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Edge Computing





The technological world is constantly evolving, and the change is for good. The latest development that has gained a lot of popularity is Edge Computing. This technology allows easy and efficient data processing near the source. The ideal process of data processing is that the data is collected from various IoT devices. It is then channeled through long routes to reach their final destination- distant data centers and clouds. However, with Edge computing, it is possible to process at a nearby location.
The most significant benefits of this technology are that now, data processing takes much lesser time. Any organizations that rely on processed data can make quick analysis in real-time. The primary organizations that enjoy the benefit include manufacturing, health care, telecommunications, and finance.

What is Edge Computing?

As per the definition, Edge Computing is a closely-knit network of a micro data center. These centers store or process the critical data produced from the Internet of Things devices at a local center. From here, all the data is further channeled to a central location; a data center or cloud storage depository. The process has a footprint of less than 100 square feet. 

The data from IoT devices travel a long path before it is stored and processed. With the advent of Edge Computing, the same data can be processed locally, which will reduce the backhaul traffic towards the central repository.

The typical process of edge computing involves data processing from IoT devices to a local machine that has computing, storage, and network connectivity. Edge processes all the data. However, a small part or complete data set is also forwarded to a central processing unit located at a co-location facility or IaaS Cloud.

What is the importance of Edge Computing?

There are many circumstances where the implementation of Edge Computing has proven beneficial. One such scenario is when there is a poor connection between IoT devices which makes it troublesome for IoT devices to stay connected to the central cloud.

IoT is also crucial in cases of latency-sensitive processing of information. The need to reduce latency is because there is no longer a traveling path for the data to travel before it finally reaches the data centers. This becomes really important benefits for industries that cannot tolerate any latency, even the one that measures in milliseconds.

When companies deploy edge computing, the local data center doesn’t necessarily have to send the data regularly. Instead, it can process the data locally and then send daily reports to the central data center. 

Use of Edge computing in 5G cellular network:

Edge computing is claimed to be an essential factor in building the framework of the 5G cellular networks. Once the 5G technology becomes a reality, the telecommunication companies will have to develop various micro data centers in their network to allow quick data processing. This is what edge computing is all about.

Is Edge Computing secure?

This is a controversial issue, as researchers have different say about it. Some state that Edge Computing is safer than any other computing. The reason is that the data is collected and processed at an edge location which means the travel distance and time is negligible. The lesser amount of data is processed in the central system; the lesser is the vulnerability.

However, some others state the complete reverse story. These theories explain that processing data in a close-by data center makes it more vulnerable. It is thus imperative that technology is given prime importance while building an edge computing network. Some of the crucial aspects to pay importance while building this network is:
  • Data encryption
  • Access control 
  • Virtual private network tunneling
Understanding various terms and definitions related to Edge Computing:

There are specific terms associated with Edge Computing which are essential to understand. Some important terms are:

Edge Devices: All the devices in the network that produce & collect data are known as Edge Devices.

Edge: The edge differs from case to case. For example, in the case of a telecommunication network, a cellular phone or a mobile tower can be an Edge.

Edge gateway: The buffer between the local data center, where edge performs edge computing, and the central data center is known as Edge gateway. 

Fat client: A fat client is a software that supports data processing in the edge devices. The thick client is different than thin clients which do nothing but process the data.

Edge computing equipment:  Edge computing requires a range of equipment. These equipment include sensors, devices, and machines. These devices need internet access to work on the edge network. 

Mobile Edge computing: When used in the telecommunication system, the mobile edge computing is a network.

Edge computing is an emerging technology that is finding its usage in different industries. While many have understood how to capitalize its excellence, others are still working on it.
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