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As we reach the halfway point in 2021, it’s still all about the edge. And there seems little sign of interest in it diminishing any time soon. This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone – 5G, the internet of things (IoT), our reliance on the cloud and even the increase in remote working fuelled by the coronavirus pandemic all point to the edge. What’s particularly impressive though is the sheer level of innovation and technological development that’s going on – even through these tough times.   

  In this issue we have a special feature dedicated to micro-modular and edge data centres. Russell Poole of Equinix offers an excellent overview of how the nature and role of the edge data centre is evolving, while Dave Mullen of Leviton examines the networks that support these facilities.     

Having already become established in the industrial and automotive sectors, attention is turning to how Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) could impact the design of intelligent buildings and the operational technology (OT) used within them. To find out what’s going on, this month’s Question Time asks a panel of experts to explain the key considerations when implementing an SPE based network infrastructure, what opportunities it presents and how will it drive the development of the IoT.    

In April, US authorities arrested Seth Aaron Pendley, who is alleged to have plotted to bomb an Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centre in an attempt to ‘kill off about 70 per cent of the internet’. This incident highlights the need for rigorous and robust physical security and access control within data centre campuses, so we asked Rob Kelly of Sudlows to explain why no stone should be left unturned when it comes to protecting these buildings.    

I hope you enjoy this issue of Inside_Networks. Don’t forget, if you’d like to comment on any of these subjects, or anything else, I’d be delighted to hear from you.   

Rob Shepherd 
Editor