Webinar Wrap-up: Edge Computing Vs. Cloud Computing

Companies big and small are continually moving their applications to the cloud. More than 28 percent of an organization’s total IT budget is now kept aside for cloud computing. Today, 70 percent of organizations have at least one application in the cloud, indicating that enterprises are realizing the benefits of cloud computing and slowly adapting.

Even as companies and industry experts predict the future growth of cloud computing, experts believe that the cloud has reached the end of its run at the top, and are betting on the growing popularity and benefits of edge computing.

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In a fireside chat, Anand Narayanan, Chief Product Officer of Simplilearn, and Bernard Golden, an influential voice in cloud computing, discussed the current state of cloud computing and why the edge is poised to become the future of IT transformation in companies. We’ve collected some nuggets from this conversation to help you gain advanced insights into edge computing and why it’s the next big thing in IT.

Watch the fireside chat video recording here.

Why Is Edge Computing Needed When Cloud Computing Is Available?

This is a pertinent question asked by most IT professionals. In the fireside chat, Bernard explains how edge computing is helpful in situations where organizations wish to bypass the latency caused while communicating information from the device across the network to the centralized computing system. He gives the example of a machine whose functionality is very crucial for an organization. A delay in the machine's decision-making process due to latency would result in losses for the organization. In such cases, organizations will prefer edge computing because smart devices with computation power are placed on the edge of the network. The device monitors a pre-defined metrics set for tolerance levels, if the metrics are outside of the prescribed tolerance, a warning signal is issued as soon as the machine reaches the failure level, resulting in the shutdown of the machine within microseconds to avoid further losses.

The process of edge computing differs from cloud computing because it takes time, sometimes up to 2 seconds to relay the information to the centralized data center, delaying the decision-making process. The signal latency can lead to the organization incurring losses, hence organizations prefer edge computing to cloud computing.

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Edge Computing Vs. Cloud Computing - Which One’s Better?

First, it’s important to understand that cloud and edge computing are different, non-interchangeable technologies that cannot replace one another. Edge computing is used to process time-sensitive data, while cloud computing is used to process data that is not time-driven.

Besides latency, edge computing is preferred over cloud computing in remote locations, where there is limited or no connectivity to a centralized location. These locations require local storage, similar to a mini data center, with edge computing providing the perfect solution for it.

Edge computing is also beneficial to specialize and intelligent devices. While these devices are akin to PCs, they are not regular computing devices designed to perform multiple functions. These specialized computing devices are intelligent and respond to particular machines in a specific way. However, this specialization becomes a drawback for edge computing in certain industries that require immediate responses.

What Does the Future of the IT Sector Look Like?

Though many companies are adopting edge computing and are predicting the end of cloud computing, Bernard points out that this is not substantiated because there is currently no analytical framework to prove it. Edge computing is not the only solution for the challenges faced by IT vendors and organizations and does not handle all applications across every environment, thus, cloud computing will still remain a crucial part of an organization’s IT infrastructure. To demonstrate this, Bernard cites the example of an IoT device with computing power attached to it, along with Azure functionality. The device-deployed code responds in real-time by shutting down the IoT machine in case of a damaging failure condition, while the rest of the application runs in Azure. The million-dollar machine is no longer dependent on cloud loop for emergency response due to its utilization of edge computing and still works in harmony with cloud computing to run, deploy, and manage the IoT devices remotely. This sustains that cloud computing will remain relevant and work alongside edge computing to provide data analytics and real-time solutions for organizations.

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Edge computing and cloud computing are different technologies and can't replace each other. It is true to say that edge technology has been accepted by many organizations due to it's overcome on minor issues of cloud computing. However, it is not substantiated as it is not the only solution to the obstacles faced by the IT vendors.

If you have any questions about edge computing that are not answered in this webinar, share them in the comments section below.

About the Author

Shivam AroraShivam Arora

Shivam Arora is a Senior Product Manager at Simplilearn. Passionate about driving product growth, Shivam has managed key AI and IOT based products across different business functions. He has 6+ years of product experience with a Masters in Marketing and Business Analytics.

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