All the rave about Edge computing, and many still hold the misconception that it will take over the Cloud.
Prior to understanding how Edge and Cloud computing are interrelated, we need to take a step back and look into another current favourite technology term – the Internet of Things (IoT).
IoT was coined by Kevin Ashton back in 1999, and even with all the hype since 2016, it is still considered to be in its infancy stage. International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasted in December 2017 that IoT spending will sustain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.4% through the 2017-2021 forecast period surpassing the $1 trillion mark in 2020 and reaching $1.1 trillion in 2021.
With strong beliefs that over the next 3 years IoT will rapidly streamline business processes and redefine living with smart appliances, systems, and environments, newer technologies with major focus on reducing network traffic and resolving data processing problems are needed.
Conveniently, Edge Computing is recognized as the newer technology and thought to be taking over Cloud Computing. With the latter being an integral part of most businesses and internet users, the debate whether to opt for Cloud or Edge computing arises.
Demystifying Cloud and Edge Computing
Cloud computing, specifically public Cloud, delivers hosted services such as databases, storage, software, networking, over the Internet. It provides ease and availability of services, flexibility of migration, different types of deployment models, and services.
Edge computing is a method of optimizing or processing cloud computing systems data at the edge of network (closer to the data source). By processing data locally, the backhaul traffic to the central repository can be drastically reduced in most scenarios. This method helps to reduce the size and optimize data nearer to the source before sending it to data centres or cloud systems, across long routes.
Importance of Edge Computing in Cloud Computing
As we understand more, it becomes evident that both Cloud and Edge computing serve different purposes. Rather than being competing technologies, they complement each other. Implementing Edge in a Cloud computing model ensures optimized data, increased performance, and ease of data access to customers. Organizations would benefit from being able to analyse critical data in near real-time at the source and data latency gets reduced. Analyst Robert Cihra wrote that the best-positioned vendors for Edge computing early on include Amazon, Apple, Tesla, and GM.
In short, if Cloud computing is about centralizing processing and storage of data for stable and efficient platform for computing, Edge computing is about pushing the processing and storage closer to the data sources. Cloud computing is a broader concept which can or cannot include Edge computing technology, depending on the requirements of customers.
Gartner’s Thomas Bittman says on his blog, “The agility of Cloud computing is great – but it simply isn’t enough.” All the battle on the internet between Cloud and Edge technology enthusiasts make it an interesting debate as we try to understand what each of these are and what it holds for the future of technology.
Keen to know how getting closer to Edge Computing not just means for Cloud, but for data centers and connectivity? Join 500 senior executives and hear from experts like Spencer Denyer at the World’s first ever event for Data Center, Cloud and Connectivity buyers – the Global Selection Convention 2018, organised by W.Media.
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