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The cloud is becoming a blunt tool in the shed. The trend towards edge computing seems to be slowly pushing cloud computing to the edge. Is edge computing vaporizing clouds? The short answer is no. But the more complex answer is cloud computing may not always be the best solution.
Edge computing and cloud computing are two completely different models. You’re probably familiar with cloud computing — apps, infrastructure and/or data stored on offsite servers. You’re able to access them remotely whenever you need to.
Edge computing stores and processes information locally on the device, which enables faster data processing. On the other hand, cloud computing inevitably has latency issues for extremely time sensitive applications. Edge computing can overcome these shortcomings.
According to most tech analysts, the end of cloud computing is here. Just as businesses start investing heavily in the cloud, a major shift is occurring. According to Wired, we all have self-driving cars and other Internet of Things devices to thank for the sudden trend towards edge computing.
But cloud computing is not completely dead and gone. The cloud is still useful for storing large amounts of data, while the majority of data processing will happen on the edge of networks. The edge and the cloud are complementary components of a system. It’s a change in responsibility. Edge computing takes on responsibility for the growing need for faster data processing, while cloud computing is responsible for still storing information and handling less time-sensitive data processing.
Despite its strengths, the cloud should not be a landfill for junk data. It’s one of the reasons some believe the cloud is no longer as useful as it once was. Larger amounts of data mean a slow down in processing due to an overcrowded network.
Edge computing keeps the data local. There’s no bottleneck and less concern about outages when the computations occur on the device. The only problem is an overload of data locally could still have the same negative consequences. The secret is in better data management.
Businesses aren’t just limited to strictly edge computing and cloud computing. In fact, many businesses are actually using a hybrid to improve performance and customer satisfaction.
It’s kind of like the comparisons between SD-WAN and MPLS. While an SD-WAN setup offers numerous benefits, MPLS networks aren’t going away. It all comes down to an individual business’s needs and what type of setup and technologies best meet the business’s goals.
Businesses have the greatest benefits when cloud computing and edge computing are used in conjunction. Cloud computing is still one of the best ways to safely back up data, something that edge computing isn’t exactly meant for. Basically, anything that doesn’t need a close server could still be done via the cloud.
Cloud computing has become a major trend over the last decade. As time passes, edge computing could be sitting in the same place, waiting to be replaced by the latest trend. Odds are, instead of trends replacing each other, they’ll merge to create more efficient solutions for businesses and consumers.
For now, don’t discount either trend. Instead, find out if edge computing might work better for some of your needs. Technology is always changing and that means businesses have to adapt too. Be prepared to embrace those changes, but only adopt trends that fit your business needs. Right now, see if a blended approach could be the best possible solution.