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What is edge computing?
What is edge computing?

What is edge computing?

What is edge computing?

What is edge computing?
Edge computing is an emerging computing paradigm which refers to a range of networks and devices at or near the user. Edge is about processing data closer to where it’s being generated, enabling processing at greater speeds and volumes, leading to greater action-led results in real time.

It offers some unique advantages over traditional models, where computing power is centralized at an on-premise data center. Putting compute at the edge allows companies to improve how they manage and use physical assets and create new interactive, human experiences. Some examples of edge use cases include self-driving cars, autonomous robots, smart equipment data and automated retail.

Possible components of edge include:

Edge devices: We already use devices that do edge computing every day—like smart speakers, watches and phones – devices which are locally collecting and processing data while touching the physical world. Internet of Things (IoT) devices, point of sales (POS) systems, robots, vehicles and sensors can all be edge devices—if they compute locally and talk to the cloud.

Network edge: Edge computing doesn’t require a separate “edge network” to exist (it could be located on individual edge devices or a router, for example). When a separate network is involved, this is just another location in the continuum between users and the cloud and this is where 5G can come into play. 5G brings extremely powerful wireless connectivity to edge computing with low latency and high cellular speed, which brings exciting opportunities like autonomous drones, remote telesurgery, smart city projects and much more. The network edge can be particularly useful in cases where it is too costly and complicated to put compute on premises and yet high responsiveness is required (meaning the cloud is too distant).

On-premises infrastructure: These are for managing local systems and connecting to the network and could be servers, routers, containers, hubs or bridges.

Why is Edge Computing Important?

Edge computing is important because it creates new and improved ways for industrial and enterprise-level businesses to maximize operational efficiency, improve performance and safety, automate all core business processes, and ensure “always on” availability. It is a leading method to achieve the digital transformation of how you do business.

Increasing computing power at the edge is the foundation needed to establish autonomous systems, enabling companies to increase efficiency and productivity while enabling personnel to focus on higher value activities within the operation.

Benefits of Edge Computing 

What is edge computing?

One of the top benefits of implementing edge computing is the ability to collect and analyze data where it is collected, catching and correcting problems that might not be identified as quickly if the data were to be sent to a central server or cloud for processing and analysis. Keeping data on site also reduces the security risk associated with porting data, which can be important in financial organizations, for example. It also reduces bandwidth costs by processing some data on site, rather than sending all data to a cloud or central server.

Challenges in Edge Computing

Successful edge computing requires a thoughtful architecture and implementation , which can be a challenge without the right expertise. Having multitudes of sites collecting and analyzing data can mean more sites that need to be configured and monitored, adding complexity. Having too few can mean critical data is missed. Decentralized locations can also mean fewer technical personnel on site, meaning non-technical operations staff may be called in to troubleshoot. These challenges can be addressed by working with knowledgeable system integrators and using the right edge technology.

Security at the Edge

Because edge computing is distributed, the security risk is different than a centralized environment. The security controls found in private data centers or public clouds, like firewalls or antivirus tools, don’t automatically transfer. Experts recommend a few simple steps, including hardening each host, real-time network monitoring, encrypting data, and adding physical security measures.

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