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What is edge computing?

Edge computing technologies take place with smart devices. This technology aims at processing large data locally without the need for cloud computing technology. Edge computing is used as a cloud alternative that allows greater processing speed and bandwidth. Such technology allows data processing close to its sources, thus minimizing waiting time and traffic.

How does edge computing work?

Edge computing technology doesn’t require a central cloud database to store or process received data. Instead, it relies on the device itself or a single computer connected to the network to analyze and respond to new signals in an instant. Thus, with edge computing, devices don’t send data back and forth while responding to requests. It is acquired and replied to on the spot.

Edge computing vs cloud computing

Cloud computing has several serious drawbacks compared to edge computing:

  • Lack of security and privacy: Longer transmission routes are more vulnerable as they expose more opportunities for security breaches and privacy violations.
  • Operational costs: The overall cost of cloud technology grows with the increase of produced data. In addition, much of the stored data in the cloud remains irrelevant to the organization. Yet, it’s not being processed while still taking up space, leading to higher costs. In edge computing, companies can analyze data right away, thus minimizing the required storage capacities.
  • Speed and performance: long downtimes are a significant inconvenience to companies’ operations. Large data quantities create traffic and may result in a database bottleneck.
  • Limited flexibility: Cloud servers give little power to their users. Unlike edge computing platforms, the cloud provides companies with lower flexibility and control over functions and operations.

Thus, in edge computing vs cloud comparison, the former has the upper hand in dealing with large quantities of data, received locally from multiple devices.

Benefits of edge computing

The decentralization of data management comes with a number of edge computing benefits worth knowing:

  • convenience – the close proximity to the data production site;
  • higher flexibility in operations – more control over the functions and other processes;
  • real-time data analysis – close storage enhances efficiency and productivity;
  • higher security – fewer vulnerable spots for cyberattacks or human error.
  • higher speed (latency reduction due to instant responses);
  • smaller data storage required – edge computing allows filtering data before storing it;
  • lower costs – no need for large cloud storage;
  • lower energy consumption; and
  • no data traffic.

The aforementioned advantages show why more large companies choose local storage over cloud technology.

Edge computing examples

Edge computing solutions can be applied in any industry with IoT reliance.

These are the three main growing sectors where edge computing is widely used:

  • Smart cities 

Smart city technology relies on IoT in most of its operations. However, not every device or system should communicate with clouds after each transaction. Thus, edge computing applications can minimize the cost of data storage resulting in more efficient, automated, fast, and budget-friendly processes.

  • Healthcare 

Devices can operate independently, without the need to send cloud reports. Thus, they react instantly and more accurately, which can be life-saving.

  • Manufacturing

Edge computing devices can give greater autonomy to machines and processes utilized in manufacturing. Those systems work faster which allows them to cut costs and enhance efficiency while providing accurate reports.

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