Why do we need Edge Computing? And is it different from Cloud Computing?

  • My friend: Hi Ibrahim, I have a question for you.

    • Me: Go ahead, please.
  • My friend: I read a lot about the Edge computing, but I don’t understand why do we need Edge computing as long as computing can be done at the centralized Cloud?

    • Me: Actually, with the increase of traffic due to new technologies like 5G and introduction of new devices connected to the mobile networks such as IoT devices, more data are going to the centralized cloud for processing and so more data means more bottlenecks at the centralized cloud, also many emerging use cases are demanding low latency which is difficult to be provided by the centralized Cloud and hence we need to move the computing or processing of the data to the Edge to provide low latency and higher throughput to these new use cases. And you can see at the below graph that the closer we move towards the devices side, the lower latency and the higher throughput can be provided.
  • My friend: But what type of use cases are demanding the Edge computing?

    • Me: Many use cases such as Security Systems which rely heavily on video processing, Traffic Management to monitor and control vehicles, Factory Automation which includes for example automated mobile robots, and Smart Cities. All these use cases are just a few examples among many more which need the low latency and high throughput to perform well.
  • My friend: So, will the requirements for computing at Edge differ from the computing at the centralized Cloud?

    • Me: Yes, in many aspects, for example, computing at the Edge will be distributed massively in hundreds or thousands of locations unlike centralized Cloud which are existing in few locations and so management should be done at scale for these Edge locations. Also, Edge locations are usually limited in space and power, hence they need a hyper converged solutions where computing, storage, and I/O processing are done in small form factors. Also, as we have huge no. of Edge locations, so it should be energy efficient otherwise a huge power consumption will appear. Moreover, Edge computing should provide the real time services with expected lower latency compared with the centralized Cloud. So, Computing at the Edge is different from that at the centralized Cloud and hence this should be considered in the Edge solutions design.
  • My friend: Thank you very much, you made it very clear.

    • Me: You are most welcome.

LinkedIn: :point_down:

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