What is Edge Computing and Why Do You Need It?

Other examples involve predictive analytics that can guide equipment maintenance and repair before actual defects or failures occur. Still other examples are often aligned with utilities, such as water treatment or electricity generation, to ensure that equipment is functioning properly and to maintain the quality of output. Take a comprehensive look at what edge computing is, how it works, the influence of the cloud, edge use cases, tradeoffs and implementation considerations.

By deploying the data servers at the points where data is generated, edge computing allows many devices to operate over a much smaller and more efficient bandwidth. The subsequent sections provide an in-depth look at the traditional data handling process, the challenges faced by traditional data centers, and the core concept of edge computing. However, as enterprises move to an edge model with IoT devices, edge servers, gateway devices, and other gear are needed to reduce the time and distance required for computing tasks and connect the entire infrastructure.

Why edge computing is the future of cloud

But the unprecedented scale and complexity of data that’s created by connected devices has outpaced network and infrastructure capabilities. Edge computing is already in use all around us – from the wearable on your wrist to the computers parsing intersection traffic flow. Other examples include smart utility grid analysis, safety monitoring of oil rigs, streaming video optimization, and drone-enabled crop management. When it comes to understanding edge computing in detail, all three parties (mentioned above) must know how to implement the process. Onboard skilled employees from within and outside the organization to form the right team with clearly defined objectives and outcomes. These teams can become the building blocks for your edge project, right from setting up operations to maintaining efficiency and running everything smoothly.

No universal, or one-size-fits-all, basic edge computing architecture currently exists, so IT teams shouldn’t assume any architecture will work for their specific network. Including edge computing basics in future network planning can strongly affect the network’s relationship to cloud computing as well, said David Jacobs of The Jacobs Group. Edge computing could act as an alternative to or a complement of cloud computing for fewer data processing delays. With edge computing, the majority of data is processed and stored locally. Any information that needs to be sent back to the data center can be encrypted before transmission.

Edge Computing: An Introduction with Examples

What these examples all have in common is edge computing, which is enabling companies to run applications with the most critical reliability, real-time and data requirements directly on-site. Ultimately, this allows companies to innovate faster, stand up new products and services more quickly and opens up possibilities for the creation of new revenue streams. Much of today’s computing already happens at the edge in places like hospitals, factories and retail locations, processing the most sensitive data and powering critical systems that must function reliably and safely.

Cloud computing is a huge, highly scalable deployment of compute and storage resources at one of several distributed global locations (regions). Cloud providers also incorporate an assortment of pre-packaged services for IoT operations, making the cloud a preferred centralized platform for IoT deployments. In practice, cloud computing is an alternative — or sometimes a complement — to traditional data centers.

What edge computing challenges do enterprise networks face?

Edge computing topology has compute and storage resources close to the user or data sources to process, filter, and analyze data and send the results right back to the user in near real time. With the continuous rise of IOT or smart devices, the demand to process the data generated is constant. On top workforce, information and infrastructure are not limited to a few enterprises defined locations. This decentralization demands decentralized processing and storage as transporting volume of traffic to and from central systems is as inefficient as it’s expensive.

This results in improved response times and less bandwidth usage, the prime benefits of edge computing. The better response times stem from the shorter distance data has to travel while being used in processes. Instead of going all the way to a central server, as is the case with cloud computing, data can make a relatively short trip to a processor positioned at the edge, such as within a factory. Several different classes of devices can operate within an edge computing architecture. Some common edge computing examples include Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices.

Career Masterclass: Discover Why Cloud Computing is the Right Career for You in 2024?

They then send alerts or interact with safety mechanisms to prevent a potentially dangerous situation. By reducing the amount of information that needs to get transmitted across the internet, an organization may not have to use as much bandwidth. Therefore, they may be able to reduce the amount they spend each month paying their internet service provider (ISP). Coinciding with the steady rise of edge computing is the introduction of 5G connectivity.

  • Organizations are increasingly moving away from traditional data centers, and deploying smaller, distributed facilities that are physically closer to users.
  • Edge application services reduce the volumes of data that must be moved, the consequent traffic, and the distance that data must travel.
  • Edge computing is not the same as the network edge, which is more similar to a town line.
  • Take a comprehensive look at what edge computing is, how it works, the influence of the cloud, edge use cases, tradeoffs and implementation considerations.
  • In this way, smart applications can recognize patterns in the environment of the edge devices on which they operate, and then use this information to adjust how they function and the services they provide.
  • For example, when AI acts on data at the edge, it reduces the need for centralized compute power.
  • In today’s fast-moving business world, a slowdown or downtime can dent your business substantially.

When it comes to the efficient programming of IoT devices, the need for speed is real. Low data latency in edge computing translates to less lag and faster load speeds, meaning less interruptions while gaming. AI characters and interactivity for online games could also be enhanced, as data would be processed locally and in real time to match a player’s capabilities. Not embedded systems only can edge devices fail or lose their connection, but without the computational power of cloud-based resources, some applications simply cannot provide adequate performance within an edge topology. Edge computing aids in the manufacturing process because edge devices can provide information to machines, robots, and users quickly and without using a lot of bandwidth.

What Is Edge Computing?

Monitoring tools must offer a clear overview of the remote deployment, enable easy provisioning and configuration, offer comprehensive alerting and reporting and maintain security of the installation and its data. Edge monitoring often involves an array of metrics and KPIs, such as site availability or uptime, network performance, storage capacity and utilization, and compute resources. In traditional enterprise computing, data is produced at a client endpoint, such as a user’s computer. That data is moved across a WAN such as the internet, through the corporate LAN, where the data is stored and worked upon by an enterprise application.

How edge enablers like 5G and digital twins are driving the future of cloud, at the edge. What makes edge so exciting is the potential it has for transforming business across every industry and function. Accelerate data monetization to extend applications and models to the edge for real-time insights, without the need to move your data. IBM Power® Systems and IBM Storage solutions put AI models to work at the edge.

Deploy edge as an extension to cloud

This minimises the need for long-distance communications between client and server, which reduces latency and bandwidth usage. When making design-related decisions, it’s best to go through some existing use cases and take enough time to get clarity. It’s important to remember that the use case referred to will impact the overall architecture and design of the edge computing landscape.


Where edge computing is often situation-specific today, the technology is expected to become more ubiquitous and shift the way that the internet is used, bringing more abstraction and potential use cases for edge technology. It’s these variations that make edge strategy and planning so critical to edge project success. IBM provides an autonomous management offering that addresses the scale, variability and rate of change in edge environments.

What is edge computing vs cloud computing?

Edge computing allows the healthcare sector to store this patient data locally and improve privacy protection. Medical facilities also reduce the data volume they send to central locations and cut the risk of data loss. The high speeds and low latency of data transfer, combined with the relative ease of installing edge devices, have seen edge computing widely used across industries.

Leave A Comment