What is Edge Computing?
Edge computing is an IT deployment designed to put applications and data as close as possible to the users or “things” that need them.
Edge Computing vs Fog Computing
These industry terms have such similar intent that they can be used interchangeably, and the industry is leaning towards Edge Computing as the de facto standard. Cisco coined the phrase Fog Computing, but large players in the space such as GE , HPE, and APC by Schneider Electric have adopted the term Edge Computing.
Edge Computing vs Cloud Computing
Edge computing complements cloud computing in a hybrid IT environment. While cloud computing leverages centralized data centres, edge computing leverages distributed micro data centres at the edge of the network where data is used closer to where it is generated.
Why is Edge Computing Necessary?
Edge computing is necessary to address shortcomings in cloud-based applications and services with respect to performance and regulatory requirements. In short, cloud computing can’t always meet the required demands in terms of response time that critical applications require.
The 3 Main Reasons Why Edge Computing is Needed in IoT Applications
The volume of data some IoT applications create can be staggering, similar to the costs associated with sending it all to the cloud, making local processing more practical and beneficial. It’s also a gating factor for any application that requires streaming large amounts of content, including high-definition video that may be used in oil and gas exploration applications.
Some applications require extremely low latency, which is the time it takes a data packet to travel to its destination and back. Any application having to do with safety, for example – such as driverless cars, healthcare or industrial plant floor applications – require near instantaneous response time. Cloud services are not optimal in such cases due to the delay inherent in the round-trip to a centralized service.
In highly regulated industries and regions (such as in Europe with the General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR), the way in which personal information is handled is tightly controlled, including where it is stored and how it is transmitted, driving the need for localized data centres.
In all these instances and more, edge deployments are critical in addressing these issues.