously featured for its plans to put mini data centers at cell towers, announced a new architecture for deploying and managing distributed computing power throughout cities.

As previously announced, the company launched what it calls Project Volutus, a co-location and “data center as a platform” service, powered by Vapor Edge Computing containers. What’s coming out now is details on the modules.

What is Vapor Kinetic Edge?

The actual data center module design is called Vapor Kinetic Edge. The idea is to install multiple interconnected edge computing locations around a city or a region and connect them to form a single virtual data center using centralized management and orchestration software.

This creates an edge network data center that is distributed and resilient but without a single point of failure. Rather than using redundant power and cooling infrastructure at each site, the nodes get by on the ability of the cluster to take over and distribute the load should one fail.

The secret sauce in all of this is a software stack for managing a group of locations and making them function and appear as a single data center with all of the standard data center features, such as automated site-to-site failover and load balancing.

“The edge is not a box. It’s a highly-interconnected suite of hardware, software and connectivity working together in concert,” said Cole Crawford, founder and CEO of Vapor IO in a statement. “It’s not enough to provide bent sheet metal. You need to tie all of the components together with thoughtful engineering and software so you can algorithmically and autonomically orchestrate the edge.”

The company designed its data center modules, called Vapor Chambers, with manufacturing partner Flex. The Vapor Chambers somewhat resembles the modular data center solutions that were based on a shipping container form factor that were popular a decade ago, but with some differences. The Vapor Chamber has six high-density IT racks, each of which can be subdivided into four sections. Each has a separate locking door for renting out to multiple tenants. It uses a variety of cooling methods based on the location of the Chamber.

Vapor is targeting telcos and IoT/autonomous vehicles with this service, where edge computing is needed.

Andy Patrizio is a freelance journalist based in southern California who has covered the computer industry for 20 years and has built every x86 PC he’s ever owned, laptops not included.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of ITworld, Network World, its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.