The term “edge computing” may seem like another technical buzzword, but respected research firm Gartner believes that edge computing is fast becoming an industry standard. The world is getting faster and our need for real-time data processing is picking up as well.
So, what exactly is the edge? Edge computing are the solutions that facilitate data processing at or near the source of data generation. For example, in the context of the Internet of Things (IoT), the sources of data generation are usually things with sensors or embedded devices. Edge computing serves as the decentralized extension of the campus networks, cellular networks, data center networks or the cloud.
In the newsletter, we share Gartner research that boldly states that “the edge will eat the cloud” and that, “the architecture of IT will flip upside down, as data and content move from centralized cloud and data centers to the edge, pulling compute and storage with it.” Gartner predicts that as the demand for greater immersion and responsiveness grows, so will edge computing. “Edge computing provides processing, storage and services for things and people far away from centralized cores, and physically close to things and people.”
The offline-first functionality that the edge provides also eliminates issues like; latency, bandwidth, autonomy and security. For example, when a question is posed to devices like Alexa or Google Home there is an almost imperceptible lag while the data is retrieved from the cloud and relayed to the user. A scenario that becomes dangerous when applied to other emerging technologies.
Gartner breaks it down, “For a self-driving car traveling 70 miles per hour, 100 ms equals 10 feet. But if we have two self-driving cars, or two dozen all traveling toward the same location, 100 ms is an eternity. A lot can happen in a few milliseconds – lives could be at risk.” The cloud simple can’t keep up.
The Gartner research presented also discusses the importance of edge technology as IoT continues to explode. “More and more physical objects are becoming networked and contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment. By 2020, 20 billion “things” will be connected to the internet.” Gartner states, “A more interactive, immersive human-machine interface will force data and computing to move closer physically, and to live in the world with people.”