EDGING INTO THE CLOUD
Gulf Business|May 2021
How edge computing completes the cloud equation
David Ndichu

As internet of things (IoT) devices proliferate and incorporate more processing power, vast amounts of data are being generated at the edge of computer networks. IDC predicts that by 2025, there will be 55.7 billion connected devices worldwide, 75 per cent of which will be connected to an IoT platform.

Traditionally, the data produced by IoT devices was relayed back to the cloud, processed and further instructions sent back to edge devices. This setup is however unproductive as it creates inefficiencies with speed and latency.

Edge computing filters and processes data closer to the source, sending only relevant data to the cloud. This minimises bandwidth and cloud storage costs associated with data derived from IoT devices, observes Walid Yehia, senior director, Presales for MERAT, Dell Technologies.

Additionally, as many industrial applications for IoT also require critical real-time sensor responses, network disruptions cannot be risked. This applies particularly in remote locations, where network connectivity is not always available. “As edge computing capabilities are becoming a critical component of IoT platforms, they are making a stronger case for deployments. IoT is spreading across many industries and generating a lot of data from connected devices, with the presence of edge in IoT starting to create new opportunities and business value with reduced costs and real-time decision making,” says Yehia.

While supporting ubiquitous access, cloud data centres are only slightly more distributed than on-premises data centres. By contrast, the edge enables organisations to deliver applications closer to users. “In many ways, the edge is just the next step outward in an expanding universe of distributed applications, with benefits – and drawbacks – aligned with those of multi-cloud strategies,” says Lori MacVittie, principal technical evangelist, Office of the CTO at F5.

“Data analytics represents a key edge computing use case, enabling the insights required for digital transformation initiatives,” MacVittie adds.

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