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How to Decide If a Cloud Edge Solution Is Right for You: Key Considerations

How to Decide If a Cloud Edge Solution Is Right for You: Key Considerations


Cloud edge computing is one of the more complex types of edge computing solutions. As such, it is also a relatively expensive option. It is therefore important to think carefully before you decide if a cloud edge solution is really right for you. Here is a quick guide to what you need to know.

What is a cloud edge solution?

A cloud edge solution is a solution that takes the principles of cloud processing and moves them to the edge of a network. This means that businesses still get the speed benefit of processing data locally. They also get more power than they would if they just used edge devices or even regular network devices.

The pros and cons of a cloud edge solution

It’s traditional to start with the pros. In this case, however, it makes sense to start with the cons, or, more accurately, the con. There is only one real downside to using a cloud edge solution. You will, however, need to establish if you can tolerate it before you go any further with your assessment.

Cons
It’s more complicated to implement

Implementing a cloud edge solution is a lot more complicated than implementing a basic edge solution. That means it is also more expensive. First, you need to install edge devices as usual. Then you have to create a small-scale local data center. Then you have to connect the devices to the data center.

It may be possible for you to use less powerful edge devices since they will be doing less work. This is, however, unlikely to generate enough of a saving to make implementing a cloud edge solution as economical as a regular one.

This is why cloud edge solutions are generally only used for heavy-duty edge processing. Using them for lighter tasks would usually be excessive and uneconomical. The one possible exception would be if it were likely that processing levels would ramp up.

Pros
It takes the load off central servers

Regardless of how you undertake your central processing, you want to get the best value for it. Moving relatively basic tasks onto some form of edge computing solution allows you to redeploy your central servers where they can add more value.

If you are processing a large volume of data, however, a basic edge computing solution is unlikely to have the power you need. This is the sort of situation where a cloud edge solution would be a good option.

It reduces traffic on the internet

There are three main reasons why it is helpful to move traffic off the internet. The first is security. There are solutions that can help to mitigate the security risk of sending traffic over the internet. The most secure option, however, is just to avoid doing it.

The second is control over the traffic. The third is speed. These last two points are connected. If your data is sent on the public internet, then it will essentially get equal treatment with everyone else’s data. You can arrange for your data to be prioritized with your own ISP. This prioritization will, however, only last for as long as the traffic stays with your ISP.

On the other hand, if you send traffic over your own network, you have total control over the order of priorities. For example, you can choose to prioritize edge data traffic right behind video and audio traffic, ahead of instant messaging and email.

It reduces processing costs

This follows from reducing the load on your central servers. Even if you are running a private data center, there is a cost to processing data. If you are accessing a data center via an as-a-service offering, there will be a direct link between volume and costs.

It’s easier to manage and maintain

All forms of edge computing are going to have higher management and maintenance overheads than regular cloud solutions. Using a cloud edge solution, however, does help to reduce the differential.

With regular edge solutions, you have to manage a wide range of edge devices that operate independently of each other. With a cloud edge solution, most of your management and maintenance efforts will be focused on the data center.

It offers high resilience and high security

The fact that cloud edge solutions use local data centers means that they can carry on regardless of what happens with your central data center. Possibly more importantly, at least in some instances, they can carry on regardless of what happens with your internet connection.

Technically, this is true of any form of edge computing solution. Where a cloud edge solution wins out, however, is in the amount of offline processing it can manage.

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