Edge computing - A concept you should know
Tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft or Google are companies that we trust to entrust our personal data to them for management. Such data could be mails, videos, images... But in the current IoT (Internet of Things) era, these companies control not only our data, but also our TVs, refrigerators, air conditioners , or even our cars.
So, how is the above information related to edge computing? First, let's explain the concept edge computing.
Everyone probably knows about cloud computing, but maybe we should repeat a bit. Cloud computing could be simply understood that the information will be sent to a large data center for processing, and the results will returned to the user's terminal.
In 2019, we are in the era of cloud computing, where data will be processed at data centers, not at your devices. We have been using a lot of cloud services, such as Apple's iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox…
One thing that you may not know is that data centers providing cloud computing services for most companies in the world are provided by only four companies: Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM. In which Amazon accounts for the largest market share.
So, what is edge computing? Let's analyze this concept based on the following aspects to better understand edge computing:
One weakness of cloud computing is that the data must be sent to the data centers of Amazon or Google for processing. For example, you are editing a Google Docs document. Each time you enter a word, the word will be sent to a Google data center very far away.
Or the use of virtual assistants, when you ask something, the virtual assistant has to put the information on the cloud to handle. If the cloud is badly loaded or transmitted, you may have to wait for a while.
The weakness can be seen is that the speed will not be guaranteed when data goes so far.
Edge computing was born to solve this problem by storing and processing important information right in a small data center before it is sent to the main data center. Mainly used to handle IoT data, the devices will collect data, perform critical processing locally and then forward data to the cloud for storage and further processing.
With advanced calculations, IoT devices will transfer data to a small local device. This "micro data center" device will perform processing before transferring data to the remote data center. Since then the speed will be much improved because not everything is sent to the cloud.
With cloud computing, data must be transmitted to the data center for processing. This can cause certain security errors, such as a hacker catching the packets you transmit. Currently most of the communication methods are encrypted, but anything will have errors and weaknesses. If a hacker catches part of it, he will also try to hack the whole system.
With edge computing, sensitive and important data can be processed right away at the internal device without sending it away. This solution can contribute to a better protection for your data.
The fact that billions of IoT devices connect to the network, thereby transmitting a huge data to the main data center will lead to two problems. The first is that it will consume considerable bandwidth and data, leading to slower speech. Secondly, there will be a "bottleneck" situation, when too much data is pushed to the data centers of Amazon or Google, leading to the possibility that errors or results will be handled and returned slowly.
Applying edge computing will solve this problem. As mentioned above, a portion of important or necessary information has been processed in small data centers internally or on the device itself, so the amount of information transferred to the main data center will be smaller, the bandwidth will be reduced and the transmission speed will be faster.
Overall, edge computing has brought great benefits to the era of IoT today. Let's take self-driving cars for example. If the data is transmitted to the cloud only a few seconds slowly, an accident may occur. For monitoring jet engines or controlling flying devices, just a second slower and the consequences will be immeasurable.
With the rapid growth of IoT devices introduced every year, the application of edge computing will bring great developments in accelerating the way data is processed and transmitted. Its benefits are as interesting as cloud computing technology, but it will take a while for edge computing to be completed and widely applied.
By: Quinn Abrams