For many of us, edge computing is still somewhat of an enigma. It’s a new kind of data centre, it’s a new way to build a network and it’s also a method to speed up the cloud.
Put simply – edge computing is a method to improve the performance of Internet-based electronic devices. From phones, and computers to sensors, pressure gauges, traffic management systems, autonomous vehicle controllers. How does it do so? By taking the Internet closer to the devices. Thanks to edge computing, anything with a connection to the Internet can perform better. Think videos that don’t buffer, websites that download faster, better bandwidth and location-based applications.
Here’s an analogy that illustrates the value of edge computing perfectly. Imagine there was only one shop in your city. And this particular shop was located right in the centre. Every time anyone wanted to buy something, they’d have to make the trip to this lone retailer. This isn’t very efficient, is it? But this is how centralised networks function. With edge computing – or distributed networks – there are multiple grocery stores spread out all over the city, making it more convenient for people to buy things if and when they need them. This also makes it easier for suppliers, who no longer have to head into the middle of the city to that single store to distribute their products.
Below, we’ve outlined a few of the key benefits of edge computing.
Speed: By combatting latency, edge computing increases network performance. With edge computing, the information collected by IoT sensors, for example, doesn’t have to travel nearly as far as it would using traditional cloud architecture.
Security: Traditional cloud computing architecture is inherently centralised, which makes it vulnerable to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and power outages. Because edge computing is more distributed it is difficult for any single disruption to take down the entire network.
Versatility: Edge computing is incredibly scalable, which also makes it highly versatile. This allows companies to target new markets without having to invest in expensive infrastructure.
Automation: For industrial businesses, gathering data from the edge of the network opens up a world of possibilities. In fact, any automation application stands to benefit from collecting and analysing data at the edge. And when it comes to 5G, edge computing is key to achieving scale. Edge computing can also be used to bring those who are not yet connected, online by enabling smaller, localised servers in rural communities.
If you’d like to keep up with the latest tech, digital and business trends, our monthly newsletter is a great resource. Subscribe by completing the form below.