Businesses depend on data more today than ever before. But harnessing the power of big data and managing it effectively still proves problematic for many companies. With increased data dependence, teams are facing challenges imposed by their current computing limitations. When traditional computing paradigms just aren’t cutting it, some are moving to alternative solutions like edge computing.
What is edge computing?
Traditional computing generally relies on centralized storage and computation of data. Edge computing architecture on the other hand uses a distributed framework to move storage/compute resources, enterprise apps, etc. out of a centralized data center to the physical “edge” of a network. In other words, the processing and analysis of the data takes place closer to its source of origin.
Benefits of edge computing
The endless sea of data being produced, collected, and used by businesses is swelling too fast for traditional data infrastructures to handle effectively or efficiently. And with data being generated by an increasing glut of geographically diverse connected devices, the potential for performance issues is a growing concern.
The distributed architecture of edge computing is appealing to big data users because it directly addresses these important issues. It reduces those nasty latency and bandwidth issues frequently experienced with systems relying on the cloud or a centralized data center. By essentially moving the data center as close to the device or the user as possible, edge computing is able to deliver faster response times and enhanced network performance. This helps provide better, consistent customer experiences, while improving operational efficiency overall.
The streaming video sector is a great example of edge computing and its benefits. If businesses and employees weren’t familiar with video conferencing before, the global COVID pandemic certainly changed that. Video calls/meetings became the norm for many businesses as they were forced to adopt a remote business model while the world was locked down and people were quarantined at home. Video conferencing took center stage, and, although it provided a solution to allow work to continue, it also shined a spotlight on video conferencing issues, like delays, frozen screens, poor quality, etc. The need to deliver better quality, more reliably, and at a massive scale, prompted major players in this sector like Zoom to focus on edge computing. Now, much of the data processing for a Zoom meeting takes place on the individual Zoom clients.
Entertainment companies in the streaming video sector like Netflix have also embraced edge computing. By moving away from a large centralized data center, regional micro-data centers that are geographically closer to the user now help deliver better quality content with lower latency.
Transitioning to edge computing
As businesses look to get the most performance from big data, edge computing provides an appealing and effective solution. The Linux Foundation’s 2021 State of the Edge report predicts extensive enterprise adoption of edge computing by 2028. This isn’t surprising, given tech research company Garther’s prediction that 75% of enterprise data will be generated and processed outside traditional centralized data centers or the cloud by 2025.
But is edge computing the right solution for your use case? Companies across a broad range of industries have transitioned to edge architecture. But, ultimately, every business is different, and it’s important to research and plan appropriately before undertaking any migration or architectural changes. And, although decentralization isn’t something to be afraid of, it isn’t exactly easy either. But we’re here to help.
Xebia specializes in big data solutions, and our team is able to provide comprehensive architectural guidance. Our experts draw on extensive experience to help structure workflow and design to best meet your company’s specific business goals, whether that includes moving to a decentralized edge computing model or another suitable architecture.
If you’re interested in learning more about edge computing and how it can benefit your company, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.