Access and Feeds

Edge Computing: Smart Devices and Human-Machine Interfaces Promoted Decentralized Computing

By Dick Weisinger

Network architectures have traditionally focused on moving data collected from data sources to a central computer for processing and analysis.  The various data sources spread across the network are often referred to as the edge.

Rather than move data to a central computer, increasingly data is processed at the source where it is collected, a network architecture known as edge computing. Because data does not need to be transferred, there are fewer latency issues, requires less network bandwidth, and saves server space.

Smart devices and human-machine interfaces are two of the factors that are behind an increase in edge computing.  Gartner found in a survey that “10% of enterprise-generated data is created and processed outside a traditional centralized data center or cloud. By 2022, Gartner predicts this figure will reach 75%.”

Rod Piechowski, Senior Director at HIMSS, said that “people are already engaged in edge computing and they don’t even know they’re a part of it. It’s a relatively new term. Not everyone sees the need for it yet, and the case needs to be made in order to move towards it.”

Piechowski said that “as bandwidth becomes a more pressing issue, edge computing will become an attractive alternative or complement to cloud computing, possibly creating a hybrid approach. And valid use cases that demonstrate the value of the edge computing architecture will drive further adoption.”

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