Edge Computing: What is It and What’s Driving It?
What is Edge Computing?
Edge computing is a relatively new concept when discussing network architecture. So what exactly is edge computing? Ultimately, edge computing optimizes internet devices and web applications by bringing computing closer to the source of data. By minimizing the need for long distance communications from
This networking philosophy brings computing as close as it can to the data source by simply running fewer processes in the cloud, and then moving those processes to local area networks such as an edge server, the user’s computer, or an IoT device. Essentially, having the computation brought to the network’s edge minimizes the amount of long-distance communication between devices and the data source.
What is the Network’s Edge?
The network’s edge is where internet device, or the local network containing the device, communicates with the internet. Considered a vague term, “the edge” could be considered an internal computer or processor that is located inside of an IoT camera. However, a person’s router, ISP, or local edge server can also be considered the edge of a network. It is important to note that the edge of the network is geographically specific to the proximity of the device. The edge of a network is unlike origin and cloud servers, which are located much further from the devices that they communicate with.
Example of Edge Computing
Let’s take a closer look at an example of edge computing. From the factory, security cameras continuously stream video back to the storage server. Most businesses generally need 15 to 20 cameras for security and monitoring. This constant stream from multiple devices creates a significant network bog and eats up precious storage space on the server. This is because the server chooses what to keep based upon the motion detection software on the server.
Now let us move the computing of the motion detection to the network’s edge. From there, each camera will use its own computer for running the motion detection software, sending footage to the cloud when it needs to. Utilizing the edge computing, there would be a massive reduction in bandwidth use, as well as the cloud server being solely responsible for storing the video footage. With this architecture, the server is not set up to now communicate with more cameras if needed, but without overload.
What is Driving Edge Computing?
According to Markets and Markets, the market of edge computing will be worth $6.72 billion by the year 2022. So what is driving edge computing? Some of the key factors pushing this new network architecture forward are the following:
- IoT (Internet of Things)
- 5G networks
- Increase of intelligent apps
- Growing load on the cloud infrastructure
Cloud computing has always been a centralized architecture. With edge computing, cloud computing transforms into a more distributed computing cloud architecture. One of the main benefits is that any type of disruption is limited to only one point in the network, rather than the whole network. A significant power outage to a DDoS(Distributed Denial of Service) attack would be limited to the edge computing device, as well as its applications. Companies that have chosen to utilize off-premise cloud computing can benefit from increased redundancy and availability. As for business critical or core function applications of the business, these can be duplicated on-site.
From the increasing number of IoT devices to low latency 5G networks and