Edge computing is computing that takes place near the physical location where data is being collected and analyzed, rather than on a centralized server or in the cloud. Essentially a new form of infrastructure, edge computing aims to connect devices like smartphones and laptops more conveniently to networks.
This type of computing has the potential to maximize efficiency, performance, and safety, and minimize unplanned downtime which is critical to modern “always-on” business models. It will give access to news way of doing business with an eye towards accommodating the Internet of Things (IoT), and the innovative new kid on the block, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Most would agree that the next industrial revolution is already here and has transformed manufacturing and services with edge computing by powering the real-time collection of data. It has created a form of “business intelligence” by being flexible and scalable in ways past computing could not, is up and running more quickly, and because it is easier to manage, companies are able to identify and respond to fluctuating business needs much faster.
Additionally, collecting and processing data in real-time is more cost effective and efficient because it minimizes latency costs of transferring stored data back and forth from the cloud. For example, this quick access and turnaround of information could help industrial petroleum processing sites better predict, respond, and mitigate hazards to the environment before disaster strikes.
Finally, edge computing is designed to work with the cloud to provide flexible solutions based on the unique data collection and analysis needs of each organization. The edge is ideal for workloads requiring real-time analytics, while the cloud can continue to provide a centralized location for larger scale functions and storage.
Together edge computing and the cloud can provide long term solutions and insights into how performance and power can be uniformly and efficiently delegated across all business platforms.