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Eight Advantages Facilitated Through Edge Computing

Transforming the way explosive amounts of data are being processed from millions of devices, edge computing has rapidly gained momentum across numerous industries. In fact, the worldwide market for edge computing is expected to nearly quadruple by the end of 2025 ─ from $2.48 million in 2018 to $8.85 million. So what’s all the buzz about? We’ve compiled eight of the biggest benefits afforded by edge computing, including:

  1. The need for speed. For many organizations, speed is no longer a simple desire or a competitive advantage ── it is absolutely essential to operations. The longer it takes to process data, the less relevant, useful and actionable it becomes. That’s why the most significant advantage of edge computing is the swiftness by which data is processed close to the source, reducing the inherent latency of the cloud. Consider, for example, the financial sector’s dependence on high-frequency trading algorithms, or the life-or-death parameters that exist in some health care settings, or the instantaneous data analysis required to avoid impending equipment failure. In these and other instances, a slowdown of just milliseconds can have dramatic ── and expensive ── consequences.
  2. Safety first. While the introduction of increased points of entry for potential attackers is a legitimate security concern around IoT devices and edge computing, the technology also provides some important advantages. Since edge computing distributes processing, storage and applications across a wide range of devices and data centers, it makes it difficult for any single disruption to take down the entire network. Furthermore, the distributed architecture allows the implementation of additional security protocols that can effectively safeguard against DDoS attacks and other cyberthreats. In addition, edge computing reduces the amount of data at risk at any one time by processing it on local devices rather than transmitting it to a central server. Because traditional cloud computing architecture is inherently centralized, it is especially vulnerable to DDoS attacks and power outages.
  3. Bolstered reliability. The ability for edge devices to locally store and process data directly improves reliability. With devices located in close proximity to end users, it limits the likelihood that a network problem in another location will affect local users. And because so many edge devices and data centers are connected to the network, it reduces the chance that a single failure could shut down all services. Since data can be rerouted through multiple pathways, edge computing helps ensure that users retain access to the products and information they need, translating to greater reliability.
  4. A penny saved. Processing data at the edge helps reduce bandwidth and the costs associated with centralized cloud or data center architectures. While edge computing doesn’t eliminate the need for cloud services, it optimizes data flow for lower operating costs. Considering the fact that not all data is critical ── in fact, some is basically expendable ── edge computing allows a company to classify its data from a management perspective and retain much of it at edge locations. In this manner, the need for costly bandwidth is lowered, resulting in direct monetary savings.
  5. Fewer growing pains. Anticipating future IT infrastructure isn’t always easy, yet enlarging a data center is rarely cheap. Enter the welcome scalability afforded by edge computing, which lets companies expand the reach and capabilities of their networks by bundling computing, storage and analytic capabilities into small footprints. Further savings can be achieved through the use of processing-capable edge computing devices that don’t gobble substantial network bandwidth.
  6. A clear view. Because the edge acts as the gateway to an entire fleet of connected devices, users gain greater visibility into every corner of operations. For instance, edge computing can provide the data needed to reduce energy usage, monitor equipment health, detect and remotely troubleshoot problems, and manage software and firmware updates.
  7. Slashed storage requirements. Because edge computing enables data to be stored and processed locally, it can dramatically lower network costs, as well as the amount of cloud storage needed. It also helps to reduce data redundancy, which further lessens storage and associated costs.
  8. Enhanced customer service. By greatly reducing the distance that data must travel, edge networks deliver a seamless experience that is especially valuable to retail customers, meeting their expectations to access content and applications anywhere, any time. This level of responsiveness can be invaluable in today's competitive retail environment.

By enabling data to be processed closer to the source, edge computing clearly provides a wealth of advantages to numerous applications.

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