What is the edge computing trend and what is its relevance in the current context? – WAU

Edge computing is also known as the next step in the Internet of Things. It has to do with the “real” devices that are connected to the internet and with the necessary progress so that data processing and increasingly complex analyzes are carried out close to them.

The internet of things, also known by its acronym in English IoT, is growing rapidly. The use of devices such as smartphones, home appliances with internet access, sensors, cameras and drones, among others, brought the need to process data more quickly. Edge computing was one of the ways found to achieve faster technologies.

Edge computing optimizes the use of electronic devices that can be connected to the internet, as it seeks to bring computation of the source closer to the collected data. Thus, processing takes place as close as possible to the user’s location or data source.

One of its advantages is to minimize the need to pass data over long distances between the device and the server, reducing latency and requiring less internet bandwidth.

And with ever shorter response times, better for companies that are investing in this new form of technology. Find out in this article what is the trend of edge computing and what is its relevance for companies. Let’s go through the following topics:

Keep reading to learn more!

What is edge computing?

Edge computing is a technology that is related to the internet of things and is based on a network of micro data centers that process and store the requested data locally. Although the concept seems somewhat complicated and difficult to apply, the benefits of edge computing are simpler to understand.

In the internet of things, data collection is done through devices, which gather what was collected – the amount of which depends on the equipment – and then the stored data is sent to a processing center, or cloud.

Instead of taking everything to these centers or to the cloud, edge computing “classifies” this data locally and separates that which can be processed right there, thus reducing the data traffic and the need to send it.

The data is processed at the ends of a network and only a part is sent to the central directories, hence the name edge computing, or edge computing in free translation.

When to use edge computing?

The digital transformation has provided countless benefits for companies that adhere to it, since they take advantage of technology to increase performance and, as a consequence, have better results.

Edge computing can be used mainly in places where so-called latency, which is the time required for data to be captured and processed on a network, needs to be as short as possible.

This is because edge computing speeds up the processing of data collected on the IoT network, making it processed close to where it was collected, instead of having to go through a central location, such as on cloud computing platforms.

Contrary to what some experts imagined, edge computing did not come to end cloud computing or replace it, but to act together with it and bring even more benefits to companies.

To facilitate, we have listed below the factors that should be considered when making a decision about using edge computing:

  • internet bandwidth;
  • energy;
  • infrastructure size;
  • processing capacity;
  • type of service of your company;
  • deployment cost.

It is necessary to evaluate these points to make a decision, also taking into account the existing network and the facility to find specialized professionals for maintenance, among other requirements that the company already meets, to assess whether the benefits of edge computing can be applied to the business.

What areas can benefit from edge computing?

The reduction in latency, which generates faster processing, can be used to facilitate production in several sectors, mainly in industries, such as the textile and oil sector.

The health area, by dealing with human lives, can also benefit from edge computing, in addition to other sectors such as finance, telecommunications and the manufacturing industry in general.

Marketing and sales can also take advantage of edge computing. Digital marketing and marketing automation for e-commerce, for example, can benefit from networks with this technology to process payments and information more quickly than if they used only cloud technology.

This data can be stored and sent later to the centrals, in order to generate reports of the data in the long term, and the processes have already been executed at the edge. In this way, edge computing and cloud computing work together to improve security and information processing.

Companies that need high data security can also benefit from edge computing, since there may be security breaches when data is processed exclusively in central or cloud computing platforms.

However, there are experts who disagree and believe that edge computing networks may be more vulnerable. We will better address this discussion in the following topics.

All companies that need data processed quickly, safely and with high performance can benefit of edge computing technology, if they have devices that use the internet of things.

What are the benefits of edge computing?

Companies that are affected by poor connectivity of their devices can benefit from edge computing, as there will be less need to send information over long distances.

Another advantage of edge computing is the reduction in costs for data transmission, as the infrastructure for centralized points is larger and more expensive. But the lower cost of edge computing infrastructure does not occur only on the network.

As it also enables greater integration between the equipment, as it is able to integrate devices from different generations in the same network, edge computing favors the reduction of costs in the implementation, since the equipment can be replaced on time, instead of completely.

In addition, we can not fail to mention the speed in response to IoT devices. As big as cloud computing platforms and central data processing centers are, they receive high traffic all the time, which can lead to latency and, consequently, device downtime, who need to wait for the processing of the data sent to continue operating.

How does edge computing work?

In edge computing, data is still carried to the cloud. However, between the device that sends information and the central platform there is an intermediate device responsible for processing the information, called a gateway.

This machine is closer to the device that originated the information, that is, the end of the network. Edge computing is part of a branch of technology called “fog computing”, which has a specific organization to address the issue, called OpenFog Consortium.

This organization includes universities like Princeton, in addition to well-known companies in the industry, such as Intel, Cisco and Dell. The Open Fog Consortium recently joined the Industrial Internet Consortium.

Fog computing researches and works on connections between clouds and end devices on a network. Thus, it contemplates not only edge computing but the entire network that surrounds this system.

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What to do to implement edge computing?

Edge computing can be used in security cameras, which can process information and use artificial intelligence to store only important data.

Cars that drive alone also use edge computing to process their information and thus complete trips in a completely autonomous manner.

In addition, in IoT, edge computing can be used by devices that have this technology to detect objects, identify obstacles, make face recognitions and process relatively complex information, such as language.

This facilitates everything from scanning and facial recognition on smartphones to the emergence of refrigerators that place orders for products that have run out.

Some steps need to be implemented in order for the system to transition successfully. The first is to build a culture in IT that facilitates edge computing. Then, it is necessary to create micro data centers and find quality partners that also help in the construction of this new culture.

It is also necessary to eliminate the excessive use of cloud computing and develop the necessary security to prevent possible attacks.

It is important to remember that experts have not yet reached a consensus on the real security of edge computing. Some believe that there is less vulnerability in the system when data is not transported over long distances, which means a lesser likelihood of attacks.

Others believe that gateways, because they are terminal devices, are less secure. They also explain that edge computing, because it has networks with less infrastructure and less cost, inherently has less security.

There are protection technologies for edge computing, such as the use of VPN, which must be implemented to ensure the security of the system.

It is necessary for the IT sector of companies to evaluate the possibility of implementing edge computing, passing through the impacts that the change in infrastructure would cause and the benefits of the implementation, in order to make a correct decision on the matter.

The need for safety and maintenance, among other requirements, are other factors that must be evaluated. Either way, making a quick decision is not advisable.

Edge computing is as much a result of digital transformation as cloud marketing, which uses cloud computing to optimize marketing. To better understand the subject and keep informed, check out the article “Marketing Cloud: what it is and what are the benefits of adopting this marketing strategy”.