Edge computing is slowly transitioning from a theoretical concept to a realistic one in the enterprise. However, the only thing missing is a proper technical framework that techies can use. Also, enterprises are now willing to switch toward this new emerging technology. So if you are looking to grasp the concept of Edge computing and understand why it’s important for an enterprise? keep reading, this article will be your comprehensive guide to knowing.
The Edge Computing Market
The edge computing solution market size is estimated to grow from $36.5 billion in 2021 to $87.3 billion in 2026. This growth percentage is traced back to the enterprises, by moving from their own data centers to the cloud, enterprises have gone through a drastic shift in their computing resources. But with the growth of powerful mobile devices and cellular networks like 5G, enterprises are now starting to think beyond their data center also current cloud systems and are making a shift toward edge computing systems.
What is Edge computing?
Edge computing is a form of IT(Information Technology) architecture where the computation and data storage comes closer to the data source. This in turn saves some bandwidth and improves the response time.
This computer edge technology is useful in remote premises like retail stores, warehouses, factories, etc. Further, Developers can use this technology to develop use cases such as:
- Remarkably low latencies
- Lower demands on network bandwidths
- Increased privacy for sensitive data
- Enabling operations even if the networks are disrupted
How does Edge Computing Works?
The primary parameter is location. In basic enterprise, you are generating and processing the data at your computer. After this, the data is moved across a wide area network (WAN), for instance, the internet, either to a corporate local area network(LAN) or the cloud- and those servers are accessible through any location around the world.
Edge computing power shifts the focus from centralized data centers in a distant location to the edges of the existing computing infrastructure. This brings both data storage and computing services closer to the point where the actual data generation takes place, thus increasing the response time.
Benefits of Edge computing
The advantages of edge computing are seen as an evolved version. This also means rapid delivery of information to the customers, hence easy scalability. Here are some amazing benefits of edge computation applications.
✦ Predictive maintenance
Edge computing solutions are very popular in industries where high-value assets lead to massive losses when they go down. Edge computing makes the delivery of reports fast for businesses through its lightning computing speed.
✦ Remote workforce support
The pandemic is pushing businesses into remote working while separating employees across the globe. This immediate transition from in-office to work from anywhere model is a great use case for edge computing applications. So, while companies are inclining towards a remote workforce, they are also looking into ways to provide a system for the employees to access the corporate system for maintaining the work pace.
Let’s see some ways edge computing solutions can provide Remote workforce support for a distributed team:
- Lowering the data volume to move across the network
- By providing computing flexibility and density
- Reduce data redundancy
- Addressing regulatory requirements
✦ Faster Response time
Computational processes near edge devices can help lower the latency to a great extent.
For example, if an employee wants to deliver an important message to a different employee sitting on a different floor, it will take time for the message to get routed outside the building then, communicate with a server located somewhere else in the world and come back to another employee. But this situation is avoidable with the help of edge for enterprise solutions; however, a router will be in charge of data transfers in the office. This will surely minimize the delay and also save the bandwidth to a huge extent.
While this example was for one message, by 2022 50% of enterprise-generated data will be created outside the cloud. This shows us that, with the faster response time benefit of edge computing, the transmission of information sets will be faster.
✦ Data security
Nowadays, all businesses run on data. This data revolves around both business and their clients. So, processing a large number of data sets is more efficient and secure when done near the data source. Here’s the reason for the same:
Often, when businesses use cloud computing for storing data, it is usually done in a centralized location. The risk behind such a method is that it is very much open to hacking and phishing. But, if you move this data to an edge-computing architecture, it gets an additional layer of security as it is not relying on a single point of application or storage. Here, the distribution of data is in a wide range of devices.
So, even if there is a phishing attack while using edge computing solutions, it will not lead to complete chaos i.e. system shutdown because then you can disconnect the defective section of the network before it affects the complete network.
✦ Easy IoT Adoption
There is an exponential rise in enterprise spending on IoT systems.
IoT is majorly useful in manufacturing units and industries which use the connection of different devices in their work procedure. IoT is successfully making its mark in the business world. Now businesses are leveling up their computational abilities through IoT. However, a separate data center is preferable for such a transition.
With the installation of edge computing technology in the enterprise, the adoption of IoT becomes affordable and next to nothing pressure on the network bandwidth. Further, businesses use it for expanding their IoT market without any significant infrastructure cost.
✦ Low IT expense
Globally, enterprises are heavily spending on cloud solutions. Further, the pandemic is making enterprises use cloud services for their employees who are working from home.
When you bring the data closer to a network’s edge, the cost of sending the data to the cloud is saved, this further helps businesses save on their IT expenses. Additionally, in cutting down the expenses, edge computing services also play a role in increasing revenue by enabling businesses with the data transmission speed and network they require to try out new models.
These were some benefits of edge computing & different ways in which edge application helps enterprises become a better version of themselves.
Edge computing vs Cloud computing
While both edge computing and cloud computing consists of storing the data and then distributing it to the users when they request it, there are a few factors that separate them.
After going through these differences, you may be having second thoughts on whether edge computing is the right fit for your business at all. It’s a reasonable doubt, but consider the following scenario, if your business is having multiple locations or you require lower latency for your customers who are far away from your headquarters, edge computing is the answer.
Further, if you are observing a time loss in your current servers and also a significant latency issue, it’s an indication that you must upgrade your computing process.
If you are still wondering why invest in edge computing instead of local or cloud computing? The next section will give you the answers you are looking for.
Problematic areas Edge Computing Addresses
You connect with the internet and expect a rapid response. If there is any lag in your connection it is known as latency. Edge computing is capable of eliminating latency because of its network distribution, real-time data offering, and response time.
