Role Of Edge Computing in the Future of Development 

Edge Computing provides a new model for operating software applications outside the cloud. Edge is the network that connects the users and their devices and a platform where the users meet.

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It is defined as the platform closer to the end-users and similar to the cloud, but more dispersed. Let us dive into a deeper understanding of the benefits and future of Edge computing.  

What is Edge computing?  

Edge computing involves technologies that utilize computing resources available outside of traditional, cloud data centers and optimizes internet tools and web applications when it comes close to the source of computing. This can eliminate the requirement for long-distance communication between the user and the server, thus minimizes bandwidth usage and latency. To put it simply, edge computing includes conducting a few processes in the cloud and relocating these processes onto any user’s computer, an Edge server, or an IoT device. Developers can create applications by using and managing computing power available in remote locations including factories, hotels, distribution centers, retail stores, warehouses, or vehicles. Such applications can;  

  • Significantly reduce latencies  
  • Low demands on network bandwidth  
  • enhances the privacy of sensitive information  
  • Allow operations even when networks are down  

Benefits of Edge Computing  

Some of the main benefits of edge computing include;  

  1. Speed – The most important advantage of edge computing is its ability to minimize latency in order to improve network performance. The information collected does not need to travel far while comparing to traditional cloud architecture because IoT Edge computing devices process data in near locations or in edge data centers. This means that for end-users, the speed is higher and the latency is calculated in microseconds and not in milliseconds. Given that a moment’s delay or inaction can cost thousands of dollars to the company, the rapid benefits of edge computing are supreme to every network.   
  1. Performance – Instantaneous calculations and analyzes at the ends reduce latency, so performance is greatly increased. With the introduction of 5G, Edge will be able to communicate faster, and edge-operated apps will be able to respond more quickly to the emerging demand of consumers.  
  1. Availability – Critical systems are required to work regardless of connectivity. In the current communication stream, there are many strong points with the chances of failure. These points include the core network of the company, multiple hops across multiple network nodes with security vulnerabilities on network paths, and more. By using Edge, there will be an increase in the availability of systems for communication between the customer or requestor and the device or local edge node.  
  1. Data security – The analytics data does not leave the location where it is stored and is used in the local edge, in edge computing architectures. It is important to secure the edge nodes which makes it easy to handle and monitor. This indicates that the data is safe.   
  1. Scalability – The development of edge computing and cloud development has facilitated the business to measure their performances easier than ever. The calculation, storage, and analytics capabilities have been integrated into devices increasingly with smaller footprints that are located closer to end-users.  

Role Of Edge Computing in the Future of Development   

Edge computing can be integrated with multiple applications, products, and services. Though there are existing use cases, the role Edge Computing can play in many possible areas including smart homes, autonomous vehicles, etc. Such future use cases are discussed below in detail.   

  • Autonomous vehicles – An immediate decision should be made for Autonomous Vehicles (AV) to stop in front of crossing pedestrians and it is not fair to rely on a remote server to handle this decision. In addition, vehicles that use edge technology can interrelate more efficiently as they are able to communicate with each other first, instead of sending information about accidents, weather, traffic, or diversion to a remote server.   
  •  Healthcare devices – Health monitors and other wearable health care devices can monitor patients’ long-term conditions. It can also save the lives of the patients by notifying caregivers quickly whenever they need help. In addition, robots that assist in surgery will be able to quickly analyze data to assist them safely, and accurately. If these devices rely on the cloud for data transfer before making a decision, the consequences could be lethal.  
  • Security solutions – Security surveillance systems can take advantage of edge computing technology, as it is important to react to threats within seconds. Security systems are capable of recognizing strong threats and notify users in real-time of unusual actions.  
  • Retail advertising – Advertisements and information targeted at retail organizations rely on key parameters including demographic information, set on field tools. In this case, Edge Computing helps to protect the privacy of the user. Instead of sending insecure information to the cloud, it can encode data and keep the source.  
  • Smart speakers – smart speakers can acquire the ability to elucidate local voice instructions to execute a basic command such as switching the lights off or on even if there is a possibility of internet connection failure.   
  • Cloud gaming – Cloud gaming is a new type of gaming that streams the game’s live feed directly to devices and is highly based on latency. Cloud gaming companies are searching for opportunities to build as many edge servers in order to minimize the latency, give a complete response, and give an in-depth gaming experience to the gamers.   
  • Content delivery – Content delivery can be improved by caching content at the edge, such as music, web pages, video to give a better experience to the users. Content providers are trying to widely distribute the CDNs to the edge, thus ensures flexibility and customization in the network based on customer traffic demands.  
  • Traffic management – Edge computing can facilitate more city traffic management effectively. Some of the examples are enhancing frequencies of the bus that provide alterations in demand, controlling the opening and closing of additional lanes, and managing autonomous car flows in the future. There is no necessity to shift huge traffic data to a centralized cloud with the use of edge computing.   
  • Smart homes – Smart homes depend on IoT devices to collect and process data around the home. Most of the time, this data is delivered to a remote centralized server. There it is processed and saved. However, this current architecture has problems related to safety, backhaul cost, and latency. By bringing processing and storage nearer to the smart home using Edge Computing, backhaul and round-trip time is minimized, and information that is sensitive can be processed at the edge.  
  •  Predictive maintenance – Manufacturers want to enquire and find out changes in their production lines before there comes a chance of failure. Edge Computing facilitates the processing and storage of data by bringing it nearer to the devices. This allows IoT sensors to track the health of low latency machines and perform live analysis.  

Wrap up  

Edge computing ensures many benefits over traditional forms of network architecture, and will certainly continue to keep up an essential role for companies moving forward. As more and more Internet-connected devices enter the market, organizations which are innovative are likely to scratch the surface of what is possible through edge computing.  

Author Bio 

Senior software analyst lead at ClaySys Technologies

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