Why does Edge ComputingMatter?
Imagine the following scenario: While you're resting in your temperature-controlled bed, your alarm clock goes off, prompting your curtains to split, letting just enough sunshine to gently wake you up. Your smart speakers start playing upbeat music as soon as you get out of bed. Your coffee machine starts brewing when sensors on your floor detect that you are awake. Before you take your first drink, you stroll into the kitchen, where a pot of freshly brewed black coffee welcomes you, and the music is replaced with a narration of the morning's news headlines.
Gives the vibes of Tony Stark's life, doesn’t it? But you might be wondering, what does this have to do with me? Well, you can live a hyper-advanced lifestyle sooner than you would think.
A web of interconnected devices exchange data with one another via software, sensorsand other technologies. The network has spawned several ground-breaking applications in fields such as communication, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and, of course, home automation (smart homes). Because of its widespread use, the Internet of Things currently has 620 publicly recorded systems, up from 260 in 2015. Microsoft and Google are among the behemoths fighting for a piece of the ever-growing IoT platform pie. Global IoT investment is expected to reach a whopping 1.1 trillion dollars by 2023, according to projections.This might be due to businesses' increased focus on security, as well as the drive to enhance efficiency and reduce operational costs. Smart homes and smart cities are also valuable technological investments.
However, the development of IoT and other similar technologies that would lead us all into the future has a bottleneck. The processing of all data provided by IoT devices (among other sources) clogs up today's centralized networks. The phrase "edge computing" refers to a form of computing that takes place at the edge of a network. With improvements in efficiency, latency, bandwidth use, and network congestion, Edge Computing is the magic wand that will get us closer to that beautiful, automatically prepared pot of coffee in the morning. Not to mention the consequences for industries in terms of security, efficiency, and cost-cutting.
What is Edge Computing?
Edge computing is a computer paradigm that allows processing to occur near or at the data source. This contrasts with the common practice of computing solely in the cloud at the data center. This isn't to say that the cloud will go away. It just means that the cloud is getting closer to you.
Edge computing boosts online application speed by putting processing closer to the data source. The literal geographical dispersion is the meaning of the word "edge" in this context. This reduces latency and bandwidth usage by eliminating the need for long-distance connections between clients and servers.By placing computers closer to the data source, edge computing enhances Internet devices and online applications. The global edge computing sector is anticipated to expand from 3.6 billion in 2017 to 15.7 billion in 2025 because of its utilization..
For abreakdown of Edge Computing &its concepts, look at the 2-parter STL TechTalk from industry expert himself Mr. Sandeep Dhingra:
Why Edge Computing is Important?
The expansion of connected devices like smartphones, tablets, wearable gadgets, as well as the recent increase in online content consumption, may someday overwhelm today's centralized networks. By 2025, IDC estimates that there will be 55.7 billion connected devices on the planet, with 75% of them connected to an IoT platform. IDC estimates that by 2025, connected IoT devices would generate up to 73.1 ZB of data. (This compares to 18.3 ZB in 2019). While video surveillance and security will make up most of this data, industrial IoT applications will also play an important role.
Today's centralized networks may soon become overloaded with traffic because of such a spike in data. Edge computing is a distributed IT architecture that transfers data center investments to the network periphery to combat the impending data rush.
How does Edge Computing work?
Cloud computing services have completely taken over our life, whether it's through email services like Gmail or online photo storage services like iCloud. Even big businesses are migrating critical applications to the cloud, including data from hundreds of sensors deployed throughout their manufacturing units, to obtain quick insights and the ability to remotely monitor their equipment.
However, as these Internet of Things sensors gain popularity and fuel rapid data growth, they put a huge demand on central cloud servers, suffocating network capacity.
Edge computing addresses these challenges by bringing computers closer to IoT devices. Instead of sending your video adjustments to a central server, you may think of them to process them on your iPhone. Furthermore, when computing demands shift closer to where the device is or where the data is consumed, data processing must also move closer to the devices.
Instead of a single cloud data center, operators set up many edge data centers to build an edge cloud. By putting computing closer to the devices, edge cloud allows a slew of new applications.
