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Living on the Edge: How edge computing addresses the need for speed

Faster, smarter, better.

It’s a near-universal expectation in today’s era of ever-evolving technology. The allure of edge computing is no different. Currently among the hottest tech trends, edge computing helps bolster network performance by reducing latency, allowing the transfer of more information at a greater speed and with minimum interruptions. In other words; faster, smarter, better.

Fueled in large part by digital transformation and data-intensive drivers like the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G and artificial intelligence (AI), edge computing places infrastructure at the edge of the network rather than in centralized servers and systems. Requiring just a small hardware footprint, this infrastructure is able to collect, process and analyze vast amounts of data that can then be uploaded to a centralized data center or the cloud. Acting as a high-performance bridge between local computers and the cloud, edge computing helps to compensate for the inherent latency of the cloud, ensuring that the latest IoT developments remain widely available to businesses.

Some industry experts argue that edge computing is essential in order for IoT to achieve its long-term potential. At a minimum, it’s a welcome solution to address the proliferation of global sensors created by the modern system of interrelated computing devices. In fact, International Data Corporation (IDC) predicted there will be some 41.6 billion connected IoT devices generating 79.4 zettabytes (ZB) of data by 2025. The xx underscores the results of a Vertiv study of nearly 500 firms that currently support edge environments. In it, respondents revealed that they expect to increase their number of edge sites by 226 percent by 2025.

Ideal for sectors that support remote sites and remote office branch office (ROBO) ── such as retail, banking, industrial, health care, education and government ── edge applications provide the most effective means to quickly process the vast amounts of data these segments produce. For example, retailers require highly reliable computing that can provide maximum uptime for systems such as point-of-sale, inventory management and security operating across multiple store locations. Banks and other financial institutions that support multiple branch offices must also optimize reliability and speed to properly support their business-critical transactions.

By enabling data to be processed closer to the source, edge computing circumvents the time lapse that more centralized architectures incur trying to accommodate requests for information and subsequently return responses. For instance, edge computing enables a sensor within a piece of machinery to regulate its performance in real-time, as opposed to having to jump from the machine to a local network, then to a data center server or the cloud.

Edge computing makes it all faster, smarter, better.

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