What is edge computing?
Before we define it, let’s talk about “octopus” first, one of the smartest creatures on the earth.
As invertebrates, they have a huge number of neurons, but 60% are distributed on their legs, and the remaining 40% are on their brain. With this distributed computing of “multiple cerebellums plus one brain“, they are nimble and fast.
Just like octopuses’ distributed computing, edge computing collects data and processes at the edge as well.
Why do we need Edge Computing?
More and more networking devices
From PCs to mobiles, and other devices like cars, machines, buildings, more and more devices are connected to the Internet.
The number of connected devices in 2022 will reach the eye-opening 46 billion, which means a huge amount of data will be created.
The huge amount of data generated
According to Statista, the total amount of data created in the world will reach 149ZB in 2024, which means the few cloud centers we have can’t handle such a huge amount of computing, where every single device sends all the data to them.
Low speed, high latency, and even crush can happen a lot without edge computing.
So what are the benefits of Edge Computing?
Fast speed, low latency
There are many user cases, such as the autonomous vehicle. Just think about the situations like equipment failures and hazardous incidents that call for the instantaneous analysis of data. What would happen if the Internet is unstable in bad weather? It’ll take too long to get the instructions from the cloud back to the car! However, with edge computing, it can process the data that is coming in real-time with fast speed, low latency and avoid possible accidents.
Reduce the cost of data transfer
Since not all of your data is critical and needs to transfer to the cloud. Like security cameras that constantly send potentially useless data to the cloud, then that’s using a lot of data traffic. If the cameras can process the data at the edge, it can help optimize the flow of your data to reduce the cost of the bandwidth that connects all of your devices.
If all of your data must eventually send to one cloud through the public Internet, your network can be highly vulnerable. As the more data is transferred, the easier they can be intercepted. When you distribute data by edge computing, you distribute the risk as well.
What about privacy? As less data is uploaded to the cloud, you will have more control over your personal data. Imagine if your Google home speaker could respond to your weather forecast requests without sending data to Google server, then they would have less personal information of you. Even though these companies are unlikely to give up collecting our information. But with edge computing, we at least have more freedom to choose.