Edge computing is beneficial in scenarios where low latency, high bandwidth, and real-time data processing are critical. By bringing computation closer to the edge of a network, edge computing will enable faster and more efficient data processing, leading to improved user experiences and enhanced operational efficiency.
What is Edge Computing?
Edge computing is a decentralized computing framework that brings computing and data storage closer to data sources such as IoT devices or local edge servers. Compared to cloud computing, edge computing enables data processing and analysis to occur at or near the edge of the network, where the data is being generated. This helps to reduce latency, improve response times and bandwidth availability, and enhance the overall performance of applications and services.
How Does Edge Computing Work?
Instead of sending all the data to a centralized data center, edge computing allows for data processing and analysis to occur at or near the source of data generation. This is achieved through the deployment of edge devices, such as edge servers or edge gateways, which are located in close proximity to the data sources.
Additionally, edge computing allows for selective data transmission to the cloud or data center, reducing the amount of data that needs to be transmitted and stored centrally. This can result in cost savings and improved network efficiency. Overall, edge computing improves the performance and efficiency of applications and services that rely on real-time data processing and low latency.
What are the Advantages of Edge Computing?
From operational efficiency to increased security, edge computing offers several advantages over traditional centralized computing. Here are some of the the following edge computing advantages:
- Increased Operational Efficiency – Edge computing helps enterprises optimize day-to-day operations by quickly processing large amounts of data at or near the local sites where that data is collected. This is more efficient compared to sending the collected data to a centralized cloud or a primary datacenter several time zones away, which may cause excessive network delays and performance issues.
- Improved Workplace Safety – In work environments where faulty equipment or changes to working conditions can cause injuries, IoT sensors and edge computing can help keep people safe. This increases the safety of workers and prevents unwanted damage.
- Reduced Latency and Fast Response Times – Edge computing reduces latency by processing data closer to the source, which results in faster response times and improved user experiences. This is especially important for applications that require real-time data processing, such as self-driving vehicles or industrial automation systems.
- Functionality in Distant Locations – Edge computing makes it easier to utilize data collected at remote sites where internet connectivity is intermittent or network bandwidth is limited.
- Reduced IT Costs – Businesses can optimize their IT expenses by processing data locally rather than in the cloud. Besides minimizing companies’ cloud processing and storage costs, edge computing decreases transmission costs by weeding out unnecessary data at or near the location where it’s collected.
- Employee Productivity – Businesses can quickly deliver the data that workers need to complete their job duties. For workplaces taking advantage of automation and predictive maintenance, edge computing keeps the equipment running smoothly without interruptions.
- Increased Security – For enterprises, the security risk of adding thousands of internet-connected sensors and devices to their network is a real concern. However, edge computing mitigates this risk by allowing enterprises to process data locally and store it offline. As a result, this decreases the data transmitted over the network, which helps enterprises become less vulnerable to security threats.
- Offline Operation – Since edge devices have their own computing power and storage capacity, they can still function even if the network connection is lost. This is crucial for applications that require continuous operation, such as remote monitoring or disaster response systems.
What is an Edge Data Center?
An Edge Data Center is a small facility that is closely located to the edge of a network as part of a distributed edge computing infrastructure. They are designed to process time-sensitive data faster, while sending less critical information to a large centralized data center. These edge facilities also offer important benefits over larger-scale centralized facilities.
First, edge data centers are spread out through multiple locations, so you are most likely to be near a facility. This reduces the physical distance that data needs to travel to reach a data facility. While Internet speeds are fast, a shorter distance to travel can reduce latency.
Another advantage of having a larger number of smaller facilities is redundancy. If one edge data center goes offline, then the surrounding facilities can pick up its services. This is important for services that require near 100% uptime such as medical services, electrical facilities, defense, and banking. Even if an edge facility isn’t entirely down, having multiple locations will allow for traffic routing to overcome latency.
Industries That Use Edge Computing
For reference, here are some of the different types of industries that rely on edge computing.
- Manufacturing – End-to-end manufacturing edge solutions can provide the speed, scalability, and resiliency for smart manufacturing outcomes. These solutions power the manufacturing edge applications and use cases around predictive maintenance, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), yield optimization, asset utilization, and more.
- Retail – You can improve shopping experiences through real-time offers, VIP perks and more. By using edge computing solutions combined with sensing technologies and artificial intelligence (AI), you can have a better understanding of your customer’s shopping experience.
- Healthcare – In the healthcare industry, it’s crucial to improve patient care through connected technologies. You can provide improved patient outcomes and control costs with connected healthcare systems. These systems deliver immediate access to real-time patient insight, along with supporting advanced data analytics and AI.
- Utilities – The energy industry is managing increasingly complex grids by performing analytics at the source of data collection with edge technology. This enables real-time demand forecasting, affordable and reliable service delivery, enhanced security, and increased customer satisfaction.
- Security – You can redefine your digital safety and security solutions by delivering essential safety and security infrastructure solutions from the edge to the core to the cloud. Edge computing can help ensure the safety and security of employees, customers and visitors to your organization’s environment.
- Telecommunications – In the telecom industry, edge computing accelerates network application integration on 5G. It improves the customer experience, increases agility, and reduces costs.
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FAQs: Edge Computing
What is edge computing technology?
Edge computing technology includes networking solutions and hardware to allow smart devices in remote or challenging environments to function without needing a full connection to a central network. Networking solutions include technologies like 5G and solutions that help to reduce latency by minimizing the amount of data sent across the network.
Common edge devices include cameras, sensors, servers, processors, switches, and routers, which connect over the network to a central datacenter. In many cases, edge devices run AI locally and send only certain critical data to the primary datacenter for additional processing.
What are edge data centers used for?
Another way to better understand what an edge data center is to look at what it’s used for. The following are some of the many services that rely on edge computing: Internet of Things, Streaming Content, Self-Driving Vehicles, Drones, Virtual Reality, and Artificial Intelligence. What all of these things have in common is that they rely on fast response times to operate properly. Edge data centers can meet these needs in a way that more centralized facilities simply can’t offer.