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What Is Edge Computing?

Posted: Nov 2020

By 2025, the amount of data global internet users send every day will reach 463 exabytes or 200 million DVDs worth of information.

Cloud computing was a major revolution that helped handle our hunger for data, but even it can’t handle numbers this large. Edge computing is the newest technology promising to fill the holes.

Instead of sending your data to a nebulous cloud center thousands of miles away, this new method brings the data tools to you. Management, collection, and other functions are performed close to the source.

This new technology can provide your business with several benefits. You should adopt it before your competitors do to avoid getting left behind.

Once you understand what a particular technology brings to the table, you can see why it’s important. Read our edge computing guide to learn what it is, examples of how it’s used, and the benefits it provides.

What Is Edge Computing?

Edge computing is a technical concept that’s difficult to explain to those who are unfamiliar with it. The best way to start is by comparing it to a technical concept that’s a bit more familiar; cloud computing.

There are only a few public and private cloud providers available today, and they tend to monopolize the market. Amazon has a 47% market share, followed by other major names like Apple and Dropbox.

The “cloud” in cloud computing refers to a nebulous, inexact area in the digital space your data gets sent to and stored in. No one knows where it is, and your data must be sent to a center miles away to get there.

Edge computing companies distinguish themselves from cloud providers by bridging the distance gap. They provide all the necessary services at or near the source of the data.

Edge computing requires specialized hardware such as data-collecting sensors and CPUs or GPUs used to process the data. Edge computing companies should provide these for you and/or recommend the best possible options.

Despite its newness, the market for edge computing is already large and growing. It’s expected to reach $700 billion by 2028.Businesses need to get ahead of trends before they blow up, and this applies to edge computing as well. It currently accounts for 10% of enterprise-generated data, but this number could grow to 50% by 2022.

Types and Uses of Edge Computing

Edge computing is used in a wide variety of industries and applications. These include self-driving vehicles, wearable healthcare devices, smart manufacturing, robotics, agriculture, energy, retail, and finance.

Two of the major types of edge computing are mobile and 5g. Understanding them both helps you see how edge computing could be used in your business.

Mobile Edge Computing

The edge of a network originally referred to the edge of a mobile network. This was one of the first applications of edge computing.

The applications have expanded since then, as the technology is now used in a wide variety of industries and applications. Despite this growth, edge computing still has applications for mobile users. It can:

  • Connect mobile phones more efficiently
  • Exchange data security
  • Reduce mobile data latency
  • Allow for usage in areas with no signal or internet

These are a few of the potential usages of mobile edge computing. It’s a worthwhile application. When combined with other technologies, such as 5G, the possibilities grow even further.

5G Edge Computing

Edge computing and 5G can work together to create a powerful system. They enhance each other’s benefits to create a combination that’s better than what could be provided by using either system alone.

5G promises extreme speeds, but it can’t deliver them with current levels of latency. The delays are too strong, but edge computing is the perfect tool for combatting them.

5G edge computing can include a range of services that were either previously unavailable or not fully developed, such as artificial intelligence, telemedicine, and more. It can also provide them remotely and more efficiently to everyone.

Benefits of Edge Computing

Reducing the distance between the so-called computer edge and the data provider creates a better experience. These benefits make edge computing a promising new technology trend.

Edge computing is more affordable, processes data efficiently, creates less latency, implements more security measures, and is better for offline usage. These advantages and more make it a popular alternative to other methods.

Lower Costs

The special equipment required for edge computing may make you assume that it’s more expensive than other methods. This is a common misconception because these local devices are less expensive than cloud and data centers.

This is a misconception that also occurs with managed IT support in general. Businesses assume hiring a professional to handle their IT needs will cost more than having an in-house department, but it actually saves them 25-75%.

The extra costs you may pay to integrate edge computing and the IT support services needed to manage it are worth it in the end. They’ll provide a wide variety of benefits that will keep your business and its IT department running at its best.

Better Data Processing

Businesses manage almost unbelievable amounts of data every day. They need to find the best possible systems to do so effectively.

Edge computing processes data closer to the source than other methods. This makes it faster, easier to manage, and more effective.

Data processing improvements translate to business improvements as well. It leads to speedier transactions, more sales, and other benefits. Adopting edge computing will make your IT tasks easier to complete and benefit the rest of your business.

Decreased Latency

This is one of the major benefits of edge computing. When computers are far from each other, there’s a delay that occurs when they communicate requests with one another. This is known as latency.

Even a slight delay could significantly reduce your overall computation speeds. Edge computing solves this problem by bringing computers closer together and reducing latency.

5G edge computing promises latencies of a mere millisecond or less. These lightning-fast speeds haven’t been demonstrated, but a reduction in latency from using edge computing has.

Improved Security

Edge computing involves several important security measures such as encryption and data storage. They’re all centrally managed and kept safe.

Edge computing security features are easy to update and change if they become outdated or get compromised. Technology evolves every day, but so do thieves attempting to use it for nefarious purposes. Edge computing stays ahead of them.

Edge computing also protects the security of your data. It has built-in protection methods to keep it safe from hackers and unauthorized access such as multiple points of access and avoiding networks.

If a cloud service goes down or gets hacked, you could lose anything saved on it. Edge computing helps you avoid this problem by providing more than one point of access as other methods do.

Edge computing devices also protect your data by only passing the necessary information through vulnerable networks. This puts them at less of a risk of cyberattack and makes the attacks less severe when they occur.

Offline Usage

4.79 billion of the world’s population of 7.8 billion have access to the internet. That doesn’t mean that outages or access issues aren’t major business problems.

Cloud services require constant access to the internet. Edge computing allows you to access your data and software even in remote areas or when service becomes unavailable.

Offline access is essential for business success. Lost or inaccessible data becomes a major issue that can stall workers for hours or days. Edge computing prevents this issue by ensuring your data is safe and available whenever you need it.

Bandwidth Management

Edge computing services send only the most important data, saving you plenty of bandwidth. This leaves more of it available for you to use and prevents the entire system from getting overwhelmed.

Better bandwidth management adds to the previously mentioned benefits. It increases speed, improves data processing, and generally improves the performance of your entire network.

These are only some of the benefits provided by edge computing that make it such a major advancement. Your business can enjoy these advantages and even more by adopting the technology.

Where Can I Get IT Management Services?

Edge computing performs all the necessary IT functions, such as data management and collection, as close to the source as possible. It’s become a popular option in several industries and a viable option for mobile and 5G networks.

Edge computing also provides several benefits when compared to more traditional options. It’s more affordable, reduces latency to provide faster exchanges, keeps data secure, allows you to work offline, and reduces bandwidth usage.

No matter what methods you use, you need an IT company you can trust to help you with them. It saves you time and money while improving the efficiency of your IT department.

We provide a wide range of solutions for all types of businesses. Browse our IT services to find the right one for your needs.

We also offer constant quality support. Our team can help you manage complex technology like edge computing. Contact us for answers to any questions you may still have.

Contact us to learn more about how Bridgehead I.T. can help you align your I.T. with your business objectives.

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