The concept of edge computing refers to the use of computing hardware and software at the edge of networks and devices closer to the end user than the traditional data centre. The term is often used to refer to a hybrid computing model that combines the benefits of conventional data centre computing with the power and responsiveness of cloud computing.
Edge computing benefits the economy by reducing the cost of data transmission and providing better services to the population. It helps smart cities better serve their citizens, allowing for better environmental sustainability, higher-quality public safety, and much more!
This article will provide a high-level overview of the edge computing concept, its use cases, different edge computing scenarios, examples, and various benefits.
In the end, we will also reveal the best computing and software testing solution for your company so that you stay miles ahead of the competition. Let's get started!
Edge Computing Benefits
When data centres are used for cloud services, they become bottlenecks in the application delivery process. In contrast, since edge computing devices are closer to the end user, they can process, analyse, and act on a volume of data several times faster than data centres. They can scale up or down almost instantly in response to planned and random fluctuations in the number of users.
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2. Data Security
One of the most significant edge computing benefits is improving data security. Since data is processed, analysed, and acted on closer to the end user, it is much harder for hackers to access it. In contrast, data centres are often the first point of attack for hackers since they offer an abundance of vulnerable targets, such as web servers, databases, and network infrastructure. Using edge computing instead, you can significantly reduce the risk of data breaches and keep your business data safe.
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3. Quick and Accurate Response
Faster insights can be gained, and response times can be drastically shortened by processing data near where it is generated. This is especially true in places where connectivity may be spotty, like offices that are geographically remote and on trains, planes, and ships.
Edge Computing Use Cases
As mentioned earlier, edge computing benefits offer a hybrid computing model that is used to solve many problems. The most popular edge computing use cases are:
1. Smart Grids
The most common use case for edge computing is in the smart grid, the internet of things (IoT) used to power buildings and other infrastructure. The smart grid is a system of connected devices that can monitor and regulate the energy usage of construction or other infrastructure, allowing for the efficient use of energy and reduction of waste.
The use of edge computing in the smart grid is beneficial in that it allows for the efficient use of energy without the need for human intervention, which is cost-effective in the long term.
It has also been shown to improve the reliability of the energy supply by allowing for the monitoring and correction of power outages and other issues.
2. Patient Monitoring
Another prominent use case for edge computing is inpatient monitoring. Using edge computing in patient monitoring has yielded several benefits, such as detecting and diagnosing diseases and other conditions without human intervention.
This has led to a significant reduction in the number of errors that occur when humans are used to performing these tasks, allowing for improved care of patients.
This has also allowed the collection of large amounts of data without human intervention, which has led to significant cost savings and the ability to provide better patient care.
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3. Cloud Gaming
Edge computing benefits the users in cloud gaming and virtual reality. This has led to many benefits, such as providing high-performance gaming experiences without needing a high-specification gaming PC.
This allowed for the proliferation of affordable gaming experiences, which has led to a significant increase in gamers.
Hence, edge computing has the potential to revolutionize the way that people interact with technology. However, the current state of edge computing is still in its infancy, and there are many potential areas for improvement.
Let's take a look at some of the edge computing scenarios that are currently being developed:
Edge Computing Scenarios
The edge computing scenario is a technique through which data, information, and apps that are centrally hosted are accessed via a thin client or an edge server that is distributed outside the core cloud data centre. It is divided into enterprise, operation, and provides edge compartments:
1. Enterprise Edge
A central enterprise data store is present in these scenarios, either in a data centre or as a cloud service. Organizations can extend their application services to distant locations thanks to the enterprise edge.
2. Operations Edge
Operational technology (OT) teams play a significant role in operations edge scenarios involving industrial devices. The functional edge is where data is gathered, processed, and used locally.
Operations Edge is a cloud-native computing model that leverages a combination of the cloud and physical infrastructure to enable the creation and management of data-intensive applications.
It is also referred to as "operations as a service" or "infrastructure as a service." Operations Edge applications are created, run, and managed entirely in the cloud-typically as a function of the SaaS application vendor, which is another significant addition to edge computing benefits.
3. Provider Edge
Building out networks and providing services delivered with them are both aspects of provider edge scenarios, as in the case of a telecommunications company—the computing environments at the service provider's edge support high performance, low latency, and reliability.
Example: Verizon Service Provider
Besides these explanations and definitions, we have also included some edge computing examples that you can use to understand the concept of edge computing better.
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Edge Computing Examples
1. Space Research and Exploration
NASA has started using edge computing to process data locally rather than sending it back to Earth, where it could take hours or days to arrive.
This has allowed for collecting large amounts of data without human intervention, which has led to significant cost savings and the ability to provide better care to astronauts.
2. Smart Cities
By incorporating cutting-edge technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and AI/ML, city governments are experimenting with edge computing to quickly identify and address issues affecting environmental sustainability, citizen satisfaction, and public safety.
3. Healthcare and Medicines
Edge computing benefits are evident in healthcare too. It has been used in the healthcare industry to enable remote patient monitoring, improving the quality of care for patients.
It has also been used in the pharmaceutical industry to deliver medicines to patients efficiently and cost-effectively.
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Therefore, edge computing benefits the consumer, health care industry, and the smart city, but it also has the potential to transform how we use our digital devices. However, it is too early to predict how widespread edge computing will become, as it requires a significant infrastructure investment and developers to update their apps to take advantage of the technology.
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