To ensure continued productivity and business continuity, many enterprises quickly moved their workloads from the cloud after the pandemic. But is the cloud always the best solution? It is not always the answer.
Internet of Things devices (IoT), now 10 billion worldwide, generate a lot of information in real-time. However, they suffer poor performance if they need to send that data back to the cloud. This can lead to increased latency and lower agility as well as high costs.
The Edge is a distributed digital infrastructure that places computation, storage and network services at the end-users. This has allowed enterprise IT teams to increase app performance.
What defines the Edge?
You can think of it in two different ways. There’s first, the far end, where enterprise IT departments perform edge computing on-premise. This can be anything from brick-and–mortar retail stores to self-driving cars, and everything in between. These diverse locations all have one thing in common: They are performing computations at their end-user’s location where the data was initially collected.
So what is edge computing’s real benefit? Localizing data means that data doesn’t have to travel. This speeds up processing, reduces latency and saves bandwidth. For IT professionals, edge computing is rapidly becoming a staple.
In fact, cloud rollouts in 2022 will include more than 40% of edge computing. Global market estimates for 2024 are close to $250 billion.
What about edge computing near-edge or multi-access?
Alternately, the near edge provides multi-access edge computing and is projected to be worth $23 billion in 2028.
MEC allows enterprises access to real-time cloud services that are powered off-premises at a service provider’s network edges — at base stations or telco data centres (PoPs). They remain close to the end users. This results in better data performance and faster processing speeds.
Both the near and far edge computing offer the same service
The definitions are irrelevant. Both the near and far edges offer the same service: Reliable, secure, and performant network connectivity. This can only be achieved through secure access service edge (SASE), which delivers SD-WAN and security-as-a-service to both near and far-edge sites via a global network of PoPs.
Here’s an in-depth look at how edge computing and MEC are changing the way end-user data is collected, processed, stored, and analysed across different industries.
The power of edge computing: harnessing its potential
30% of all data collected and created in real-time by 2025 will be due to the increasing connectivity needs across industries. These data must be processed at far edges to allow for real-time response. This places resources like storage and networking as close as possible the end-users.
This reduces latency for customer networks, speeds data processing and increases bandwidth savings.
Who has the most to gain from edge computing
There are many options for everyone — from manufacturing and farming to healthcare and network optimization, workplace safety and retail.
The implementation of edge computing solves framework problems such as bandwidth limitations and network congestion. Additionally, it gives autonomy to areas without reliable connectivity. Edge computing also provides data sovereignty and security, allowing sensitive data to be processed locally and secured using encryption or other methods.
Augmented Reality Computing
Imagine you’re a retail store owner. You can improve your customers’ experience in many ways by offering interactive digital content. Edge computing, for example, allows you to run augmented-reality-powered shopping apps like smart Mirrors that require real time human feedback.
What about if you drive an autonomous car? Edge computing allows your vehicle to ingest and process data from many sources. These can include satellite data, car sensors, and other data. This data must be combined and processed in real-time to allow your car’s artificial Intelligence to make split-second driving decisions.
SASE offers more flexible, cheaper ways to protect data
Companies are seeking ways to securely connect users to business and entertainment resources.
While effective, SDWAN is only designed to connect home workers and branches. It is inefficient due to the increase in remote devices and services. SASE combines SD-WAN’s performance benefits with a more efficient means of delivering security services on-demand anywhere. This is similar to other cloud services.
SASE protects end-user devices and data as networks access and send data from cloud locations. A global network of PoPs can be used to access a wide range of cloud services. Each PoP can also apply all enterprise security functions regardless if users, devices or applications are connected.
SASE technology is rapidly becoming a critical asset for businesses looking to increase their network security.
SASE technology inherently lowers the number and complexity of vendors IT teams must work with, making it cheaper. SASE technology is more effective for companies using real-time latency sensitive collaboration tools due to its ability to route through multiple POPs.
SASE is a distributed architecture that makes it possible to work remotely. IT can easily perform security functions on behalf of the end user.
Like any new technology, the market is still trying to determine what an effective SASE solution looks. Innovators need to continue searching for innovative solutions that provide flexibility and simplicity without compromising scalability.
MEC: Speeding up data and reducing latency
In 2025, 175 zettabytes will be generated annually. 60% of this data will be produced by enterprises. How much data are 175 zettabytes? It’s better to plan ahead — it would take you 1.8 billion year(s) to download all this data.
MEC will assist you in preparing for this huge shift in big-data.
MEC manages huge amounts of data in real-time. It performs data analysis, processing and storage. Instead of being run in distant clouds, these tasks are performed at base stations, telco information centers, or PoPs close to the edge — via radioaccess networks — near your network. SDWAN provides greater connectivity and security.
MEC powers ultra-low latency
How does this affect the game? MEC is able to deliver ultra-low latency, lightning fast data transmission and an enhanced quality of customer experience (QoE). MEC dramatically reduces the amount of traffic that’s sent to the backend or core network servers, which allows for the use of these assets for business-critical requirements.
MEC is similar to edge computing and supports many use cases in different industries. MEC can be used by manufacturers, for example, to support smart factories that are agile. MEC allows even the smallest defects or faults to be detected instantly via video and analysed. This gives engineers the ability to avoid major problems.
MEC is also beneficial for law enforcement.
British police, who are equipped with dash cams in squad cars and wear body cameras, have had difficulty offloading all of their imagery data into a central location that can be analyzed and stored. In order to address this issue, the police have fitted ruggedized UCB style devices into their police cruisers. This includes a video processing device (VPU), an SDWAN Edge device, and dual LTE connections.
Officers exited their cruisers and their cameras broadcast wirelessly to a car trunk recorder. After the VPU processes data, it is uploaded over dual LTE (using SD-WAN technology for better connectivity) to a near edge base station for video post-processing and analysis.
Edge is a global platform that enterprises use to enhance their app performance. Data is processed at the edge where it’s collected, in real-time, and extremely close to users. This dramatically reduces latency.
MEC works at the edge of the organization, processing large volumes of data and performing data analysis at high speed. This results in improved QoE for end users. IT teams need to know what the endgame is.
They can reduce their reliance upon the cloud to speed data transmission, increase agility and reduce costs — supporting next generation innovations that are only limited in imagination.