The network & bandwidth issues are avoidable with the help of edge architecture. Edge computing can process data at the nearest source. This also provides cost-efficiency with respect to data plans and sim cards.
- Network Congestion
To understand Network congestion, consider the following example- more roads built less congestion. So, in networking terms, edge computing achieves less congestion by easing up the pressure on wider area networks. Here, Instead of flooding the network with raw data, local devices analyze, filter, and compress any data locally.
- Security & Privacy
With edge computing architecture any threat or misbehavior is limited to a particular device and the local devices and local applications. This means that edge computing is less vulnerable to DDoS attacks because of its wide distribution. Although, it is vulnerable to some attacks such as malware. But, the distributive nature of edge makes it simple to implement security measures to prevent such attacks.
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Types of Edge Computing
1. Teleco Edge Computing
In Telco (telecommunications) companies, edge computing refers to the distribution of data that goes beyond the edge of the network itself. Further, it extends into the customer’s networks. It allows customers to run and use low latency applications and edge devices. It also processes or caches data closer to the source with the purpose of reducing costs, traffic, and congestion.
2. Network Edge Computing
Enterprises that won networks connect to a third-party network via Network edge computing. Various IoT solutions are possible due to the latency that Network computing provides. Further, many cyber-security options are made here due to Network edge computing being common, ‘threat barrier’ i.e. a point between the global internet and local data.
3. On-premise Edge Computing
Here, resources are on a customer’s actual premises and manageable by a network operator with respect to apps and functionalities. Functions run in a virtual environment and are cloud-based across the distributed edge infrastructure. By keeping this on-premises, it offers better security for sensitive information.
Applications of edge computing
In manufacturing, edge computing can easily help you analyze data from different machinery, systems, and processes. This helps us to adapt and tweak the overall manufacturing process.
Healthcare is one of the key areas in applications. By integrating edge computing with patient sensors, you are able to obtain all-round visibility of patients, with instant feedback. Delays in medical assessment hugely impact an individual’s healthcare; hence, reducing latency is a priority. You can also process data locally for patient privacy.
In food retailing, control of temperature plays an important role while storing perishable food in a container. Edge computing is able to collect and analyze data from refrigeration systems and building systems so the correct temperature remains intact.
The rise in demand for autonomous vehicles i.e. agribots in agriculture is noticeable. Edge computing can come in handy to localize different sensors and help agribots function smoothly.
While widespread automation is not happening in this field still, edge computing solutions in areas such as autonomous truck convoys can surely play a bigger part in cost-effectiveness and efficiency. Transportation also links back to retail as; temperature-sensitive goods are easily monitored during transportation.
- Network optimization
With the 5G network knocking on the doors, edge computing can help telecom companies with network optimization in 5G by increasing the amount of traffic as well as helping to reduce expenditure.
Modern gaming is more complex than you think. A cloud gaming streams live feeds to devices and is depending on latency, especially in a multiplayer game. By developing edge servers closer to their customers, service providers help reduce latency issues.
Nowadays, the military incorporates a huge level of technology. The best example is a fighter jet-like F-35. Edge computing allows multiple planes to use multifunction advanced data link i.e. MADL so that a formation of planes almost transforms into a single entity in sharing data and information.
Edge computing –Challenges
Being an emerging technology edge computing poses many challenges.
- Data lifecycle management
You will certainly have tons of data at your disposal, much of it will be unnecessary. So, managing your data’s lifecycle while data is close to the source is important, also when it comes to data, you will need to retain it for regulatory purposes.
- Network segmentation
More data means more applications are working constantly. Many of these apps are sensitive to latency. As Edge computing means more distribution and Network segmentation, managing the applications efficiently is a major challenge.
- Limited connectivity and control
In some cases, Edge architecture affects connectivity and control. The latest edge computing solutions focus on specific uses. To handle this issue properly, you will require integrating computing, connectivity, and storage.
- Edge computing management
Edge computing management puts up the challenges you will not find in other solutions. While sending apps and data to the edge, it is crucial that the edge architecture functions efficiently and also offers reliability no matter how much you add.
- Tracking devices & assets
It’s difficult to track devices and assets with Edge computing. It is tricky to track and monitor which edge computing devices and assets are in connection with the network. This means you need a better IT security protocol and tools to manage and see what device can access the network.
Top Edge computing companies
In order to deploy the edge computing abilities quickly in your enterprise, you will need assistance from some top edge computing companies. Here, are some top edge computing companies you must check out in 2022.
Amazon web services (AWS)
AWS offers a consistent experience through a cloud-edge model and also provides solutions around emerging technologies such as AI and IoT.
They offer edge computing orchestration and management services via their OpenManage Mobile functionalities.
ClearBlade recently introduced an Edge Native Intelligent Asset application. This application enables an edge maintainer to provide seamless connectivity between the core enterprise system and the IoT device.
Future of Edge computing
Now that you have knowledge about edge computing, you realize that edge computing will become a mandatory feature rather than a choice. According to Intel, 76% of business leaders emphasize finding the right location for data processions.
Implementation of the 5G network will be incomplete without edge computing. So this means that the world will be seeing a whole lot more of this emerging technology in the future.
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What are some examples of edge computing?
Some edge computing examples in real-world are:
- Self-driving cars
- Face detection software
- Patient monitoring
- And many more…
What is 5G edge computing?
5G and edge computing are like new kids on the block who are inextricably linked. So, 5G edge computing is basically 5G and edge working together. Hence, you will see a significant improvement in the working of different apps and observe them get processed in real-time.
What is mobile edge computing?
In simple terms, edge computing in telecom is known as mobile edge computing.