As enterprises’ IT expectations are rising, new technologies are backing their needs by offering latest mechanics which are helping them fulfill their quests. There are multiple technologies in multiple fields which are being developed through R&D and are very much capable of solving modern issues related to IT. Gone are the days when we waited patiently for the web pages to load and respond to actions because internet in those days couldn’t connect faster or analyze requests as they do now due to one or the other reason.
Today we are firmly into the cloud computing era where we make use of personal services like Dropbox, Gmail and more which are able to provide us data from anywhere at any time. Businesses make use of cloud services to store and retrieve their data. This gives the owners the freedom to access their data from any location because of the connected network of servers/data centers. By now we have learned that cloud computing has been very profitable for organizations in terms of CAPEX. The investment is low as compared to traditional computing environment and the benefits are huge in a cloud environment too.
Research firm IDC estimates, “by 2019, 40% of IoT data will be stored, processed, analyzed, and acted upon close to or at the edge of the network.”
Edge Computing is one such emerging technology which is already playing an important role by enabling quick decision making by analyzing the data at the edge of the network. Edge computing basically tries to provide low latency by processing closer to the source of data collection. Internet of Things (IoT) devices are an important component of edge computing because analysis of data takes place within these connected devices which are far from a data center but are able to process data on the edge. This technology satisfies the local computing needs by processing data in micro data centers like an office or a facility instead of sending them directly to the main data center. Micro data center is at the center of edge computing needs. One can say this is an on premise technology which is diminished to match certain business models. It is important to make sure that IT infrastructure can operate on site, from within the largest spaces to small remote sites if we ever want to unleash the true benefits of edge computing. The challenging areas in remote locations can be connectivity and network connection but by bringing data locally on-site, latency can be eliminated.
The adoption of edge computing has been rapid since its introduction and its real-time benefits. There is a common misconception among people that edge computing is purely a technology for IoT embedded devices but that is definitely not true. Though edge computing is ideal for IoT, it offers great scope for departmental and traditional business applications. Wherever the data sources are, the edge computing layer will be operating close to it. There will be units which will be configured for particular functions which will be their primary job in a device. Each unit in the edge computing will have its own compute, storage and networking. These devices will handle network switching, routing, load balancing and security. The entire network of these devices becomes a centralized point for data processing from multiple sources. The data points will be analyzed by event processing engines which will decide the path where the data will be streamed. The data may be processed on edge or can be sent to a data center nearby based on pre-defined rules for further analysis. There are two types of data which are ‘Hot Data’ and ‘Cold Data’. Hot data will be analyzed instantly to take quick decisions and in case of Cold data, the data will be stored and analyzed later which supports analytics based on historical trends.
One of the most important features revolving around the term edge computing is the speed and agility it offers is so great that in future the data which is stored will be acted upon the edge of network instead of transferring it to data centers for further analysis.
These days’ organizations are adopting the best practices for their business so that they can stay ahead of their competition. As technology evolves it brings new opportunities for the world so that we can adapt to the changing ways and improve our current state. Even if edge computing is relatively a new term, it has opened up great scope for organizations to implement this technology and make use of faster and accurate data processing and transferring through a cluster of edge computing network. Decision making, lower costs, faster data processing, analytical trends are some of the many benefits edge computing offers. It is time for enterprises to take the next logical step towards upgradation of their business processes.