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Edge computing

Edge computing

Edge computing is a form of computing for optimizing the performance of web applications and internet connected devices by completing computational processes closer to the source of data. Edge computing reduces bandwidth consumption and latency by reducing the distance of communication between clients and servers.

Overview

Edge computing is a form of computing for optimizing the performance of web applications and internet-connected devices by completing computational processes closer to the source of data. Edge computing reduces bandwidth consumption and latency by reducing the distance of communication between clients and servers. Edge computing acts to decentralize the processes of cloud computing centers because it changes the geographic distribution of where computation is taking place.

Edge computing is often discussed in relation to IoT. Moving computing services closer to the source of data, such as an IoT device, offers a range of benefits including rapidly analyzing real-time data, ideal for IoT sensors and devices.

Advantages
Latency

A major advantage of edge computing for users is the reduction in latency times compared to cloud computing. Edge computing allows users to gather the information they need to run their code on the internet, typically using a web browser, by getting the information stored on an edge computing network that is closer to them than cloud computing and other related internet infrastructure. The reduction in latency offers consumers the benefit of accessing what they want faster.

Bandwidth

With the rise of smart devices and more data being uploaded to the cloud a significant burden is being placed on bandwidth capacity. Edge computing offers the ability to process information locally reducing bandwidth requirements.

Security and privacy

In theory, less data being transferred over networks reduces security needs, plus decentralizing data storage reduces the potential for a signal point of failure. Edge computing could also improve user privacy as less data is uploaded to the cloud for companies to track.

Scalability

Edge computing allows users to scale their own IoT network without having to pay for costly cloud computing storage.

Reliability

With edge computing, users are not dependent on having a reliable internet connection. Plus storing data locally in microdata centers ensures a more reliable connection for IoT devices. Edge computing is especially beneficial for users in remote locations with slow and unreliable internet connections.

History

The beginning of decentralized computing goes back to the 1990s, when Akamai launched its content delivery network (CDN). The company introduced nodes at geographical locations closer to the end-user to better deliver cached content such as images and videos.

Emerging in 2006 with the release of Amazon's EC2 service, cloud computing has gone on to widespread adoption.

In 2009, Satyanarayanan et al. published the paper “The case for VM-based cloudlets in mobile computing” discussing the end-to-end relationship between latency and cloud computing. The paper proposed a two-level architecture consisting of the unmodified cloud infrastructure (high latency) and a dispersed element known as cloudlets (lower latency). This became the theoretical basis for many aspects that would go on to become modern edge computing.

In 2012 Cisco introduced the term fog computing to describe dispersed cloud infrastructures with the aim of promoting IoT scalability by facilitating real-time low-latency applications.

Edge computing vs fog computing

Fog computing, also referred to as fog networking or fogging, is a closely related technology to edge computing. It describes a decentralized computing structure located between the cloud and the devices that produce data. This structure is flexible allowing users to place resources, including applications and the data they produce, in locations that enhance performance.

While fog computing shares similarities with edge computing, it is not taking place directly where data is generated, at the "edge" of the application's network. Fog computing is a layer between the cloud and edge computing. Instead of edge computing sending data directly to the cloud, it can instead go to a fog computing layer where relevant data is passed on, irrelevant data is deleted, or analyzed for remote access, or informing local learning models.

Demonstration of the cloud, fog computing, and edge computing.

One can think of fog computing as a mediator for various purposes between the edge and the cloud. Fog computing does not replace edge computing and edge computing can operate without fog computing.

Applications

With a range of benefits, edge computing has numerous use cases across industries:

  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Remotely monitoring assets for the oil and gas industry
  • Smart grids
  • In-hospital patient monitoring
  • 5G virtualized radio networks (vRAN)
  • Cloud gaming
  • Traffic management
  • Smart homes
Companies

Edge computing companies

Timeline

August 17, 2012
Cisco Introduces Fog Computing

Fog computing uses dispersed cloud infrastructures for real-time low-latency IoT applications.

October 6, 2009
Satyanarayanan et al. Publish "The Case for VM-Based Cloudlets in Mobile Computing"

The paper discusses decentralized and widely dispersed internet infrastructure components known as "Cloudlets." The paper introduced the theoretical basis for many aspects of modern edge computing.

1998
Akamai Launches its Content Delivery Network (CDN)

The network introduced nodes located geographically closer to the end-user to improve operation.

People

Name
Role
LinkedIn

Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Fog computing and its role in the internet of things

Flavio Bonomi, Rodolfo Milito, Jiang Zhu, Sateesh Addepalli

Conference

2012

How AI Accelerators Are Changing The Face Of Edge Computing

Janakiram MSV

Web

July 15, 2019

The Case for VM-Based Cloudlets in Mobile Computing

Satyanarayanan et al

Web

October 6, 2009

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

Beyond the Cloud: Edge Computing

May 14, 2018

Edge Computing

January 18, 2019

Edge Computing Introduction

March 14, 2016

Edge Computing Platform

June 13, 2016

Edge Computing with AWS IoT

November 30, 2018

Companies

Company
CEO
Location
Products/Services

News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Lumen Technologies
June 29, 2021
www.prnewswire.com:443
/PRNewswire/ -- When caring for patients, every second counts. Immediate access to crucial data can mean more accurate and potentially lifesaving healthcare...
Research and Markets
April 20, 2021
www.prnewswire.com:443
/PRNewswire/ -- The "Private Wireless Networks Market by LTE, 5G, and Edge Computing in Enterprise, Industrial, and Government Solutions 2021 - 2026" report...
Research and Markets
February 5, 2021
www.prnewswire.com:443
/PRNewswire/ -- The "5G and Edge Computing - Cloud Workloads Shifting to the Edge, Forecast to 2024" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering....
November 26, 2020
WebWire
, , , , • This technology provides computing and storage at the edge of the network to allow massive data processing, low latency and real-time decision-making, key factors in implementing the new 5G services and ensuring IoT massification , , • It provides ultra-fast access similar to that offered by the traditional model of deploying end users' equipment in offices, factories, shops and homes but also brings the benefits of the cloud model , , • With the deployment of the Virtual Data Centre...
Brand Post
May 29, 2020
CIO
The Fourth Industrial Revolution has never been more relevant, urgent and important than it is today. Industrial and manufacturing companies must rethink their current accidental architectures and develop a new strategic smart factory direction to realize the substantial business value of digital transformation and remain competitive in the market.
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References

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