Playing at the Edge – Maximizing Edge Computing for your Business
For anyone who has spent a few years on any IT project, just the name, Edge Computing, sounds risky. However, Edge Computing is about minimizing risk and maximizing your investment in all the systems your company uses to do all its day-to-day business. There are 2 things Edge Computing needs to deliver: Speed and Security.
It starts with a disparate network topology: One system on–premise; a couple in the Public Cloud – AWS, Azure, Google, and sometimes all 3; a couple of legacy systems co-located in data centers managed by a 3rd party; and then more recently, mission-critical applications hosted on SaaS platforms. All these systems and networks are vying for the edge, which ends on your laptop with information your company needs immediately to compete.
There are 3 defined areas where, for now, edge computing has become a necessity:
- CDN – Content Delivery Networks – this is where the greatest need is right now, and where most people want high performance and security, now. This is for the safe, instant download of all media types with close to zero, sub-second latency. An example we can all relate to – think Netflix on a Saturday night, especially in 2020, when the whole neighborhood is streaming. Pretty irritating when your movie pauses every 5 minutes to reload because your neighbor has fiber optics and you’re streaming over a coaxial cable.
- Artificial Intelligence – or Machine Learning. For AI systems to do what they do, and deliver the value they promise, they need access to all your companies information instantaneously, no matter the location in that disparate network topography. For a mission-critical example, one that hasn’t been perfected yet but will be in the next decade – self-driving cars. There are internal and external systems that need to be accessed with as close to zero latency as possible. Split second computations are needed – especially in traffic!
- IOT – Internet of Things. This is fast becoming a top niche in Edge Computing. In many large enterprises, from factories, to buildings, to machines and vehicles in the field, a lot of mission-critical information is being gathered. Alerts and decisions need to made with the best information at hand, and when it comes to IOT, it’s a whole new level of network complexity. Going back to the self-driving example – there may be sensors on a road detecting traffic conditions that your Tesla will need to figure out if it’s a good time to pick up speed or hit the brakes!
In all 3 areas of the Edge, the mission is the same – minimizing latency, strengthening security, and maximizing the potential of all the systems your company has invested in. 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.