Edge computing looks to be the best solution since it processes data and even analytics at or near the original data source, reducing latency, bandwidth costs, and the risk of a single point of failure in the edge network. According to analysts, there will be 30.9 billion Internet of Things devices on the market by 2025, up from 13.8 billion in 2021.Increases in IoT devices will put a huge pressure on cloud data centers, forcing the deployment of edge IoT to stay up.
What Are the Benefits of Edge Computing?
To tackle network issues, edge computing architecture can assist with latency for time-sensitive applications, IoT efficiency in low bandwidth conditions, and overall network congestion.
- Congestion: Edge computing will help the wide-area network handle the extra load. You will be able to save time and money by reducing the amount of bandwidth you consume. In the age of mobile computing and the Internet of Things, this is a big obstacle. Edge devices will analyze, filter, and compress data locally rather than overloading the network with relatively irrelevant raw data.
- Latency: Because of the physical proximity, the time-to-action is reduced when data processing takes place locally rather than at a remote data center or cloud. IoT and mobile endpoints will respond to important information in near real time since data processing and storage will take place at or near edge devices.
- Bandwidth: The edge computing architecture will allow IoT devices to operate in areas where network connectivity is erratic. Offshore oil rigs, distant power plants, and remote military sites are examples of such settings. Even if cloud connectivity is spotty, local computation and storage resources will keep things running.
Where does edge computing work with 5G?
5G is unlikely to have a significant impact on many of our lives. Nearly any application presently available can handle 4G speeds, which are sufficient to meet the most demanding data speed requirements. 5G, on the other hand, is critical because it offers up new possibilities such as autonomous drones, remote telesurgery, and autonomous driving, to mention a few.
Although 5G can deliver 10 times the speed of 4G, the user experience may not always be as expected. This is because, despite the network's high speeds, latency can nullify many of the benefits.
However, without 5G speeds and coverage, software developers for these innovative use cases will be less motivated to push out services that have previously only been tested with a 4G-edge computing combination.
Edge computing and 5G work together to provide a bigger, faster conduit with a shorter data transit distance, making them not only complementary but also interdependent.
Now that we've established the importance of Edge Computing for the future of data processing, let's look at how STL Tech fits into the bigger picture.
STL Tech’s Role in the World of Edge Computing
When it comes to Edge Computing, STL Tech has a footprint in edge cloud infrastructure and multi-cloud platforms. Only last year, STL Tech released a cloud-native software stack built on a disaggregated and programmable micro-service architecture. This approach separates the software and hardware layers, allowing for the creation of virtual networks with open interfaces. This has the advantage of cutting the time it takes for new digital services to reach the market in half. Broadband network disaggregation and central office re-architecture, which reshapes how we function, also offer edge computing a boost.
STL Partners, a research and consultancy organization, acknowledged their efforts in their just ended competition titled "Edge firms to watch in 2021," which aimed to highlight companies that are on the cutting edge of, well, cutting-edge technology. STL is ecstatic to be included in the Top 60 Companies list and is even more driven to continue pushing the envelope in the edge computing sector for years to come.
Ambitions for 2021
STL Tech plans to offer multi-access edge apps as well as a multi-access convergent platform for edge computing that is both wireless and wireline oriented.
This, of course, folds neatly into STL Tech’s greater commitment to helping citizen networks, telcos,large enterprises & cloud companies present state-of-the-art experiences to their customers. Our company's ambition continues to change everyday life by using technology to create next-generation interconnected experiences.
Compare Edge Computing with Cloud Computing.
To understand how data is handled in each network architecture, one must first comprehend the differences between cloud and edge computing.
Most of the data processing in IoT devices is now done in the cloud, on a centralized server network. As a result, all low-end apps, as well as gateway devices, are used for data aggregation and low-level processing. Edge computing is distinct from regular computing in that it employs an entirely different methodology. It brings processing closer to the end-users by moving it away from centralized servers. By 2020, about half of the world's data will be stored and processed at or near the network's edge.
