Technology Solutions: The Basics of Edge Computing
As the amount of data we create and share continues to grow, the way it’s collected and processed must change. Traditionally, organizations have used technology solutions at centralized data centers to produce, manage, process, and analyze all data. However, with the increased use of the Internet of Things (IoT) and devices—alongside the rise of real-time applications—the amount of data generated is growing exponentially, and the old, centralized data center just can’t handle this load. In a sense, the traditional data center has been decentralized. New technology solutions, such as edge computing are surfacing to manage the data growth and changes.
What Is Edge Computing?
The IT world has shifted its approach to computing, extending the functionality of the data center to the edge of the infrastructure closer to the data. In basic terms, edge computing moves storage units and servers next to its data for faster, more actionable insights.
In 2018, Gartner claimed that “10% of enterprise-generated data is generated and processed outside a traditional centralized data center or cloud.” By 2025, that number is expected to grow to 75%. Edge computing is a form of information technology (IT) architecture in which client data is processed as close to the original source as possible. It increases response times while minimizing bandwidth. 5G wireless technology, alongside the speed and assistance of real-time applications (including graphics processing and analysis tools, self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, and robotics) is pushing the rapid growth of edge computing.
How Do Edge Technology Solutions Work?
It’s all about the location when it comes to edge computing. In traditional enterprise, computing data is produced at a client endpoint, such as a user’s computer. That data is transferred through a wide area network (WAN), such as the internet, to the corporate LAN, where it’s stored and processed by an enterprise application.
The results are then sent back to the client’s endpoint. This is still a tried-and-true client-server computing architecture for most standard commercial applications. However, the number of devices linked to the internet and the volume of data created by those devices and consumed by enterprises is outpacing storage and networking systems.
With edge computing, information is processed close to where the data originates, and then action is taken based on the results…or data may not need to be processed on the edge and can be sent to the data center for analysis.
Data is evaluated using these three criteria:
- No further action is needed; data doesn’t need to be stored
- Data should be stored for future evaluation
- Immediate action is needed
By processing data close to the source, edge computing reduces latency and frees up bandwidth, lowering networking costs.
The Future of Edge Computing
The potential of edge computing is far-reaching as technology changes because it’s still in its infancy and growing with other technologies. Think of the recent changes to healthcare and the amount of data created from devices that monitor patients, or all the smart devices that now exist to manage your home. And don’t forget about self-driving cars that react and adapt in real-time, rather than having to wait for commands from a data center across the country.
We’ll see boundaries between the edge, data centers — if they even exist — and the cloud because of the large amount of accessible computing and storage. Numerous ecosystems will start providing data from the edge directly, posing challenges for data integration across the three domains.
At the edge, AI and machine learning will have progressed to the point where more complex autonomous use cases will be available. Data management will continue to be necessary and will necessitate new, novel software infrastructure techniques, such as a purpose-built operating system that smoothly connects the data center, the cloud, and the edges.
Edge computing technology solutions will grow significantly over the next five years as access to 5G networks expands. It’ll continue to evolve as a growing number of consumers access data via various devices.To understand the value of edge computing, learn more about how enterprises are using it now.
Edge Computing for SMBs
Edge computing can be a good fit for businesses of all sizes striving to keep up with the ever-increasing need for data processing and storage. Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB) are increasingly turning to edge computing and IoT technology because of their dependability of interconnections and to boost their efficiency.
However, for SMBs, building an edge computing infrastructure can become complex and costly. Working with a managed service provider for your edge computing can help reduce infrastructure cost, provide needed storage, and assist with data security.
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