INTERTEC BLOG

Edge Computing is the Next Evolution of the Cloud

March 11, 2021 / by Frederid Palacios

Cloud computing is everywhere, literally. With access to information from any location, it seems as though the cloud could not get any closer – but it has. Recent developments in edge computing have found a way to physically distribute the cloud to companies. The rise of edge computing has brought enterprise applications closer to data sources, providing you data faster than ever before. As a relatively new trend, many organizations are unsure how to utilize edge computing or how it differs from the cloud. We'll take you through everything you need to know about edge computing and how it can benefit your company. 

Data servers resting on clouds in blue in a cloudy sky-1

What is it?

Like other tech enterprise areas, edge computing is a broad architectural concept rather than a specific set of solutions. This form of computing is applied to low-latency situations where computing power needs to be closer to a database. The edge extends beyond the data center mothership and brings the operational systems of a business back to its home base, where the data resides. As mentioned, its highlighting feature is its ability to bring applications closer to data sources such as IoT devices or local edge servers.

While this may not seem necessary to your organization, consider the volume of data that moves through your network in a given day. The significant growth and power of IoT devices have created a boom of data volumes, increasing the number of connected mobile devices to a given network. This is a meaningful development, and it is the reason for many organization's success, but it is overwhelming company networks and databases, causing bandwidth and latency issues. How edge computing differs from traditional computing is that it collects large volumes of data from operating systems, processes the data, and sends only the results to the overarching data center rather than all operations happening within the cloud. If you are committed to your optimized cloud computing system, not to worry - edge computing will not replace the cloud but enhance it. The edge allows the cloud to be deployed from any location, bridging the gap between the centralized cloud and end-users.

 

Benefits

If you still aren’t convinced that edge computing is worth the hype, it has countless features that will optimize your computing operations. The edge is a more efficient alternative to traditional data computing because of its proximity to a localized data center. Because data does not need to travel from a network to a cloud or data center to be processed, latency is significantly reduced. This enables faster and more comprehensive data analysis, creating the opportunity for deeper insights, improved response time, better bandwidth availability, and improved customer experience.

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Speed and Latency

The longer it takes to process data, the less relevant the data is. Factors such as software, bandwidth, and response time all slow down data speed, so organizations need to process data as quickly as possible. Because edge computing works within an organization's personal network, there is less competition over the network of your cloud provider. The data processing will occur on your end, and then only results will be sent to the external cloud. By splitting your data volume into pieces, you are preserving bandwidth, which can be used for other vital applications and projects. With a less-cluttered bandwidth, you will be able to improve application speed and response time drastically.

As edge data can be deployed without additional infrastructure, your developers can move services and functions more efficiently, saving them time and creating room for more dynamic and responsive applications. This leads us to an enhanced customer experience. Quicker response times and applications will provide your customers will an optimized experience, receiving their data faster, at less labor to your organization. Your operations' speed and latency will significantly impact the rest of your operations, so it is vital to move quickly, which edge computing will accomplish.

 

Reliability

Edge computing offers incredible reliability as it can locally store and process data. This means that temporary disruptions in connectivity will not impact your smart device operations, meaning that if they temporarily lose connection to the cloud, it will not affect your operations. Dependence on a network connection to the cloud can often cause delays, but with the edge, you can continue to work and upload finished results to the cloud once connectivity resumes. Internet connection reliance is one of few potential downsides in cloud storage, so reducing your dependence on it can be beneficial. Furthermore, increasing the reliability of your data processing will benefit your customers as well. Customers expect to have access to their content and applications on-demand, so ensuring this will bring them greater satisfaction, benefiting your organization.

 

Security

Another key benefit of edge computing is its security. When you feed all of your data to a cloud database through a single pipe, all operating processes that rely on that data become more vulnerable. A single complication could jeopardize the information being deployed to the cloud, thus threatening dependent operations. Cloud misconfigurations are a serious security threat, so it is crucial to address any potential security risks. Edge computing eliminates this issue by distributing your data across enterprises, distributing the risks associated with it. While you could argue that expanding the "attack surface" of your data could increase risks, it instead isolates risks. This means that an attack would only affect one portion of your data rather than the entire organization. Also, in transferring less data, there is less data to be intercepted – the majority of your data sitting safely within the walls of your organization. Your cloud provider likely has robust defence solutions against cybersecurity threats, but implementing the edge will only further aid you and your provider in protecting your data.

 

What Should the Edge Do?

Before we conclude, there are several factors you need to consider regarding your edge computing software. To ensure that your software can deliver the benefits we have mentioned, your edge computing system should be able to manage workloads across all clouds on many devices. With the capacity to handle large volumes of data on numerous devices, you will receive the increased speed, and reduced latency highlighted. Additionally, the edge should have the capacity to deploy applications to all edge locations reliably and seamlessly. This will ensure that no matter where your team is accessing data, it will work without a hitch, guaranteeing efficiency. Overall, edge computing should provide you with the openness and flexibility to adapt to changing needs for resilient data processing.

In summary, edge computing is a great tool to further equip your cloud computing system with. It is crucial to understand that the edge does not replace the cloud but strengthens it. With increased bandwidth, speed, security, and reliability, edge computing will optimize your data processing operations and simplify your data computing needs. The edge will allow you to operate your cloud-based solutions more securely with the confidence necessary to find success. Consult your cloud provider on the possibility of implementing the edge so that you can find a system that best fits your needs.  

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Tags: Cloud Migration, Cyber Security

Frederid Palacios

Written by Frederid Palacios

Fred Palacios is a seasoned software architect with more than 20 years of experience participating in the entire software development cycle across a host of different industries--from automotive and services to petroleum, financial, and supply chain. In that time, his experience working closely with high-level stakeholders has provided him with a strategic vision for developing the right solutions to flexibly meet critical business needs. As CTO of Intertec, he's continuing to focus on the creation of business-critical applications for large enterprise projects, particularly those that handle high concurrency and large datasets. He is passionate about using technology as a tool to solve real-world problems and also mentoring technical teams to achieve their maximum potential and deliver quality software.

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