We've all gotten used to "the cloud," but there's another way to store data. Here are five things you need to understand about edge computing.
Over the last several years, edge computing has become a near phenomenon, making it easier than ever to develop and harvest data.
Every business of every size deals with data. And while collecting, analyzing, and broadcasting data is nothing new, where and how it happens is. To better manage the massive amounts of data modern organizations, need, edge computing came about.
Simply put, edge computing is an information technology architecture that processes client data at or near the source. It reduces the computing risks that come with exchanging immense amounts of data in various locations.
So what’s the big deal with edge computing? Is it all beneficial and here to stay?
Judge for yourself with the five things you need to understand about edge computing.
When you think about data storage structures, cloud computing surely comes to mind. Even people with no interest in computing know about “the cloud” and how it’s a useful data structure.
It is critical to note, though, that edge computing is entirely different from cloud computing. Both structures can collect, deliver, and manage data in tandem, but that may be where the similarities end.
The most significant factor about each is actually the thing that sets them apart:
Their all-crucial data housing locations.
Cloud computing is a scalable, remote structure that deploys data resources at one of many global distributed regions.
Edge computing is at the very edge of the computing device or system in need of data. Its proximity to the system that relies on the data it’s collecting to function means crucial exchanges happen faster.
A more robust data exchange is paramount for businesses and individuals that rely on the IoT.
One of the main drawbacks of collecting and collating data is that it is resource-heavy.
And when you pull vast amounts of data into the mix (as is the case with any large-scale operation)?
The pressure inflicted on already burdened resources can be especially damaging.
In traditional data computing, you see this in action with network bandwidth. Bandwidth is the volume of data that can travel a network connection in a specific timeframe, calculated in megabits per second (Mbps).
Edge computing collects and stores data at the site it’s needed on, using less bandwidth in the process. The shorter the distance the data has to travel, the less bandwidth is required to haul it.
When endless streams of data clog up a network, it is more likely to cause congestion.
Extremely slow connection speeds or network outages are typical in such circumstances.
And let’s face it:
Individuals and organizations rely on smooth, reliable network connections to work and play, day in and day out.
But ironically, the same data needed to make our businesses a success may be the thing hindering it as well.
Massive missives of data that travel across networks far and wide create a sort of digital traffic jam. They make networks more challenging to traverse and result in less dependable connections.
But edge computing’s convenient location near the processing site means far less network strain. This is excellent news for anyone with an internet connection.
Organizations use data to inform every business decision, but traditional computing systems can cause delays. As mentioned, collecting incredible amounts of raw data is straining on a network and its resources.
This may not seem like a big deal at first thought.
Who cares if your email is a little slower to load than usual, right?
But there are everyday devices and apps we use that potentially save lives.
For example, consider the millions of homes and businesses that use video doorbell security systems, like Amazon’s Ring.
Smart security devices like these alert homeowners and business owners to intruders. They even notify local authorities in case of an emergency.
You can say the same for other emerging technologies, like self-driving cars and apps that alert you to nearby wildfires or other extreme, sudden weather occurrences.
When you use technologies like this, it is crucial they work in real-time, without delays and outages.
How do these smart devices help us?
By efficiently collecting, analyzing, and responding to data at the speed of light. Any delay in networks during times of service can be damaging or even deadly.
All data is time-sensitive. Edge computing allows data to process efficiently, averting delays that cost us time, money, and our personal safety.
Tech experts the world over are increasingly concerned by a major bugaboo: data sovereignty.
As businesses grow and continue to open their digital doors to global customers and clients, it raises critical issues regarding data security.
First of all, it means they must gather and process more data as their network expands. And then, they must tread carefully, ensuring they don't infringe upon local data laws as they do.
Edge computing can be a significant boon in such instances. It processes data locally, giving a considerable advantage over traditional data processing architectures that traverse international networks.
Every country has different laws affecting the storage of data, keeping edge computing data sovereign.
Edge computing devices can alter sensitive raw data collected at the source for privacy before distributing it to data centers in other jurisdictions. This reduces or eliminates the typical transfer of sensitive data between the cloud and different devices.
Implementing edge computing can make it a win for security, privacy, and international legal issues.
Data architects continue to construct infrastructure to house data, seeking new Band-Aid-like solutions to heal swelling data dams.
Since organizations seek new ways to localize and manage data securely, edge computing is undoubtedly here to stay. It can make data exchanges quicker, more reliable, and even more secure.
What’s not to like?
Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at Reveal Playa Vista with five years of property management experience and many more in Customer Service. She shares her passion for her community and looks forward to making Reveal Playa Vista the place to call home.
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