Infrastructure businesses across North America are increasing their investment in remote network closets and small server rooms as they seek to add resources at the edge of the network, according to research conducted by Emerson Network Power.

Forty-two percent of the respondents to the ‘Cooling the Edge’ survey said that the strategic importance of their small IT spaces has risen in the last two years.

At the same time, more than half said insufficient cooling capacity is their largest concern when developing such sites.

Thinking small

Industrial fan
– Thinkstock / Sergiy Tryapitsyn

Emerson Network Power is a division of Emerson responsible for popular data center product ranges like Liebert and Trellis. It is being sold to Platinum Equity for $4 billion, with the deal expected to close before the end of 2016.

The company has quizzed nearly 400 IT, data center and facilities managers in the US about their edge investments and found that 39 percent have increased spending on equipment for small spaces in the last two years, and 23 percent anticipate adding network closets to their estates in the year ahead.

Nearly half of respondents said small IT spaces already contribute to driving revenue for their companies.

The survey also asked managers to rate their top three concerns in managing small IT spaces. Fifty-two percent said cooling capacity was their top concern, followed by service and maintenance, cited by 44 percent. Insufficient monitoring and cooling systems downtime were tied for third at 35 percent.

One of every six managers said they do not monitor their edge computing locations at all.

Types of cooling for small server rooms
– Emerson Network Power

“It is very important for managers to cut costs without introducing potential points of failure in their small spaces, either through the technologies they use or how they deploy them. The opportunity to implement cooling systems with remote monitoring, which significantly cut energy consumption, is a way forward for these managers to balance risk mitigation and cost control,” commented John Peter Valiulis, vice president for thermal management marketing in North America, Emerson Network Power.