Recently, the cloud has become one of the “best places” for data to live, Broadsuite Media Group and Futurum principal analyst Daniel Newman wrote for Forbes. The cloud has become the first place businesses have opted to go in terms of both software and infrastructure in hopes of allowing for improved storage and better economics. But cloud computing isn’t enough; the same functionality needs to be moved closer to the user, which emphasizes the importance of edge computing.
As this trend continues however, the Internet of Things (IoT) will only increase how much data is being stored, shared and transferred. Plus, the IoT is creating more sophisticated equipment that will require real-time analytics and processing to help protect users. If the cloud is crowded or a network connection is stretched to the max, data won’t be able to be processed reliably.
Fortunately, there is a solution—Edge Computing.
Edge Computing is where the IoT connects the cloud and the physical world. In other words, data gets processed CLOSER to a user’s device instead of going all the way to the cloud. Along with being faster, The Edge processes data in real time. That’s not where the benefits of Edge Computing end, however. Here are a few other reasons to consider Edge Computing for IoT storage in 2018, according to Newman.
Reduced Latency means faster speeds and less delay
During a critical situation like a robotic remote heart surgery, no one would want to count on a standard Internet connection to make sure the operation runs smoothly. Instead of relying an unreliable network, Edge Computing could be used to make sure nothing disconnects during the real time processing of information to keep patients safe.
Robust Connections for the future
Businesses cannot afford to have a bad network connection; customers have no tolerance for it when they want to submit an order. If a business’ network is not good, it calls into question how reliable the product is. Edge Computing however can process information as fast as customers want it, which is usually immediately. Think about streaming TV services and how much faster the connection will be when the server itself is right in your space. The concept of The Edge puts the network within reach and improves everything we love about streaming.
The data involved in the IoT is so personal that protecting it is more important than ever. The conversations Alexa is “listening” to when you aren’t talking to her or the movements your smart car tracks is not information you want out in the public. Edge Computing can eliminate that concern because it allows for many processes to be done directly on a device without it going anywhere near the “data-sphere.”
For example, Edge IoT analytics combined with Watson Speech to Text and Watson Tone Analyzer let a hotel monitor guest service conversations in real time to determine the quality of a guest’s stay and erase any personal details while holding onto the important information to put on the Edge before it went to the cloud. Edge Computing can gather information without jeopardizing its movement.
As more highly secure and mission critical data needs to be processed in real time, Edge Computing becomes less of an option for the future of data storage and processing, and more of a necessary one. According to IDC’s estimate, 10% of the world’s data will be processed on the Edge by 2020. According to Newman, as the IoT continues to expand, and the opportunities to use it become more sophisticated, it’s safe to assume companies will have no choice but to embrace and use Edge Computing.
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