Large enterprises have embraced cloud computing to store massive amounts of data. This digital strategy, however, revealed the shortcomings of the cloud. Packing information away in remote data centers has made it relatively slow to retrieve when connected devices need to make instant decisions. Edge computing has now entered the scene to solve this problem. Think of it as short-term memory for end-use applications compared to the long-term memory of the cloud.
Processing Power Where It’s Needed
Connected devices have entered every level of business and personal life. Semi-autonomous vehicles, factory robots, financial transactions, servers, and handheld devices need to process real-time information to make immediate decisions in some applications. Voice recognition represents an example of a technology that requires immediate processing of data inputs. Edge computing places an intermediary storage and processing computer physically close to the end uses. The proximity removes latency problems that arise from data moving to a distant cloud, being processed there, and then sending results back to the device or robot.
This proximity also mitigates bandwidth problems. Enterprise systems do not need to constantly send everything to the cloud when immediate data uses may be managed locally outside of the cloud. Other issues associated with the cloud include autonomy and regulatory compliance. Some systems need to operate outside of a network, and others must avoid sending data beyond a country’s border. Edge computing fulfills both of these needs.
Edge Computing Will Soon Play Massive Role
Enterprise businesses have increased their investments in edge computing because their data loads are only increasing. 5G installations also call for edge computing in many situations. According to the Data Age 2025 report from the IDC, edge computers will manage 90 zettabytes of the world’s 175 zettabytes of data. Although the cloud remains important, edge computing will improve reliability and functionality in numerous applications when cloud connections experience interruptions.
Have you grappled with latency or bandwidth problems with cloud computing? Comment with your experiences.
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