Edge Computing

Five Motivating Factors that Drive Edge Computing

June 25, 2024
2 mins read

Edge computing is gaining significant traction among organizations. It brings computation and data storage closer to the location where it is needed, typically near the data sources or end-users. Instead of relying on a centralized data center or cloud for processing, edge computing performs computations at the edge of the network on devices such as IoT sensors, smartphones, gateways, and local servers. This approach reduces the amount of data that needs to be transmitted to a central data center, thus decreasing the overall energy consumption associated with data transfer.

In talking with clients, Arda Ozgun, CEO at Edge Signal, sees a recurring theme of five motivating factors that drive the deployment of edge computing:

  1. Data residency and privacy: By anonymizing data and making certain parts of the data opaque before it is sent to the cloud, organizations can protect user privacy, reduce PII exposure, and meet regulatory requirements. Only necessary data should be collected and processed at the edge. This reduces the risk of exposure of sensitive information and limits the amount of data that needs to be anonymized.
  2. Latency and determinism: Determinism in computing refers to the predictability of the response time and behavior of a system. For mission-critical applications, where delays and unpredictability can lead to severe consequences, the low latency and high determinism of edge computing are essential. In comparison, due to the fluctuating conditions of the network and varying load on cloud servers, the time taken to process and return data can vary greatly when it comes to cloud computing.
  3. Bandwidth efficiency: The proliferation of cameras in small shops, typically used for security or monitoring customer behavior, or IoT sensors in manufacturing, generate a significant amount of data. This large volume of video data makes cloud-based processing impractical due to bandwidth constraints and latency issues.
  4. Autonomy: In mission critical environments such as defence, transportation, or manufacturing, maintaining continuous and efficient data flow is crucial. Traditional centralized systems that rely on cloud computing for data processing can face significant challenges, particularly in maintaining autonomy during network disruptions. Edge computing ensures resilience, efficiency, and operational continuity.
  5. Legacy equipment at the edge: Many customers are dealing with a mix of modern and legacy equipment. Legacy equipment, typically older machinery that may not have built-in IP network connectivity or advanced processing capabilities, requires a physical connection at the edge to ensure smooth operations.

Edge computing represents a paradigm shift in data processing, moving computation and data storage closer to the source of data generation. This shift opens up a vast array of potential use cases across industries, many of which remain largely unexplored.

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