Edge Computing: What is it and What can it do for Businesses?

Published: 28th February 2019 03:44 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th February 2019 03:44 PM   |  A+A-

By Online MI

No matter how new something is, there’s always something newer just around the corner. This has always been the case hasn’t it, from cars and televisions and more recently smartphones.

But, the one thing that’s seen these new appliances appear on shelves so quickly is the advent of constantly new technology, with companies like RS Components constantly stocking newer and better bits and pieces.

Recently we’ve been living the life of wireless on superfast 4G networks, but now 5G is on the horizon it looks like a whole new revolution is coming – and that’s in the shape of edge computing.

You may not have heard of edge computing, so let’s break it down.

What is it?

So, what exactly is edge computing? Well, according to the research firm IDC, edge computing is a ‘mesh network of microdata centres that process or store critical records locally and push all received records to a central data centre or cloud storage repository, in a footprint of less than 100 square feet’.

What this means is, rather than The Internet of Things collecting a load of data, which is then sent directly to the cloud, edge computing actually processes this data within a network. However, only the relevant data or information is collected and then sent, rather than all of the data collected.

This helps to reduce latency issues, and also reduces the amount of irrelevant data stored.

What is it Good For?

While the cloud may have issues such as the amount of storage it has, edge is now helping to combat this.

When it comes to your smartphone, edge computing is seemingly making it smarter. This can be seen when it comes to privacy and data protection. This is because devices are now able to capture trends and strip out any individuality, and easily identifiable information, before it is sent to the cloud.

Aside from this, edge computing is also helping to further advance and enable The Internet of Things. This is down to it helping it to overcome bandwidth issues, slow speeds and lack of connectivity through multiple platforms, such as NVIDIA’s Jetson TX2, which says it enables ‘server-class AI compute performance for edge devices.

Businesses

So, now that we know what it is and what it can be good for, just how could it benefit your business, and businesses in general?

Well there are five key ways that it could significantly impact your business. These are:

Lowering Costs: with edge computing you’ll be able to process and analyse critical mission data closer to each device. This means there’ll be a reduction in the amount of data flowing between the cloud and the edge network. This will allow you to decide what services run at the edge, and what data goes to the cloud, reducing your Internet of Things costs.

More Security: over the years, some industries haven’t moved into using cloud computing due to security compliance requirements, which edge computing helps to address. This is due to it allowing companies to filter out sensitive personally identifiable information, which can then be processed locally, while non-sensitive information is sent for further processing in the cloud.

Faster: the response times with edge computing is also faster, as it doesn’t need to go to the cloud, thus reducing the time it takes to gather actionable insights from data.

More Dependable: another great thing about edge computing is, it allows smart devices and manufacturing equipment to operate without disruption, even if they’re offline or there’s intermittent connectivity.

Works on Multiple Devices: whether your devices are new or legacy, edge computing can covert communication protocols. This allows language from older devices to be converted into language that modern devices and the cloud can understand, which can also reduce new equipment costs.

So, as you can see, edge computing seems to be the new way forward, and companies are noticing this by adapting their business for it. Even if they haven’t yet, you can see the advantages of doing so. Therefore, it wouldn’t be surprising if we’re about to see a whole new shift when it comes to the way we operate in both our business and personal lives.

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