20 May What is Edge Computing? Advantages and Disadvantages:
Edge Computing: What is Edge Computing and Why it Matters?
Network performance is critical in today’s technology-heavy landscape; consumers expect services and products to respond to their needs instantaneously. Speed is one of the most essential considerations in how consumers utilize your product or service. To meet the high expectations of consumers, organizations need to prioritize their technologies to deliver services as quickly and reliably as possible.
Edge computing meets this goal by bringing computing power and storage as close to the source of data as possible reducing, latency and bandwidth strain, and improving both user experience and product performance, this could happen on the device or close-by on a network-connected server.
Bringing computation to the network’s edge minimizes the amount of long-distance communication that needs to happen between client and server. It’s important to bring the device as logically close to the data processor as possible to increase it’s efficiency.
This technology is not in opposition to what is typically known as “the cloud” it doesn’t mean cloud technology is disappearing, but that the cloud is now coming to you, and reducing your devices response time.
Why is Edge Computing Needed?
The utilization of traditional public or private cloud environments don’t meet the needs for many real-life applications. The explosive growth of IOT devices, like smart phones or autonomous vehicles has resulted in unprecedented volumes of data that require real-time computing power.
IOT, IOE and AR/VR, robotics, and machine learning require high availability and minimal latency when processing large amounts of data in real-time. Consider, for example, self-driving cars needing to make highly time-sensitive decisions with 30,000 sensors to consider; this would not be possible on a traditional IT infrastructure. The rapid growth, scale, and complexity of data created by connected devices has outpaced network and infrastructure capabilities. And we need to adapt our infrastructure to meet the demands of new technologies.
Edge computing is a more efficient alternative to centralized data centers or cloud servers which have bandwidth and latency issues. With Edge computing because data does not move over a network to be processed, latency is greatly reduced. Edge computing and mobile edge computing, which is conducted over 5G networks allow for faster, more comprehensive data analysis, creating the opportunity for deeper insights, faster response times and improved customer experiences.
What makes Edge computing so powerful?
Edge computing is already all around us in both our personal and working lives. If you have a smartwatch on your wrist, a smartphone in your pocket, or simply deal with traffic lights in your day-to-day life you are probably experiencing the impact of Edge Computing.
However, Gartner estimated that less than 10% of enterprise-generated data is created and processed at Edge. Much of this is down to legacy systems, centralized data centers and companies that are still adopting to cloud – Gartner estimate that Edge will rapid expand by 2025 to 75%.
Alongside the enhanced speed and efficiency across the network, there is a number of other benefits that make Edge computing a necessary business technology for the future.
Bandwidth relief: By keeping more data on the network edge, the overall volume of traffic flowing to an central severs is reduced. Because more data is being stored, processed and analyzed on a device or nearby, less is being sent to the cloud.
Reduced Latency: With so much data streaming to and from the cloud, it can bottle-neck causing reduced performance. Edge computing takes on some of the strain that is put on the cloud platform. By processing data locally, the cloud platform can perform more critical and high-power tasks like analyzing or storing data.
Improved Reliability: Edge computing moves processing tasks to multiple touchpoints throughout the network, this tends to be more resilient than centralized systems. In a traditional everything will go down if the main swerves goes down, but the spread of processing within edge computing frameworks means that even if core services go offline many services can still be delivered thanks to local processing.
Improved Security: Although there are some security issues with Edge computing, the distributed nature of Edge computing means there is no single point of failure making it much more challenging to compromise. If a breach does occur, you can easily segregate that portion of the operation without shutting down everything.
What are the risks of Edge Computing?
As with many new and rapidly evolving technologies, there are teething problems and Edge computing also comes with its risk. The core risk for Edge computing is that you are extending your surface area for attacks exponentially if everything is happening at the device level you have many possible ways to breach. This is opposed to a centralized data center or cloud solution which in theory is easy and safer to manage.
Furthermore, you are reducing the physical protections that are inherent in data centers. An entire database can be breached by simply inserting a memory stick to copy information. Also, due to the limited local storage options, it might also be difficult or even impossible to back up critical files. This of course is a major stumbling block for Edge computing adoption.
The other issue with new technologies is the cost of deploying and managing edge computing environment which can quickly exceed the financial benefits.
Edge computing is coming for both business services and consumer goods. Organizations will need to think strategically about how they utilize their cloud computing resources to accommodate this shift, in order to maintain a competitive advantage. Edge computing is at the forefront of new technologies, and while there are issues to be ironed out, it’s evolution will change how business and consumer products and services are supported.
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