When approaching workload consolidation, engineers, customers, and system integrators must take several factors into consideration to design a platform that ensures operational success.
Individual workloads have peak bandwidth requirements during their lifecycles. Bandwidth requirements rise and fall over the lifecycle, but never exceed the specified peak bandwidth. Some bandwidth considerations include:
- Peak bandwidth capabilities as specified by the platform's provider.
- If the workloads are not time-division-multiplexed (TDM), bandwidth needs can peak at the same time. The platform needs to support the sum of the peak bandwidths for all workloads being consolidated.
- If the workloads are TDM, the platform may be able to support all the workloads, even though the sum of their peak bandwidths exceeds its bandwidth capability.
- Many edge devices require a strict real-time behavior for some core functionality, for example a robot arm control. Advanced processing on the same edge platform produces faster reaction times and optimizes usage of the infrastructure and network bandwidth.
Some applications may need total logical isolation (partitioning) from each other. This guarantees that no other application on the system will interfere with its execution and address space. Partitioning requirements play an important role in determining how much consolidation is possible on a given platform. Virtualization and containerization add a certain overhead to the platform. They also limit which underlying resources are accessible by each application to ensure that one does not interfere with the boundaries of another.
The platform must accommodate the consolidated storage and power requirements of all applications. For platforms that intelligently manage power consumption, engineers should validate that such a feature does not interfere with the execution time of the individual applications.
These requirements are just a few that engineers should consider during consolidation design. All designs require comprehensive testing and validation coverage to ensure that parameters of the application's workload requirements, the platform features, and the environment in which the platform runs are not violated.