The Benefits of Edge Computing vs. Cloud Computing

The forecast on whether the cloud is about to get edged out of Internet of Things data processing

Here’s a 3rd grade science question for you…What happens when the clouds in the sky get full?

Simple answer, right? It rains. It disrupts your life. It requires you to make alternative plans.

Edge Computing vs. Cloud Computing

How about the other cloud? The cloud you rely on for business and virtually every device you own? Can it get full, too? Well, the Internet of Things is certainly having a go at it. Cisco’s Global Cloud Index Report predicts cloud traffic will quadruple by 2020, which begs the question: Will the cloud be able to handle the data deluge? And if so, what is your alternative plan?

Many IoT developers and manufacturers are preparing for the storm by storing or processing-critical data locally...or on “the edge.”

So, what is edge computing? (Not a 3rd grade question, though in a few years, who knows?) Basically, it’s a group of local micro data centers that take some of the burden off the cloud, a sort of “regional office” that handles local computing tasks instead of sending it to a central data center a thousand miles away. It’s not something that will replace cloud services...it’s more of a complement to it...and one worth taking advantage of for a variety of reasons.

Better data management

With estimates of connected devices believed to reach 20 billion by 2020 (that’s more than double the amount of humans), a divide and conquer approach needs to be taken to handle all that data. Edge computing can tackle purpose-built systems with special needs, freeing up cloud computing to work as more of a general-purpose platform. For example, the best route to your client’s office on your car GPS would come from surrounding areas instead of the auto maker’s data center in Detroit. This lower dependence on cloud technology helps applications perform faster and reduces latency.

Lower connectivity costs and better security practices

Edge computing allows you to filter sensitive data at the source rather than send it to the central data center. Less transfer of sensitive information between devices and the cloud means better security for you and your customers. And by reducing data transport and storage requirements through tradition methods, most IoT projects can be achieved at far less cost.

Reliable, uninterrupted connection

With micro data centers locally storing and processing data, IoT applications not only consume less bandwidth, they work even when your connection to the cloud is affected. And because edge computing operates in conditions with intermittent or limited connectivity, business operations can carry on, without the worry of data loss.

Are you looking for shelter from the cloud’s tempestuous forecast? RCN Business Managed Services offers a wide range of solutions to help remove the complexities (present and future) associated with managing mission-critical applications. Contact us today to learn more about our cutting-edge (get it?) services and how we can secure your company’s data at the network level.