Edge Computing: The 2 things tech leaders should know

IT resources are aggressively being centralized in the cloud, but some cutting edge technologies will need to balance cloud with localized computing power. That's where edge computing comes in.

It's no secret that more and more computing workloads are moving to the cloud, and will continue to move to the cloud in the years ahead. In 2018, 10% of companies have shut down their traditional data centers in favor of the cloud. By 2025, that number will be 80%, according Gartner.

But this centralization of data, computing power, and intelligence has its drawbacks, and there are important and cutting edge scenarios where sending every transaction to the cloud is too inefficient and not fault tolerant enough.

That's where edge computing comes in. If you're trying to get your head around what edge computing has to offer, here's where to start:

1. It's necessary for critical scenarios

Edge is mostly about computing-intensive, high-availability, mission critical applications that are sometimes geographically remote from computing centers. So we're talking about things like self-driving cars, oil rigs, wind turbines, medical robots, airplanes, mining vehicles, and logistics infrastructure.

Edge computing makes it possible for these technologies to always function at a high level by having the capability to function like a local data center if connectivity is interrupted.

2. It's closely connected to IoT and 5G

What edge computing really enables is the industrial Internet of Things applications that can become mission critical by functioning fully even if the internet hiccups.

5G is going to provide the kind of bandwidth that will empower these mission critical applications being pushed out to the boundaries of the network, while edge computing will provide the high availability and fault tolerance needed to guarantee uptime and performance.

Special report

To go deeper on on this topic, see our ZDNet/TechRepublic special report From Cloud to Edge: The Next IT Transformation. You can read all of the articles on ZDNet or you can download them in one PDF on TechRepublic, available for free to registered users.

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