The Full Guide to Edge Computing

Cloud and AI services that automate and speed up innovation through insights are no longer sufficient due to the huge amount of data and gadgets that are connected to the internet. The infrastructure and network are no longer able to handle the data’s previously unheard-of complexity and scale.

Latency and bandwidth problems will result from just transmitting all data to a single data center, or even through the cloud. Edge computing fills this gap by providing a far more effective alternative by processing and analyzing data near to the source of the data.

In this guide, we’ll go over the following items:

  • How is edge computing implemented?
  • An overview of edge computing’s history
  • Comparison of edge computing, cloud computing, and fog computing
  • What makes edge computing so crucial?
  • Edge computing software

How is Edge Computing Implemented? - The Full Guide to Edge Computing - How is Edge Computing Implemented

Traditional business computing involves the production of data at endpoints, such as user PCs, and the subsequent transfer of that data over a WAN, or the internet, over a local area network (LAN), where it is stored and processed by a business application. The user endpoint is then informed of the findings.

But today’s high number of internet-connected devices also generates a lot of data, which is rising too quickly for conventional computing methods. By 2025, over 75% of the data generated by enterprises will be produced outside of centralized data centers, predicts Gartner. Operations may be disrupted by this volume of data, necessitating the use of a simplified strategy.

If the data center cannot move closer to the data, the data center will move toward the data. Servers and storage are moved closer to the data through edge computing. Edge computing implementation must take into account how it will be maintained, taking into account things like:

  • Connectivity. Even when there is no relationship to the data, control and reporting must be taken into account for access. Using a backup secondary link can help to balance this.
  • Security. Tools that emphasize vulnerability management and intruder detection and prevention must be used to assess security protocols. Due to the fact that each individual device is a network part that can be accessed, this also needs to incorporate IoT (Internet of Things) devices and sensors.
  • Maintenance of the Physical. IoT devices have a finite lifespan, necessitating component replacement and maintenance to keep them operational.
  • Management. Some edge sites may be in remote areas, necessitating remote management so that organizations can monitor and manage deployment from a distance.

If you are interested in learning more about AI & Deep Learning, check out the The Total Introductory Guide to Deep Learning.

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An Overview of Edge Computing’s History - The Full Guide to Edge Computing - An Overview of Edge Computing's History

1990s: Akamai introduces the content delivery network (CDN) with the goal of delivering cached content like images and movies by placing nodes geographically closer to end consumers.

1997: Nobel et al. show how various application types (video, web browsers, speech recognition) that run on resource-constrained mobile devices can offload some activities to potent servers in their paper titled Agile application-aware adaptation for mobility (surrogates). The objective was to reduce the strain on computational resources and, as shown in subsequent research, to lengthen the battery life of mobile devices.

2001: Satyanarayanan et al. expand Nobel et al’s pervasive computing strategy in their study, Pervasive computing: vision and problems. Applications that are scalable and decentralized use various peer-to-peer overlay networks. Object localization, load balancing, and fault-tolerant and effective routing are all made possible by self-organizing overlay networks. They also enable the utilization of the network proximity of underlying physical internet connections, avoiding the need for long-distance linkages between users. As a result, both the overall network load and application delay are reduced.

2006: Edge computing’s major influencer, cloud computing, begins to draw notice. The ‘Elastic Compute Cloud’, which opens up new possibilities for compute, storage, and visualization, is what Amazon first promotes.

The term “cloudlet” is first used in 2009 by Satyanarayanan et al. in their work The argument for VM-based cloudlets in mobile computing. The work primarily addresses latency and suggests a two-tier architecture. High latency is provided by the first tier, the cloud, while low latency is provided by the second tier, the cloudlets. Cloudlets are parts of the internet infrastructure that are widely spread and decentralized, and they provide storage and processing power that nearby mobile devices can use. Additionally, cloudlets merely store soft states and cached copies of data.

Cisco coined the phrase “fog computing” in 2012. In order to accommodate the high number of IoT devices and the volume of data required for real-time, low-latency applications, the phrase is used to define distributed cloud infrastructures.

Comparison of Edge Computing, Cloud computing, and Fog Computing - The Full Guide to Edge Computing - Comparison of Edge Computing, Cloud computing, and Fog Computing

The terms edge computing, cloud computing, and fog computing are all related, but they are not interchangeable. Although they all discuss physical deployment of storage and computing resources and distributed computing, the location of the resources makes a difference.

Edge Computing, What is it?

