Edge Computing vs. Cloud ComputingJay Burse
There is a lot of ongoing debate around edge computing replacing cloud computing in the coming years. We hear a lot of noise and warnings that cloud computing is in danger with the rise of edge computing technology. So, being an insider in the data center industry and from an organization that works with both these technologies daily, we definitely wanted to discuss this very topic.
Edge computing has indeed taken the IT world by a storm. It is also true that it is one of the fastest-growing technologies. And according to all the industry analysis, the market for edge computing will surpass that for cloud computing very soon. But, edge computing is not going to replace cloud computing, as the two technologies are not mutually exclusive and do not work on either-or. Edge computing has evolved to overcome all the shortcomings of the cloud and bridge the gap between data usage and data processing, so the two technologies have different roles and go hand in hand.
Let’s see an example here – Edge Computing is a prerequisite for a self-driving car. It helps the car take instantaneous decisions, such as an impending crash or weather-hazards. This decision making cannot be done at the cloud, because if we do so, by the time the car receives the decision to apply brakes, it would already have met with an accident.
But as we realize the necessity of edge computing in our world, we cannot undermine the importance or a central data center/cloud as edge facilities are comparatively low powered with limited storage. Predictive analysis and deep learning processes of this massive data to approach vehicle maintenance are done on back-end cloud servers. As simple as that!
Amalgamating Edge with the Cloud
Edge computing and cloud computing are two technologies that work together to enable futuristic technologies. Edge computing processes time-sensitive, micro data at the location, while cloud computing processes data from a macro point of view for overall analysis and processing that is not time-sensitive.
Apart from latency and time-driven results also, edge computing is a boon for connectivity in remote locations. Locations which has limited or no connectivity to a centralized data center or cloud rely on edge data centers for local storage and processing. Edge data centers act as a mini data center in these locations, acting as the perfect solution to all connectivity woes.
Edge computing has been introduced to meet the demands of the intelligent devices that cannot be fulfilled by the cloud’s limited potential. Technologies like 5G, AI, and devices based on IoT need intelligent specialized processing which can be achieved only with the edge.
Intelligent technologies and devices have also increased the amount of data we generate and use. Transmitting all of this data to the central location would also pose security concerns; edge tackles this by eliminating the transfer of data, where it is most vulnerable.
Edge and cloud are different technologies, serving different purposes and catering to different levels of data processing. Edge computing has gained a lot of popularity in recent years and it definitely does overcome issues in cloud computing. This is contributing to the market for the edge, which is growing leaps and bounds and will be much bigger than the market for the cloud in the coming years.
We have little choice when it comes to geographically diversify data center portfolios. Although micro data centers play an important role in the evolution and functioning of the latest technologies, they are cannot accommodate requests that require complex data processing or access to highly cached information.
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