Edge and cloud computing

Edge computing complements cloud computing and because of that, it is key to reaping the full benefits the cloud offers

Internet of things, local and cloud computing. Today's information technology environments are quite complex
Internet of things, local and cloud computing. Today's information technology environments are quite complex and affect every aspect of our daily lives

Two somewhat different IT infrastructure technologies that complement each other

In recent years many companies have shifted their on-premise IT infrastructures over to cloud computing. 

Reasons why are many but, essentially, they boil down to the following:

  • Access to more flexible and more powerful data processing resources
  • Ability to do your work at any time from anywhere in the world
  • Economies of scale by
  • Paying only for what you need.
  • Having less hardware on-site to manage, update and upgrade. Thereby reducing capital expenditures.
  • Not having to higer more IT staff so often.

That’s all well and good and works great for individuals  BUT, if you’re a company, especially a large one, all these benefits can suffer if you shift EVERYTHING over to the cloud.

Edge computing is still needed to be able to take full advantage of cloud computing.

Internet of things, local and cloud computing. Today's information technology environments are quite complex

What exactly is the cloud computing?

In the simplest terms, cloud computing is the ability to store, process and access data and services  over the internet instead of using local resources.

The cloud is simply a metaphor for the internet and, cloud computing is a metaphor for providing networking, servers, storage, software, dabases, and other services via the Internet.

What exactly is edge computing?

Cloud computing offers many benefits that are far from negligible. However, when it comes to processing data from IoT (Internet of Things) sensors, it’s not all that great!

Why? It’s quite simple:

  • Data must first be transferred to the cloud, prior to being analyzed and sent back to the IoT device that sent it to begin with. 
  • This causes slowdowns and, lets not forget, data is being sent to “another network” you have no control over.
    • Who’s to say that network doesn’t have any weaknesses?

As all IT professionals know, the slightness slowdown and/or network glitch can have far reaching consequences!

Edge computing removes the need to send your raw data halfway around the world to be processed.

With edge computing, your data is processed locally and sent to the data center only when required. Thereby eliminating the need to waste valuable time, resources and money implementing an infrastructure capable of transferring huge quantities of data in real time, just to have it fed back to the devices that produced it in the first place!

Edge computing offers key advantages that can’t be ignored!

If you have a large number of connected devices that produce large amounts of data, edge computing can eliminate problems that may plague your organization.

Problems such as the following:

Latency,

Data travels quite fast over the internet. In the case of fiber optic networks, in a vacuum, it’s estimated to be travelling at 60% of the speed of light.

When it comes to IoT devices, there are many cases that show that even a few milliseconds of latency can be the difference between success and failure! Just think of 911 services as an example. Edge computing removes the need for data to make a trip to the cloud. Thereby reducing latency and providing faster response time.

Redundancy

The internet is not always all it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes it breaks down and sometimes data gets either lost or corrupted as it travels from one network to another!

Processing data at the edge creates a welcome redundancy and ensures no data loss or operational failures related to Internet connectivity.

Edge computing therefore enables mission critical organizations to leverage the power of the cloud, without risking the health of their data and/or operations

Security

Hackers are constantly looking for vulnerabilities they can exploit to gain access to your data.

While security tools, software and appliances protect your data, the only way to provide total and complete security is to process it locally and NOT have any access to the outside world. Something of an impossibility in today’s world!

Whereas, with cloud computing in place and internet access being a necessity nowadays, 100% security isn’t totally possible, edge computing helps alleviate the risks and enables companies and organizations to achieve regulatory compliance.

In conclusion

Edge computing offers many advantages but it will never replace the cloud! It does however provide tremendous advantages that do complement what cloud computing offers you.

Edge computing allows organizations and companies to :

  • Take full advantage of the IoT devices they use throughout their IT infrastructures
  • Through local data processing, benefit from reduced latency, data redundancy and increased security.​
  • Reduce risks and take full advantage of what cloud computing offers them.

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