17 Feb Edge Computing: An Emerging Trend Snapshot by InfoTech Consulting Services
What is it?
In its simplest form edge computing is a computing layer as close to the end device as possible hence the term “edge”. This allows for applications and services to be distributed closer to where they are needed anywhere along the road from Cloud to the end device. It is important to understand that this is not a protocol layer. This is an entire horizontal system that cuts across protocols and industry verticals capable of delivering services to its users.
Why is this trend happening?
You deploy edge computing when you cannot deal with the latency of cloud based processing for intelligence or data. If you have a time critical application you need the processing related to it done as close to the “edge” as possible so as to greatly reduce the amount of data you need to send to the network that carries it to the cloud.
While this was reduced to very specific use cases keeping edge computing at a project level, it is the growth of Internet of Things that has suddenly given Edge Computing momentum and put it dead center of the hype cycle. A self driving car will have hundreds of sensors. That’s too much data to be sent to the cloud to be processed as you’re being driven! Edge computing allows for real time decision making to enable self driving cars to happen in a safe efficient manner.
When you look at the Internet of Era coming in with over twenty billion connected devices there simply will not be enough bandwidth to process it with speed. Edge computing will allow for those devices to process all but the most important information close to the end user device deploying services intelligently and adapting to its users as needed.
What are the benefits?
Edge computing will enable entirely new business models and is arguably the next trillion dollar value creation level technology. Because data processing is done close to the edge using software defined gateways the price of M2M and peer to peer computing drops drastically and the ability to build a security layer close to the edge is possible. So for the Internet of Things you get cheaper deployments, safer deployments and faster speed. It turbocharges everything for the next big computing age! Also any and all applications that rely on User Experience are suddenly that much better. Edge computing will allow you and businesses to lead more efficient lives.
What are the challenges?
Anyone who has spent time configuring networks can tell you that managing an explosion of ip addresses that allow for edge computing’s benefits to be realized will be very challenging. A lot of innovative work will have to be done. This is not about just improving networking and its uptime and flexibility, it is about reimagining it all the way from the cloud to the edge.
Meanwhile data is valuable and enterprise data centers do a great job of backing it up. How will we achieve that in the era of edge computing? This is something that needs to be figured out.