7 Trends in Edge computing forthcoming in 2020

Form the experts, find out more about the trends of the future.

Trends in Edge computing
Image Source (Freepik) | Trends in Edge computing

The pandemic hasn’t been able to confine the significant growth in edge computing and its aid, 5G network offerings. A prediction by Grand Review Research analysts shows a surge in the market for such solutions from $3.5 billion to $43.4 billion in 2027. ABI Research director, Dimitris Mavrakis, said that the major vendors of cloud services are working actively to deploy more and more edge servers in local markets.

Edge is a network infrastructure approach, distributive in nature. This enables the data to be processed as well as analysed closer to its source. It adds significant value for the enterprise specifically in areas of IoT, AI and big data.

The Chief Technology Strategist of Red Hat, E G Nadhan says that, “For edge devices to be smart, they need to process the data they collect, share timely insights, and if applicable, take appropriate action.”

He further adds, “Edge computing is the science of having the edge devices do this without the need for the data to be transported to another server environment,” he says, “Put in another way, edge computing brings the data and the compute closest to the point of interaction.”

Trend #1: Cloud Services will move to the edge

According to Dave McCarthy, a research director who focuses on edge strategies, the cloud service providers for the last decade have been standing behind the message that everything is on a route to the cloud. The hybrid architecture offered by them built a temporary bridge between cloud data and on-premise data centres.

However, a change in plans is coming true. Major cloud providers have brought the idea that it is more efficient to distribute this workload to the places where they work best. Different solutions which extend on-premise or on-device by cloud service providers. They are partnering with telecom providers and co-location providers to let enterprises launch applications across neighbourhoods and cities.

McCarthy also says, “For IT organizations that have adopted cloud-native applications, these new services make it easy to overcome the latency challenges that can exist with hyperscale availability zones”.

Trend #2: An expected delay in 5G

After a long period of anticipation, 5G network finally set foot as one of the major wireless carriers offering the fifth-generation high speed wireless connectivity. The onset of COVID-19 has had a negative impact and the process has slowed down significantly.

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Seth Robinson, senior director of technology at CompTIA says, “IT leaders should be aware of 5G progress, but architecting solutions that leverage edge computing can happen with the existing infrastructure.”

Trend #3: Next Generation of Networking is here

 “5G extends the platform that applications are built on. In some cases, this will allow creation of new applications, but in many cases, it will simply allow existing applications to work better,” Robinson continues. It is derived that although 5G is an advancement, it is not the end.

“[The vast majority of] APIs are centralized in one or two data centres, so these businesses will not gain the benefits of 5G and are missing edge messaging connectivity,” says Stephen Blum who is the CTO and co-founder of PubNub. According to him, the two-millisecond latency is fast however it may not improve user experience in cases where the APIs are still centralized and it is only by building a network that is vastly geographically distributed or by adopting new data streaming edge messaging solutions will the IT leaders match the speed of 5G and be able to deliver almost instantaneous communication experiences.

Trend #4: IoT data will live thrive with Edge

New business insights through IoT have been a major investment from enterprises. But,

IDC’s McCarthy says that, “Most underestimated the volume of data that connected devices can generate and how hard it is to separate important data from the chaff,” 

He adds, ”That is why the industry is pivoting to edge computing by processing data closer to the point of generation, it is possible to avoid unnecessary communication and storage costs while simultaneously applying machine learning and AI to identify data patterns that have an impact to the business.” The expenses with respect to transmitting and storing of such large amount of data without any visible benefit led to the thought that IoT was not worth the hype.

Trend #5: Several proofs for concept seem to fail

Amongst all the emerging technology solutions, the advice given is to start small, fail faster and consider what works.

Mann of SAS advices the IT leaders to think big from the very start. He says, “Edge computing plans and architectures must be developed with operationalizing the entire enterprise in mind. Proof of concept models rarely work.”

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Looking at the bright side, he says, “You don’t have to start from scratch. Capabilities are in place now and ecosystems are already formed to accelerate your efforts.”

Trend #6: IT and operation technology will become one

From the very beginning, the companies in manufacturing sector, transportation, and oil and gas industries have featured separate organizations to manage both their IT enterprise systems as well as industrial operations.

IDC’s McCarthy comments on this, “As these companies look to modernize infrastructure with the goal of implementing predictive maintenance solutions or real-time optimization, cross-functional teams emerged to tie these two worlds together, and edge computing has become the common denominator,”

To combine the IT and OT workloads, companies must incorporate a software defined approach and common hardware. The focus here is collaboration. McCarthy adds, “OT engineers build for function and IT engineers build for scale, so it is important for both sides to share perspectives and work towards a common goal.”

Trend #7: The edge interest will be fuelled by Digital Transformation’

Robinson of CompTIA says that, “Many companies are leveraging new technology to compete in a digital economy, and the massive ripple effects from COVID-19 make these efforts even more critical as companies further digitize their operations and explore new data streams that help inform business decisions, they will be more interested in edge computing as an extension of their cloud model.”

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