Edge computing, in simple terms, moves some share of storage and compute resources away from the central data centre and closer to the source of the data itself. Data is processed at the perimeter - the edge - of the network, as close to the originating source as possible. This might be a remote production hub, a retail store, a stadium, a factory floor, or a collection of data across a smart city. Only some of that processed data will be sent back to the data centre for further analysis or human action.
Data and content delivery at the edge is the result of our ever-growing ocean of data that we consume, share and store every second of every day. The traditional model of data delivery was built on a centralised system: data centres and the everyday public internet wasn't built for the rivers of data we are processing now. Just think about bandwidth, latency and unpredictable network disruptions! These are some essential infrastructure difficulties that edge computing simplifies. There are, however, some further benefits to edge networking that can satisfy other dilemmas.
Where connectivity is unreliable but the data collected is essential, edge computing is very advantageous. Examples of these locations could be from ships at sea, water quality sensors, oil rigs, etc. If the data is collected and computed in that same location - and even sometimes on the edge device itself - the volume of data to be sent is minimised. Thus, far less bandwidth is required, the data processing is more reliable, and the overall time taken is shortened.
The activity of shifting immense quantities of data is not merely a technical challenge. It poses various security issues as well. Processing and delivering data on the edge means it is closer to its source, and therefore within certain data laws and regulations. For example, the GDPR laws within the EU define how data should be collected, processed and disclosed. If raw data is processed nearby, it means that the data has been through necessary processes before being sent to other locations which may have looser or varied controls upon it.
Building on the point above, edge computing provides an extra occasion to execute and ensure data security. Enterprises are often concerned about the safety of data once it leaves the edge and travels back to the data centre or cloud. Edge computing means that data can be encrypted at the location it was sourced. The journey it makes back to the data centre is therefore then a safe one. There are also measures that can be taken which protect and encrypt hardware and edge devices to further increase opportunities for security enhancement.
There is a lot to gain from edge networking. At 01T, we specialise in bringing content delivery and data transfer closer to the edge with higher capacity, speed and security. GNX, our high performing global network, provides the opportunity for powerful edge computing with simplicity and security. Find out more.