Edge computing may prove to be the same kind of breakthrough as the cloud has been. It has the potential to address many of the issues that are currently hindering the effective use of networking. Here is a quick guide to the key benefits of edge computing and what they mean in practice.
To understand the benefits of edge computing, you need to be clear on what it is. It is also useful to be clear on how edge computing relates to the cloud.
Edge computing is the strategy of keeping data as close as possible to its originating point. What this means in practice depends on the use case.
For example, in smart environments, it may mean equipping sensors with data processing and/or storage capabilities. In ecommerce, it may mean using content distribution systems to handle the interaction between the system and the user.
In principle, it is possible for edge systems to run autonomously. In practice, there is often a significant benefit in linking them to a cloud. This can be either directly or via intermediary hubs often known as fog nodes. Processing and storage duties can therefore be shared in the most appropriate way.
This means that edge computing is not really a rival to cloud computing. It is a complement to it and an extension of it.
There are many benefits of edge computing. It is, however, very important to see these in context. Most of the benefits of edge computing depend entirely on the edge system being implemented effectively. Here is a quick guide to what you need to know.
Edge computing can significantly speed up processing times. There is, however, more detail to this statement than it might, at first, appear. Currently, edge devices tend to have fairly low resources. This means that there is a limit to the quantity of data they can process and/or store and the speed at which they can process and/or retrieve it.
As a result, edge computing often works best when some of the data-processing and/or data-storing duties are handled by other parts of a system. This would typically mean fog nodes and/or the cloud.
In this situation, one of the key benefits of edge computing is, therefore, that it lightens the load on other resources. It, therefore, speeds up timing overall.
Much the same comments apply to reliability. The internet has gone through much the same pattern of progress and development as the road network. It is therefore starting to suffer from much the same issues.
Many of these are due to the sheer volume of traffic going through modern networks. This doesn’t just mean the internet (although the internet is probably suffering the most issues). A lot of businesses are also struggling to cope with the volume of traffic they generate without excessively increasing their costs. Public cloud computing has helped a lot with this but it is still an issue.
Keeping data at or close to its source cuts down on traffic and therefore cuts down on the issues traffic volumes can cause. This can do a lot to improve reliability across networks.
For many businesses, one of the key benefits of edge computing is that it lowers costs overall. This may seem like something of a contradiction given that one of the main benefits of the public cloud is the absence of hardware costs. The reason it makes sense, however, is that edge devices are fairly low-spec and hence low-cost.
This means that the upfront costs of buying edge hardware can often be more than justified by the savings made through processing less data through the public cloud.
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