The Edge: What is it and why is it important?
One topic that has been gaining some serious momentum in recent times is the concept of the edge or more specifically, edge computing. Technology advancement across IoT, cloud computing and SaaS based apps, and changing workstyle demands are pushing the need to process and analyse data beyond the realms of the traditional data centre.
Edge computing was originally designed to offset the challenges and costs of bandwidth for data moving long distances, but as networking capabilities have advanced, the opportunities at the edge are grander than ever.
To help you better understand everything about the edge, let’s explore it.
What is it and where is it?
The interesting thing about the edge is that it could potentially be anywhere, in many ways, it is everywhere. According to the lovely people at Gartner, edge computing is defined as "solutions that facilitate data processing at or near the source of data generation."
It could be a traditional workplace environment or a remote worker’s home, it could be a franchised food outlet with security cameras and IoT enabled cooking equipment, a sports stadium leveraging interactive crowd experiences, a train leveraging digital timetabling and signage, or a manufacturing floor with a whole range of IoT enabled devices and hardware.
Essentially any location where massive amounts of data is generated by users, devices, and other things and that data needs to be analysed, interpreted and acted on – that is the edge.
Why is it important?
The cost savings alone are very attractive for a lot of organisations. The cost in bandwidth to send large amounts of data back to the data centre accrues incredibly quickly. Equally, with the right network infrastructure in place, organisations can save costs on the hardware needed to process data at the edge.
But moreover, the benefits across business development and market differentiation are incredibly appealing. Benefits that include:
- New revenue streams through the development of new services
- Better customer experiences through personalisation
- Greater organisational agility through an increased ability to act on data immediately
- Increased operational efficiency through always-on, always available tools
- Improved employee productivity through always-on and secure productivity tools
How can you take advantage of it?
Here’s the thing, to take real advantage of everything available to you at the edge, you need the right network foundation. Your network is the highway that all your data travels on across the edge space, it needs to be right.
What is the right network foundation?
Unfortunately, like most things in technology and business, there's no silver bullet to success. But there are solutions available that can position you for success today, and future proof you for tomorrow.
In fact, our partners at Aruba have just developed the industry’s first platform with an AI-powered "sixth sense" designed to meet the challenges of the edge head on.
Poignantly named Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform), it’s built on three main principles that when leveraged together can help you and your network cope with the data deluge, increasingly advanced security threats, and the operational challenges associated with complex network architecture.
- Connect with a unified infrastructure – unify all your users, devices, and things data across all your environments, and bring all management and troubleshooting onto a single platform, viewable and actionable through one pane of glass.
- Protect with true edge-to-cloud security – leverage built-in foundation for Zero Trust and SASE frameworks and modernise your protection methods to address complex new attack vectors and the intricacies of IoT.
- Analyse and act with AI Ops - Automatically pre-empt and resolve problems before they have significant impact with recommendations that deliver more than 95% accuracy.
Want to learn more?
We understand it’s a lot to take in so if you want to learn more about the edge or Aruba ESP, don’t hesitate to reach out and chat with one of our edge network specialists.