A Future at the Edge: TIA’s Edge Data Center Briefing Papers

With the 5G era now underway, and the promising host of new technologies and applications it will enable, the world set to generate an unprecedented amount of data that will require rethinking the way our telecommunications and network infrastructure is deployed and managed going forward. Edge Data Centers (EDC) put information and computing in areas of demand and closer to the user to provide the increasingly fast and reliable information that current and future technology requires. Compared to a traditional data center, EDCs can be small installations scattered in locations with some that could even be fixed on a streetlight. But this new breed of data centers come with a different set of issues including cyber and physical security, environmental factors, connectivity access, and resilience.

Edge Data Centers will need to deliver the increasingly fast and reliable information that current and emerging technology demands. TIA is leading the way forward and working to build out updated global standards to guide design, development, and implementation of new Edge Data Centers.  TIA’s Edge Data Center Working Group brings together experts from carriers, data center owners, equipment and cabling suppliers, consultants, auditing firms, and more to establish best practices and standards for the mass scale deployment and operation of edge data centers for hosted computing.

TIA’s Edge Data Center Working Group issued a series of six Edge Data Center Solutions Brief Papers outlining the preliminary considerations, as defined by our working group, for working toward new industry standards. The papers cover topics ranging from the types of EDCs, to security concerns, to considerations when selecting a host site. These Solution Brief Papers set a framework for the development of industry standards.

These free papers are available on TIA’s website and cover:

  • Types and Locations of Edge Data Centers: Scoping Locations That Work for Your Needs

To meet the needs of new applications, data needs to be hosted very close to end users and network computation and communication needs to be happen in milliseconds versus having data processed, stored and sent from far away.

  • Site Selection Considerations for Edge Data Centers

Data Center site selection poses unique challenges, and Edge Data Centers (EDCs) have specific requirements which may vary from more traditional Data Center location planning as they will often be located closer to end users.

  • Survivability on The Edge

As today’s emerging technologies move further away from the traditional data center, they drive a need to ensure Redundancy, Accessibility and Survivability (R.A.S) to survive harsh or wide-ranging environmental conditions.

  • Security Considerations for Edge Data Centers

Security is critical to the success of an Edge Data Center (EDC) and should include assessing risks and solutions related to environmentals, physical protection, power supply, telecommunication cabling, access control, video surveillance, and cybersecurity.

  • Thermal Management of Edge Data Centers

Cooling system optimization is one of the core subjects of traditional data center infrastructure. When a subset of the system is physically relocated closer to the end user as described in the Edge Data Center (EDC) concept, a solution to provide a conducive environment for high power equipment will be required in public locations.

  • Operations, Administration, Maintenance and Automation of Edge Data Centers

The volume of EDC’s and their geographic distribution will present operational, administrative, and maintenance challenges due to the lack of onsite personnel in most cases.  The EDC will require new levels of monitoring and automation to achieve the reliability required by new technologies.


The TIA EDC Working and Task Groups are working to scope out the requirements to develop standards for EDCs. If you’re interested in lending your expertise to this effort, we want to hear from you. Please contact datacenterinfo@tiaonline.org to get involved.