At this point in the tech game, you likely have information stored away on the Cloud somewhere. In 1980, IBM launched the first hard drive to have more than 1 GB of storage. The phone you’re likely holding in your hand or pocket has monumentally more than that. Yet, even as the technology world has experimented with ways to reduce the need for storage on a device itself, the need for communication between the client and the server has increased poor performance due to latency and bandwidth. Edge computing helps to reduce these issues – here’s everything you need to know.

What is edge computing?

Edge computing brings computing closer to the source of the data as a way of streamlining the flow of traffic from IoT devices. As ISG says in a recent article,

Edge Computing: The New Paradigm in IoT.

Thus, it optimizes devices and web applications alike by minimizing the long-distance communication with the server so that data analysis can occur in real-time. The “edge” refers to the location in the network where the device communicates with the Internet. The best way to think about it is that the edge of the network is close to the device while the Cloud or other servers are far from the device. Reducing this distance will ultimately minimize the delay.

What benefits does it have?

The primary benefits of edge computing focus on latency, bandwidth, and server resources. Processing data locally allows network performance to improve and reduce latency. Data travels within milliseconds but cutting that down from even 65 to 10 milliseconds can ultimately make a big difference when it comes to time and money. The speed advantages of edge computing not only come with higher convenience, but it can also reduce costs for individuals and companies alike.

Even more, Edge computing helps to minimize bandwidth use, which is often a problem for individuals who have numerous devices. If you’re looking to support multiple devices, then moving some of them to the edge will reduce the need for bandwidth and server resources. You’ll reduce your associated costs and increase functionality instantly.

Edge computing is ideal in situations where your devices may have poor connectivity, and you cannot constantly connect to the Cloud. Edge computing systems are consistent and reliable. Network outages aren’t a common issue for those working with edge computing systems. Furthermore, if you’re concerned about security, this may also be a better option for you because your data is not constantly traveling over a network. That said, you want to make sure your network is correctly implemented as a poorly constructed system could leave you vulnerable.

Final thoughts

Edge computing is now being implemented in situations where devices could amass significant amounts of data. In these cases, the data would typically be outsourced to the cloud, but storing it reduces the need for constant traffic back and forth when the data is need. Latency, bandwidth, and server resources are all improved with an added cost-benefit. In the right situation, edge computing is consistent, reliable, and secure.

Watch this webinar by Gartner to get more insights or visit the ISG article.