In a way, the exponential growth of machine-to-machine communications and connected sensors, what we call Internet of Things (IoT), is rapidly becoming an example of too much of a good thing.

Fortunately, edge computing can help make that wealth of data a good deal more usable.

Why edge computing is revolutionizing the Internet

Data growth

IoT allows for communication between connected machines, devices and sensors that are creating data at levels never seen before.

Data volumes are growing at such a rate that organizations, as well as government agencies, could have massive problems analyzing and using the data in an optimal way.

At the same time, rapid IoT data growth is introducing new security and data volume issues that current cloud security and cloud storage systems will have difficulty handling.

But there is a problem. Getting the rapidly growing streams of data to the cloud-based analytic systems takes time. After that, it circles back to the devices with instructions based on the analysis of the larger data ecosystem.

This way, the opportunity for instant analysis and appropriate action is greatly reduced.

Edge computing solves that problem by effectively putting processing power a good deal closer to where the action is happening

And in so doing, it can offer game-changing opportunities for

And in so doing, it can offer game-changing opportunities for organizations looking to leverage the advantages of IoT without many common constraints and drawbacks.

Edge computing defined

Edge computing is a type of information technology system in which data is processed as close to the original source as possible.

It incorporates a horizontal architecture that distributes the resources and services of computing, cloud storage, networking and communications closer to the actual data sources.

In effect, rather than merely sending data elsewhere, any device with computing, storage and network connectivity can be attached to programmable automation controllers, which handle processing, communication and other tasks.

The result is not limited just to faster processing and analysis of important data

Edge computing can also address bandwidth capacity and other communications challenges. In particular, with the increasing amount of data and demands of artificial intelligence and other systems to enable two-way instant intelligence and action.

The advantages and applications of edge computing

The potential of edge computing is both powerful and broad across any number of possible applications:

  • In industrial and manufacturing settings, edge devices (machines and sensors) can capture streaming data to predict and prevent from failing. They can also reroute traffic or modify production for maximum productivity and head off product defects quickly and efficiently. As a result, you increase speed and reduce costs while boosting revenue at a new and amazing rate.
  • Drones need to, in effect, “phone home” to take any action on data. Edge computing allows drones to analyze information and, from there, take appropriate steps. For instance, drones examining a remote forest fire or a collapsed building can pinpoint a problem and take action instantly. They can also pinpoint nearby human personnel and provide them with valuable information, enabling faster and more effective response time.
  • Edge computing can also benefit organizations that use a network of widely located branches or network offices. By installing intermediary micro data centres or high-performance servers at such remote locations would be beneficial. Employees working away from headquarters can act on valuable information in a fraction of the time needed to first send the data to cloud storage.

Other advantages

Given its decentralized nature, edge computing can also prove a boon to cybersecurity.

Computing and control occur near the original source of the data. So, it’s easier to identify any suspicious activity and take steps before any sort of security is breached.

Additionally, edge computing allows for communication, networking and other tasks without extensive routeing. So, again, a higher level of containment is possible, providing fewer opportunities for cyber attacks.

It’s also important to bear in mind that edge computing is not unduly limiting.

While edge computing offers remarkable opportunities, we’re certainly not going to stop using cloud services as we have come to know them.

Rather, it’s a complementary relationship in which both parties boost the other’s value.

One of edge computing’s advantages is the capacity to analyze and act upon data that requires a quick response. But, despite that, you can move less pressing information to an intermediary.

Particularly, you can transfer large or less time-sensitive data and information to the cloud for comprehensive analytics or simply long-term storage.

Edge computing acknowledges the scope of IoT while addressing many of the challenges and drawbacks such a comprehensive network presents.

What is your organization doing to investigate the game-changing potential of edge computing? Leave your opinion in the comments below and share it with us!

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