Edge computing, which places storage and computation resources at the same location as the data source at the network edge, is simply the deployment of these resources where the data is being produced. the following features:

  • Provider core. The customary “non-edge” tiers, owned by public cloud service providers.
  • Edge of service provider. These tiers are often owned by internet service providers and are situated between the regional or core data centers and the last mile access.
  • Edge of the end-user provider. These tiers might have either the enterprise edge or the consumer edge and are on the end-user side of last mile access.
  • Hardware edge. Systems that are not clustered and link to sensors directly using non-internet protocols are considered the far edge of the network.

Cloud Computing, What is it?

A large-scale, scalable deployment of storage and computing resources in one or more areas is known as cloud computing. In addition to offering services for IoT operations, cloud computing is frequently used for centralized deployments.

The cloud remains dependent on internet access because there are no analysis facilities located where the data is being collected. Because of this, cloud computing can supplement conventional data centers but cannot move centralized computing to the network edge.

Another important facet of automation, AI and robotics is the machine learning side of things. Check out the Introduction to Machine Learning Technology guide.

Fog Computing, What is it?

Fog computing typically intervenes when an edge deployment is too resource-restricted yet cloud computing storage is too far away. By locating storage and computing resources within the data rather than at the data, it takes a step back.

Fog computing has the ability to produce vast quantities of sensor IoT data over enormous geographic regions that are too wide to define on the edge. Fog computing operates several fog node deployments in the environment to gather, process, and analyze data when a single edge deployment is insufficient.

Due to their potential similarities in architecture and concept, edge and fog computing are frequently used interchangeably.

What Makes Edge Computing so Crucial? - The Full Guide to Edge Computing - What Makes Edge Computing so Crucial

Edge computing is a solution to the three main problems as a result of the growing need for quick, frequently real-time, and responsive networks.

Network or Device Latency

When transferring data between two places on a network, there may still be outages and network congestion even though communication can happen at the speed of light. Decision-making and analytics are significantly slowed by latency, which reduces the system’s ability to deliver real-time replies.

Network or Device Bandwidth

The amount of data that a network can transport over time is correlated with bandwidth, which is often measured in bits per second. The bandwidth of networks is constrained, particularly when it comes to wireless communication. The amount of data and the variety of devices that may communicate via the network are thus constrained, making it expensive to scale up and increase bandwidth.

Congestion & Bottleneck of Data

Congestions and time-consuming data retransmission can result from the massive volume of data as well as the large number of devices connected to the internet. For instance, network disruptions can cut connectivity and exacerbate congestion.

These days AI tends to play a big part in managing large amounts of data. Have a look at the The Complete Guide to Artificial Intelligence to learn more.

Various Applications of Edge Computing - The Full Guide to Edge Computing - Various Applications of Edge Computing 1

Improvement of the Network

By monitoring user performance across the internet, edge computing enables the network performance to be improved. The most dependable, low-latency network path for each user’s traffic can then be found using the analytics. In order to deliver the optimum performance for time-sensitive traffic, edge computing “steers” the traffic across the network.

Workplace & Occupational Safety

Edge computing can increase workplace safety by combining and analyzing data from on-site cameras. Businesses can monitor workplace conditions and make sure personnel follow safety procedures, especially if the site is distant or hazardous.

All of this is possible due to great rapid advances in the visual computing space. Check out The Ultimate Guide to Computer Vision here.

Factory & Manufacturing

Edge computing in manufacturing can track processes, enabling machine learning at the edge, and offer real-time analytics, allowing for the detection of production flaws and enhancing the caliber of product manufacturing. Environmental sensors that provide information on how components are stored and put together can also be helpfully added.

Healthcare Sector

The collection of patient data and related technologies have greatly increased. Edge computing is required to apply machine learning and automation to a large volume of data, whether it comes from sensors or other medical equipment, in order to find essential information.

Farming Sector

Sensors in farming can assist companies monitor nutrient density, monitor water use, and choose the best times to harvest. The effects of environmental factors are then identified through data collection and analysis, enabling algorithms for continual crop growth enhancement.

Retail & Consumer Stores

Retail companies have a huge amount of data that needs to be examined in order to find business prospects, including stock tracking, security cameras, sales data, and other real-time information. Edge computing is a fantastic option for in-store local processing.

Transportation Sector

Edge computing is crucial because self-driving cars handle massive amounts of data every day, including information on the road’s conditions and the speed of the car. Each of these cars develops a “edge,” assisting companies in managing their fleet based on current information.

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