With the evolution of cloud computing, many new aspects of computing have emerged in recent years. Cloud computing has revolutionized the traditional techniques and increased the flexibility that was previously required in IT. Edge computing is one of the upcoming domains developed further upon the idea of cloud computing. It is one of the most effective ways an organization can use and distribute its resources through a common pool and across a large number of locations. It brings the capabilities of cloud computing close to the end user and devices.
What is Edge Computing?
Edge Computing is a distributed computing architecture where the computing process takes place near the user’s physical location or at the source where the data originates. By placing the services closer to the user’s location, the services received are faster and more reliable while benefiting from hybrid cloud computing methods. Edge computing reduces the distance between the physical device and the hyperscale cloud, eliminating the journey to the cloud data centers, reducing the latency for the tasks. Rather than transmitting the data to centers for processing and analysis, the process is performed exactly where the data is generated. This technology is changing how businesses handle computing and data flow as traditional techniques are not very well suited for endlessly growing real-world data. Application performances do not suffer latency issues, and data processing load gets significantly reduced when using edge computing techniques.
It was mainly developed to aid IoT Devices and their services. In the last few years, there has been an exponential growth in the number of IoT devices being used, connected to the internet to receive information and deliver it back to the cloud. In this process, the IoT devices generate enormous amounts of data and require a technique for better data management.
What is an Edge Device?
An edge device is hardware that manages the data flow right at the boundary between two networks. Its primary service is to act as an entry or exit point between the network and regulate services such as transmission, routing, processing, monitoring, and filtering data from the connected networks. Edge devices are mostly used by enterprises and service providers. One of the most common types is an edge router which is usually deployed and connected to a WAN network and acts as a gateway to the other networks. Other edge devices include IoT device types like sensors, peripherals and actuators. These devices are connected within a local area network, connected to the access layer and the end-user devices.
Some edge device use cases include :
- IoT sensors for vehicles to detect road conditions, vehicle speed, etc. and being connected to an edge node for communication in between commute.
- Acting as wireless access points and providing wireless connectivity to clients.
- Integrated into VPN servers where the capabilities are designed to block a malicious user or device connection.
- In DNS service devices that lease an IP address to the client and provide name resolution services for the network.
Benefits of Edge Computing
Implementing edge computing can help in faster and more efficient services with higher stability at much lower costs. Using edge computing can significantly reduce network costs, bandwidth issues and aid in better control over sensitive data. Several application types, such as augmented and virtual reality applications, benefit from computing on edge. The ability to conduct big data analytics in real-time allows for better instant decision making. Overall, it creates an efficient mix of hardware and software environments.
Top Edge Devices Launched in 2021
There have been several launches this year in the domain of Edge Devices. Here’s a list of top Edge Computing devices that launched this year:
Cisco Catalyst IR8100
The Cisco Catalyst is a heavy-duty router built for industrial use that acts as an IoT gateway. The router is private LTE, Wi-SUN, 5G enabled and comes with a modular design for easy upgrades. The IR8100 provides a superb battery backup and comes pre-integrated with enhanced security and tools to achieve better outcomes. Other features include dust resistance, waterproof, and built-in Cisco IOx for running applications at the edge. You can read the product overview here.
Eaton 5P UPS
The 5P UPS by Eaton is a best-in-the-class power backup solution that comes with the flexibility to support server rooms, distributed IT and edge computing infrastructures. It is available in three variants; a rack mount, wall mount or a tower UPS. Eaton’s Intelligent Power Management Platform allows seamless management of connected equipment, making this UPS a complete backup solution. To know more about Eaton’s other similar products, click here.
Lenovo ThinkEdge SE50
ThinkEdge SE50 is an advanced analytics and data processing tool for edge computing. The device is made to streamline industrial operations and handle real-time data aggregation and processing with higher processing at superior computational capabilities. The SE50 is a fanless device and can withstand extreme temperatures. Expandable NICs enable rapid communication between all connected edge devices. To learn more about the product, visit the link here.
Dell PowerEdge XR11
Consisting of 3rd generation Intel Xeon processors, the Dell EMC PowerEdge XR 11 is built for tough and challenging environments. Its uses include telecommunications, military operations, retail and restaurant implementations. Plus, it offers 36×86 cores with support for multiple accelerators and memory up to 4 drives. Its long battery life offers services without any major downtime or disruptions. Click here to learn more about the product.
Microsoft Azure Pro R
Azure Pro R is an edge computing device that delivers hardware as a solution. The cloud-managed device acts as a network storage gateway and comes with a built-in GPU for AI accelerated inference. It provides direct data access to Azure Storage Blobs using cloud APIs and additional data processing in the cloud. To know more about how the device can be deployed with an ML model, click here.
Due to several networking requirements and constraints, edge computing addresses those use cases that cannot be adequately addressed by traditional cloud computing methods. The next-generation technology offers several benefits and use cases that will enable businesses to make an impact. Edge computing is an exciting area that is rapidly gaining momentum and is one to look out for.