Edge computing: 4 things to keep on your radar as your business cuts the edge – Times of India

Edge computing has now become a computing paradigm that has the capability to process data closer to where it is generated, allowing for processing at large volumes and faster speeds, thereby leading to action-led results in real time. Edge computing is seeing rapid investment across most industries ranging from manufacturing and energy to retail, healthcare, telecommunications and media and the use cases are expanding, with the growth of self-driving cars, smart equipment, automated retail and autonomous robots.

The total installed base of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices worldwide is projected to amount to 30.9 billion units by 2025. But enterprises still have a few things to watch out for to ensure that they can get the most out of their edge computing implementation, this ranges from managing highly distributed environments, approaching security cautiously in the edge infrastructure, in an ecosystem that is still in its infancy.

It just isnt a case of adding on a few devices onto an existing platform and expecting the whole setup to function in-tandem, let us not forget that when cloud computing is involved, a mixture of physical and virtual environments can be a tough puzzle to crack.So what can businesses do to demystify edge computing so as to leverage the technology to the maximum? Here are four top tips:Cyber security and physical security of the device: Currently, security is the most crucial factor in edge computing architecture and its implementations.

Partly due to the security of the physical hardware, and the critical data that the sensors near the devices collect. In this regard, there are trusted open-source software that can help organizations implement a layered security approach across infrastructures, the life cycle and the application stack, in order to ensure better security at edge sites or in cloud environments.

There are three prominent entities at the edge where security has to be of paramount importance i.e. securing OS platforms at the edge, networks at the edge and data at the edge. This can ensure that security is taken care of to a large extent.

Tackling interoperability, how will two edge computing systems interact and share information: One of the steadfast rules of edge computing is that the edge computing stack must support multiple elements that should function in-tandem. Edge deployments usually vary greatly in terms of devices, deployment environment and connectivity, hence it is not advisable to use a single vendor on all edge platforms.

The computing stack must therefore be interoperable, i.e. capable of supporting multiple elements that work together with a myriad of platforms and infrastructures, including virtual machines, bare metal servers and containers. In short, organizations will need to look for an edge computing provider who can handle the implementation of sensors, network plugins, and gateways to handle remote operations.

Planning network architecture to the T: It is of utmost importance to build a network architecture that takes into consideration fulfilling the requirements of all users and applications.

The goal is to brainstorm with the team and decipher which components can be run on the edge and which need to be pushed to the cloud.

Edge solutions are usually multi-layered distributed architectures that balance the workload between the cloud, network the enterprise layer and the cloud layer. It is recommended to seek guidance from consultants who have experience with handling multiple vendors and have knowledge of cloud services to improve on models of network architecture.

Finding and building skilled staff and management: It can be challenging for companies to find engineering and manufacturing staff with the required skill sets for edge computing. As it stands, many IT departments are focused on on-site IT staff and central data centers, so its important to provide continued education and learning opportunities around edge computing for your workforce.

Automating the deployment configuration and management of an organizations edge computing landscape can help organizations manage both the compute platforms and the full application life cycle of edge applications. With remote management, organizations can help reduce the need for on-site IT support. Policy-based governance and proactive analytics can help organizations identify risks, prioritize remediation tasks, and ensure operations are both predictable and compliant with internal policies and external regulations.

Hence it makes sense for organizations to look for a partner who can run a consistent deployment model from the core to the edge. You can look for flexible architectural options to meet connectivity and data management requirements.

Additionally, many open-source technologies are emerging today to enable better optimisation of edge infrastructures.

Businesses need flexibility in terms of where they place workloads, even during times when the strategy needs an overhaul. A strategy that relies only on centralisation isnt the most optimal, owing to bandwidth, latency and resilience issues. This is where open-source innovation plays a critical role to ensure interoperability. Enterprise open source is a natural fit when it comes to multiple infrastructures working in-tandem with a multitude of software stacks.

In conclusion, to make the most out of edge computing, business leaders need to ensure three top deployment tips. One, plan the strategy around specific business goals. Two, by creating open standard based solutions that can access data without concerns for the underlying hardware. Thirdly, make sure to keep the future in mind, asking what the growth of the enterprise will mean for the edge strategy in the long term, and plan accordingly.

Views expressed above are the author's own.


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Edge computing: 4 things to keep on your radar as your business cuts the edge - Times of India

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