Stand aside cloud, edge computing is on the rise
For quite some time, any cloud related news or blog article has focused on why you should adopt cloud, the benefits, why you need a strategy and so on. Times have changed. It’s no longer about adopting cloud, it’s about being in the cloud and how the technology industry is already moving to the next level - cloud to the edge.
In May and June 2017 Tech Pro Research conducted a survey and found that 36% of respondents said their company currently has a hybrid cloud solution, 32% said their company is currently evaluating one and 32% said their company is not considering it. So how is it already moving to the next level?
Peter Levine, a general partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz believes that ‘as devices like drones, autonomous cars and robots proliferate, they are going to require extremely rapid processing – so fast, in fact, that sending data up to the cloud and back to get an answer will simply be too slow’. In his talk on The End of Cloud Computing he’s saying that technology is rapidly growing and now requires faster data transfer.
This is where cloud to the edge comes into the picture. Edge computing is when data is processed at the edge of the network meaning its closer to or is the data source itself. To stay competitive and meet growing demands to be more responsive, businesses and their IT departments are considering edge computing. It enables businesses to put the correct data in the right place when it’s needed, creating fast and secure access. Giving business an improved customer experience and a potential strategic advantage.
Some of the key drivers pushing cloud to the edge include: the growth of IoT, the growth of businesses who are investing in technology and customers’ expectations continuously evolving.
A recent report from BI Intelligence highlights that edge computing provides a means to collect and process data at local computing devices rather than in the cloud or a remote data centre. It also highlighted that edge computing is often better suited for collecting and processing data from IoT devices than the cloud. Edge computing can be accomplished using gateway networking devices, industrial PCs, or micro data centres. According to the same BI Intelligence report, the manufacturing, utility, energy and transportation industries are expected to adopt edge computing first, followed by smart cities, agriculture, healthcare and retail.
So, why cloud to the edge? It will be down to your need for security, location optimisation and speed. No matter what business you’re in, speed is vital, it’s a necessity and cloud to the edge can reduce the load on a business’s network. It’s important to recognise that there is still a need for cloud. Both cloud and edge have their place in IT architectures as they both provide different yet significant benefits to business.
So, if you’re in the cloud or moving to the cloud, it continues to be a vital transition in order to operate in today’s world. Just keep an eye on edge computing, it could be upon us sooner than we think.