As if the rim of a wheel, the periphery of the network – known as the edge – is where edge computing occurs, with the central data centre serving as the hub. By tapping into connected devices situated at the end of each “spoke”, data analysis can be performed, although the transfer of this information between the hub and the edge can sometimes hinder computational resources. Employing edge computing allows for data processing to execute without adversely affecting other computer functions.
Is edge computing a new concept for you? Perhaps you’re pondering if it’s just another transient tech phenomenon that won’t yield any tangible advantages for your company. But be assured, it’s not just a passing trend; nevertheless, it may not necessarily be the ideal solution for your unique business needs. However, as companies persist in integrating more connected devices into their operations, edge computing is increasingly proving its worth in addressing a plethora of computing demands in various sectors.
To determine whether edge computing is appropriate for your requirements, we have devised a set of questions. If you respond to more questions with a ‘yes’ rather than a ‘no’, then it may be advantageous for you to explore this groundbreaking approach.
1. Is your line of work related to any of the following sectors?
The sectors mentioned below are most likely to benefit from the utilisation of edge computing.
Gaming.By applying edge servers, games can be transmitted in closer proximity to players, thereby reducing latency and significantly improving the gameplay experience.
Healthcare.Edge computing boasts a variety of applications within the healthcare industry, such as the examination of data collated from wearable medical devices.
Logistics.With the help of sensors and an edge communication node, data can be communicated between autonomous vehicles in a convoy, resulting in reduced traffic congestion and lower fuel expenses. Edge computing can aid in achieving this goal.
Manufacturing.Edge computing can allow networked machines to monitor and log the condition of production machinery, granting factory employees access to instant data regarding machine functionality.
Gas and Oil.Installing sensors can allow for the dispatch of data regarding critical machinery to adjacent computers using edge computing.
Retail.Edge computing can facilitate kiosks placed strategically within a retail establishment to immediately gather and analyse consumer feedback, imparting insightful information concerning the needs and preferences of customers.
Intelligent power grid.Edge computing can facilitate the installation of sensors to enable power companies to monitor the status of their equipment. Data will only be transmitted back to the control room when human intervention is necessary.
Traffic management.Utilising edge computing applications can lead to the enhancement of bus frequency, control of highway lanes, interaction with self-driving vehicles and reduce the necessity of transmitting large amounts of data to and from centralised servers.
2. Experiencing latency issues?
For industries like healthcare and banking, the difference between triumph and failure can often come down to a matter of milliseconds. Moreover, if internet service providers are plagued by sluggish connections, they risk losing valuable customers to rivals.
Edge computing has the potential to improve latency, which leads to quicker processing times for tasks that don’t demand large data transmissions over long distances, such as transferring data from a factory to a data analysis centre. According to ZDNet, Audi serves as an example where the company adopted edge computing and observed a 100-fold improvement in their quality control checks, with a latency of a mere 18 milliseconds.
3. How concerned are you about safety?
Because of its centralised architecture, the cloud is vulnerable to cybercrime, such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, and electrical outages . In contrast, edge computing is decentralised, reducing the likelihood of the entire system collapsing due to a single disruption. As the volume of data processed at each edge location is much lower than traditional cloud approaches, less data is potentially at risk at a given time, rendering edge computing a more secure option.
4. Is it possible to process information without storing it?
Recent research featured in TechRepublic suggests that limiting the amount of data sent to data centres can lead to a significant improvement in processing speed. The use of surveillance footage serves as an example, whereby edge computers are utilised to detect and identify which items should be routed to the primary data centre, alleviating processing power requirements.
5. Do you have imminent growth plans?
Foreseeing the future of any business is arduous due to the multiple components that constitute it. Investing in several edge computing centres instead of a massive data centre expansion in unforeseen circumstances could be a more judicious alternative, allowing for greater cost efficiency and flexibility.
Businesses Should Prepare for the Future
Presently, only 10% of the data production and processing of an organisation occurs beyond a centralised data centre or cloud. However, Gartner’s research predicts that this percentage will increase to 75% by 2025. This optimistic estimate for speedy growth can be attributed to the possibility of edge computing driving innovation throughout numerous industries.
Edge computing is still a developing technology, largely due to the limited adoption of 5G networks. Consequently, it is crucial for businesses to contemplate the potential benefits that this pioneering technology could bring, namely new products, improved operations, and better performance.