What are the limitations of Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing will be unable to cope with the present rise in data demand. During the processing stage, there are two issues that arise. Two of these concerns include processing delays and a high quantity of idle resources. Decentralized data centers, mobile edge nodes, and cloudlets are all affected by these concerns.
When networked devices generate data, everything is piled on top of each other and sent to the cloud for further processing. As a result, cloud data centers and networks are overcrowded, causing increased latency and network inefficiency.
What Are certain Usesof Edge Computing?
Manufacturing companies would wish to be able to detect and analyze the health of their production line machines before they fail.
Edge computing has the benefit of allowing data processing and storage to be moved closer to the equipment. With low latency, IoT sensors can track machine health and do real-time analytics.
Virtualized Radio Networks and 5G (vRAN)
Sections of mobile networks are progressively being virtualized by operators (vRAN). This is favorable in terms of both cost and diversity. Modern virtualized RAN hardware is designed to perform sophisticated processing with the least amount of delay possible. Edge servers are expected to allow operators to virtualize their RAN close to the cell tower.
Edge computing might help cities better control traffic. Edge computing reduces bandwidth and latency costs by eliminating the need to transfer huge volumes of data to a centralized cloud. Controlling autonomous vehicle movements, controlling the opening, and closing of additional lanes, and optimizing bus frequency in response to demand fluctuations are all examples.
Caching stuff at the edge, such as music, video streams, and web pages, can substantially enhance material delivery. There's a chance that latency will be considerably decreased. Content providers want to extend their content delivery networks to the edge, where they can provide network stability and customization based on user traffic demands.
What are some of the Edge Computing trends to look out for in 2021?
We may expect significant developments in the field of Edge Computing to continue this year, as they have in the past. The following are some of the main trends to keep an eye on:
COVID-19 to Accelerate Innovation
In every visible tech industry, including Edge Computing, the pandemic has spurred technological progress. In 2021, innovators will likely concentrate on obtaining actionable insights from raw data collected through IoT technologies such as cleaning, sanitation, thermal imaging, and social distancing.
Partnerships Between Cloud and Edge Providers
Data from the edge will soon be connected to cloud-based apps. Agreements between cloud and edge providers will be required for this. The idea is that the cloud will handle large data processing while the edge would handle immediacy.
Combination of Edge with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
The increasing complexity of data solutions has created challenges in terms of data pre-processing utilizing near-edge technologies until recently. Data analytics at the edge and on-device ML are now possible thanks to container-packaged analytics software, open standards, and AI/ML-optimized hardware. They will allow for real-time customization and quicker decision-making.
What are certain drawbacks of edge computing?
Like any other technology, edge computing has its own set of drawbacks. The first factor to consider is the price. Edge cloud requires the deployment of a large number of edge nodes or edge devices, each with its own compute and storage capabilities to perform local processing, as opposed to a central data center that manages all of your computing demands on its own. As a result, costs may climb.
The second major issue with edge computing, rather than being a negative, is security. Because edge nodes and edge devices are often small computers with limited processing capabilities, they may not always have the same level of security as a central data center.This is complicated even more by the fact that each edge device supports various levels of authentication and security methods, demanding close attention to the edge cloud's security architecture to avoid any security breaches.
What is the Network Edge?
The network edge serves as a barrier between the internet and the area containing all the edge devices and edge networks. This vital link between internal and external networks also functions as a security bridge, which network administrators must consider when designing their edge network.
The network edge is the point where the corporate network meets a third-party network. The internet edge, or WAN edge, is a term used to describe this position.
What are the applications of edge computing?
Any application that requires quick processing and reaction time, or, in more technical words, applications that require low latency, can benefit from edge compute. Several applications have been proved for years, but because to the lack of low latency that was previously available, they are not extensively deployed. Edge computing fills in the gaps, allowing these technologies to be used more widely.
Consider augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) applications, which have been available for decades. However, a low-latency network is necessary to deliver a lag-free experience and acquire general adoption, which is made possible by edge computing.
A few examples are remote asset monitoring in the oil and gas industry, autonomous driving, telemedicine and telesurgery, cloud gaming, and predictive maintenance. Edge computing has also opened a flood of new possibilities, and hundreds of new applications are likely to emerge over time.