Edge Computing 101: What is Edge Computing?

edge computing 101

For most companies, the cloud is part of the mainstream at this point. Whether driven by increased desire for innovation, access, and availability or in response to the events of 2020, many leaders have embraced this delivery model and have been able to reap the rewards.

But an improved delivery model doesn’t mean a perfect one. Despite offering a wide range of benefits for end users and providing companies with cost effective technology, a cloud computing environment doesn’t exist without flaws. Well-built to handle the processing power needs of today’s company, it’s important to ask yourself whether this model is suited for your needs in the future.

Planning for the Coming Data Explosion

The problem with the cloud often comes down to one word—location. While today’s processing power needs can be served by a data center hundreds or often thousands of miles away, what happens when you’re trying to do the same with 100 times the data? Companies are embracing digital transformation, people are running increasingly data-intensive applications, and internet-connected devices are proliferating. In fact, by 2025, data needs will skyrocket:

All of this combines to present a traffic jam between the user and the processing power. For all the benefits that centralization offered, in the coming years, it expects so create a latency and performance problem. But by shortening—or eliminating—the distance between a request and the processing power, the latency issue can be eliminated.

Edge Computing: Bringing Processing Power to the User

The goal of edge computing is to put processing power as close to the user as possible. According to Gartner, Edge Computing is defined as,

“An emerging topology-based computing model that enables and optimizes extreme decentralization, placing nodes as close as possible to the sources and sinks of data and content. Connectivity and latency challenges, bandwidth constraints and greater functionality embedded at the edge favors distributed models.”

Edge computing promises to deliver three key benefits—speed, security, and scalability.

  • Speed: As the computation happens at the location where the data is generated, and there is no transfer of data over the network, latency is reduced, thus giving better inference time.
  • Security: By eliminating the pipeline between processing and inferences, no data leaves the device or is transmitted over the network, so there is no concern for data privacy and security.
  • Scalability: As the Edge computation increases, having edge computing data centers co-located with the devices allows organizations to scale the edge computation needs at a faster pace and still being very cost-effective.

But what does this mean? In essence, less distance between data creator and processor. Think of a self-driving automobile that needs to make the millions of tiny decisions and adjustments that a human does. Latency can’t be an issue and the computing has to take place within the car.

The same goes for anything in need of rapid execution. Rather than offering a limited list of commands, voice assistants will be able to handle context much more effectively in the edge. IoT devices will be able to operate much more effectively, and predictive maintenance will become easier. As the processing power gets closer, the benefits ramp up.

Your Path to the Edge Starts with Virtually

If you need real-time data to complete mission-critical tasks that keep your company profitable and safe, then it’s time to tie all these systems together using Edge Computing technology.

If your company has plans to compete in markets where getting an edge on the Edge means more market share, then select a service provider that can navigate all the different products and services without costs jumping over the barrier and sending the project right over the edge.

At Virtually Managed IT Solutions, we specialize in getting companies to the Edge. Delivering support, expertise, and insights for digital transformation, our team works with you to get your company up and running. Get to know more about us, our services, and our partners—and be sure to contact us to learn more.

Learn more in Playing at the Edge – Maximizing Edge Computing for your Business.

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