edge computing

Edge Computing Defined & What Makes It Important For Future Businesses?

Edge computing can improve your business’s network security and data privacy.

Data is decentralized and circulated among devices where it is produced. If you find you are subject to a cyberattack, the affected area of the network can be shut off or contained so only one device is compromised, ultimately making it difficult to hack into the system. This also reduces the susceptibility of other devices in the network.

Main Advantages of Edge

  • Speed
  • Security
  • Reliability
  • Cost
  • Scalability

Disadvantages of Edge

  • Security
  • Incomplete data
  • More Storage space
  • Investment costs
  • Maintenance

Edge computing is a distributed system, which is entirely different from a centralized cloud system. Meaning there are many more network combinations with several computing nodes. This is going to mean higher maintenance costs, unlike a centralized infrastructure that is possibly less costly to maintain.

How Does Edge Computing Work?

Typically, Cloud computing has altered how businesses store and use their data because it is very limited due to latency, bandwidth, security issues, outages, and inability to access data offline. Therefore, edge computing provides an impressive alternative that can dramatically alter how information is made and processed.

Edge computing is an open IT architecture that features decentralized processing power and is becoming popular these days. Rather than sending all the data collected by the Internet of things (IoT) to the cloud, Edge processes this data and only sends what is relevant bundled together to reduce latency issues.

What is Latency?

Think of it like this: If computer A needs to ask Computer B halfway around the globe before it can do anything, there is likely going to be a delay; this will be seen as latency by the user of computer A.

Edge Computing Explained

Often peddled as the “next big thing,” many companies question how edge computing is any different from the more traditional data processing solutions and how it could benefit their business.
The word edge means literal geographic distribution. It is the point where users and their devices meet. It’s a distributed platform that spreads as far as possible toward the customer cutting the distance and time it takes for them to be served, resulting in a higher bandwidth being achieved. This means data travels faster, resulting in higher speeds for end-users.
Edge computing can be placed inside organizations such as inside factories, homes, and vehicles (trains, planes, and even private cars). The edge infrastructure can be managed or hosted by communication service providers or other types of service providers.
Edge computing allows businesses to analyze their essential data in real-time. It works alongside the cloud and provides a flexible solution to companies based on their data collection and analysis needs.
Edge computing occurs at or near the source of the data, rather than relying on the cloud at one of the many data centers. It works through a mesh network of micro-data centers that store or process data logically. It is then summarized to reduce the volume before being sent to the cloud for further processing.
Edge computing is excellent for real-time collection and analysis of data. It provides a centralized location for large scale analytics, giving the business long term insights into their performance and initiatives. Any less time-sensitive data can be sent directly to the cloud for analysis or historical analysis and long-term storage.

Two types of edge computing architecture

There are two main types of edge computing models, so which type of architecture will suit your business needs the best?

  • Device-Edge Computing: data is processed directly on to the client devices.
  • Cloud-Edge Computing: data is processed on edge hardware that is geographically closer to the client’s device and not to a centralized cloud data center.

Standard PCs or laptops are equipped to handle the device-edge model; however, low-power IoT sensors can unfortunately lack the compute and storage resources that are necessary to process your data efficiently.
With the cloud-edge model, the types of devices that your end-users are using aren’t going to be a factor. This is because you will not be offloading data storage or processing from the central cloud to those devices. After all, you are offloading to sensors that run at the Edge of the cloud.

Interoperability

Edge computing made its name in industrial vectors, and it is here that this benefit is mostly experienced.
Using edge computing to channel information can bridge legacy and modern machines, which guarantees they don’t become obsolete.
There is still work needing to be done to make sure edge computing can communicate cleanly with legacy and modern machines. This has been recognized as an issue, as well, as a significant benefit by developers. Interoperability testing is being completed to determine how Edge works with more secular systems, with the end goal being to create more open interfaces.

Cost savings

Edge computing collects data and distributes it, which means you aren’t going to need tons of cloud storage, dramatically reducing your business’s operational expenses. It also means you can filter unnecessary data and only back up what’s relevant.
You won’t need any new smart equipment, as you will be able to connect modern devices to your existing technology, resulting in no need to dramatically increase your IT expenses.

Meaning and Definitions of Edge Computing

  • Edge: This is what it is used for; it is the outside Edge! For example, in the motor industry, the Edge of the network will probably be a car. In the telecommunications industry, the Edge would be a cell phone or a tower.
  • Edge Devices: The device is whatever produces or collects data. For example, it could be a machine, a cell phone, a sensor, a laptop, etc.
  • Edge Gateway: The network entry point for devices that are talking to cloud services. It is a buffer providing network translation between networks that use different protocols.
  • Edge Computing Equipment: Devices or machines outfitted to work in the Edge environment, such as storage-based hardware systems like AWS’s Snowball.
  • Fat Client: Also called heavy, rich, or thick client is a computer that provides rich functionality independent of the central server. Its software is used for data processing.
    Mobile Edge Computing – Communication systems. An example being 5G.

Speed

For a lot of businesses and organizations, speed is essential to their core business. For example, the financial sector relies on high-frequency trading algorithms, a mere millisecond slow down can have expensive consequences. In the healthcare sector, speed is vital, losing a fraction of a second could cost lives. In the business sector and data-driven services, slow speeds can aggravate customers, resulting in a loss of sales and even causing long term damage to a brand.

Why is Edge Computing Important?

Edge computing makes things easier. In simple terms, when the Internet of Things (IoT) devices can’t be continuously connected to the central cloud, or when there is poor connectivity, the Edge is ideal.

Examples:

  • Reduced IoT Solution Costs: Edge computing allows you to analyze and store your business’s data closer to the source. It reduces the amount of data that flows back and forth from the network’s cloud and the network’s Edge.
  • Added Security & Compliance: A significant plus for the Edge is the amount of security it offers. Cloud computing is centralized and is vulnerable to DDoS attacks or other cyberattacks. Edge computing addresses compliance requirements that have stopped some industries from using the cloud. With edge computing technology, companies can filter out sensitive, personally identified information and process it locally. Edge computing makes the entire network more protected and less vulnerable by distributing all the data handling stages among various devices such as sensors, transponders, cameras, and data centers.
  • Dependable Operation: When you want to work offline or your Internet is intermittent, Edge will allow manufacturing equipment and other smart devices to operate without disruption. This is great for modern businesses that count on quick data analysis, especially in remote locations such as rural areas, ships, trains, and airplanes.
  • Faster Response Time: Data latency is reduced dramatically, meaning data can be accessed instantaneously, thus reducing delays. In real terms it can prevent autonomous vehicles from colliding, or prevent factory operations grinding to a halt if there is an outage.
  • Improved Employee Productivity: Edge computing allows you to download information quickly and not have to deal with waiting and slow internet speed. It also means you don’t have to worry about the file sizes. Without edge computing, it may take hours to download the same file.
  • Saving Bandwidth: The use of smart devices means we are creating a lot of data that is not necessarily needed or critical such as security cameras, especially if you have many of these on-site in your business, continually streaming data to the cloud. This is going to be using a lot of bandwidth for potentially not very useful data. However, if those cameras were intelligent enough to process the data they are recording at source and only stream the most critical footage to the cloud.

Future-ready IT businesses need Edge computing technology

At Global IT Services, we are smart and take full advantage of both edge computing and the cloud. That is why our team of professionals is best placed to advise you about edge computing technology and what it can do for your business.

Global IT Services is a leading staffing provider in the IT industry that aims to guide you through the staffing process, whose success is backed by the dedication and effort placed to help you achieve your business goals.

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