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  • Blog September 15, 2021

    Edge Computing vs. Cloud Computing – A Business Perspective

    4 Minutes Read

IT operations’ security, cost, performance, and data modernization are the top drivers for businesses adopting cloud computing. Advancements in 5G and IoT have given birth to tech innovations, notably edge cloud computing. The scope of edge computing and cloud computing models has thus grown drastically. Cloud has become the primary location for businesses to store data. Gartner says, “More than $1.3 Trillion in IT spending will be affected by the shift to the cloud by 2022.” To elaborate on this further, the tectonic shift of IT spending is in application software, where 36% of companies that have used other means to host their software have already moved to the cloud.  

Having understood the relevance of migrating your data and applications to the cloud and storing them there, it is worth analyzing the two technology models and deciding on the one that effectively fulfils your business needs. 

What is Cloud Computing?

In a cloud computing architecture, all your business data is gathered and processed in a central location. Generally, this happens in a data center. You use data centers or remote servers to store, process, compute and analyze large amounts of data. Due to the centralized location of data in a cloud computing model, you can quickly secure and control data stored in the cloud. Devices that need data or applications associated with the data can reliably remote access it. Besides, by storing information and assets in a centralized cloud, authorized users can easily access them whenever and wherever they want them. 

Characteristics of Cloud Computing

On-Demand Self-Service

You can provision cloud computing resources without human interaction from the cloud service provider. Organizations can even use a web self-service portal as an interface to access their cloud accounts. They can thus view their cloud services, check how they are used, and provision as well de-provision cloud services. 

Broad Network Access

Cloud services for business are available over a network, such as the internet. In the case of a private cloud, it could be a local area network (LAN). Different customer platforms can readily access such cloud computing resources.  

Multitenancy

In a cloud computing model, multi-tenancy allows multiple customers to share the same physical infrastructure or applications while ensuring security and privacy. 

Resource Pooling 

When multiple customers are serviced using the same physical resources, it is called resource pooling. Ensure the resource pool of your cloud service provider is large and comes with the flexibility to meet multiple client needs and offer economies of scale at the same time. 

Faster Scalability

Responsive to your dynamic business demand, you can quickly scale up or down your cloud computing resources without any additional penalties or contracts. The scalability factor of cloud computing encompasses the use of the cloud, its capacity, and its cost. 

Measured Service

The cloud computing cost model is based on “pay for what you use.” Organizations can leverage charge-per-use capabilities and optimize their resource utilization. Your cloud service provider thus monitors, measures, and reports your use of cloud resources.  

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Decreased IT Costs

One of the key benefits of cloud computing is reducing your IT systems management and maintenance costs. With a cloud service provider, you save on the cost of new hardware and software and system upgrades. You don’t need to invest in human resources. Instead, you can minimize energy consumption costs and avoid time delays. 

Business Continuity

You can make your business continuity plan fool-proof only when you can protect your data and systems. With your crucial business data stored in the cloud, you need not worry about its loss if a crisis hits your business. You can access your data without any hassles, minimizing any chances of downtime and loss of productivity.  

Scalability

As your business demands, you can speedily scale your storage and operational needs. In cloud computing, scalability may be defined as your ability to quickly and rapidly expand or reduce the size or power of an IT solution. Due to the scalability factor of the cloud, you can sign up and use maximum cloud solutions in only a few minutes. You can thus quickly add storage resources to an existing account with a cloud services provider for business by your side.  

Efficient Collaboration

When you work on a project across multiple locations, you may use cloud computing to allow your employees, third parties, and contractors to access duplicate files. Opt for a cloud computing model that enables you to easily share your records with your company’s stakeholders. Ways in which cloud computing aids team collaboration include: 

  • Real-time communication among internal teams 
  • Establish improved transparency and team accountability 
  • Instant file sharing with quick handoffs and response rates 

Automatic Updates 

With a cloud services provider by your side, access to automatic updates to meet your IT needs may be included in your service fee. Your provider ensures that your system is regularly updated with the latest technology, including upgrades to servers, computer processing power, and up-to-date software versions. The best part is that cloud computing applications themselves get automatically updated. 

What is Edge Computing?

According to Gartner, edge computing may be defined as a distributed computing topology where information processing is located near the edge, where people or things either produce or consume that information. Compared to cloud computing, edge computing provides quite an efficient alternative. There is data processing and analysis nearer to the point where it is created. Besides, there is a significant decrease in latency, as data does not travel over a network to a data center or cloud. There is more comprehensive and faster data analysis, leading to rapid response times, deeper insights, and excellent customer experiences due to edge computing and mobile computing on 5G networks. 

Benefits of Edge Computing Architecture

Fast-Tracks Data Analytics

One of the critical benefits of edge computing for businesses is its accelerating pace of data analytics. Its local computation helps to bring in higher levels of intelligence, much before in data analytics. You can thus create a sharper set of data while increasing the speed of analysis and decision-making. For instance, wearable and portable IoT healthcare equipment developed using edge capabilities can collect, store, produce, and analyze large amounts of patient data without constant connection to a network. 

Improves Data Management and Device Performance

You can leverage edge computing for the advantage of IT infrastructure, say that of healthcare. Rather than relying on a centralized data center, you can localize critical data processing in the healthcare domain. This will result in faster response, increased security, and highly efficient data transmission. Besides, edge computing solutions are key in avoiding performance latency issues, like medical device management. 

Enhances Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

In a cloud scenario, rendering images and videos for VR is quite intensive and requires high levels of processing power and corresponding data transmission capabilities. Latency and overall output show challenges. With edge computing (split workload) taking up a certain number of tasks and 5G enabling data transmission faster, output for low latency is guaranteed for AR and VR. Reliability is high in edge computing. Besides, edge computing technology enables devices to react to their environment instantaneously. AR glasses that can process data from multiple sensors can thus show a highly accurate, augmented rendering of surroundings. 

Hones Efficiency of Security Systems

Edge computing improves efficiency and minimizes bandwidth use of businesses with extensive and complex security systems. With edge computing, each motion-detection camera would have an internal computer to run the application, post which it sends footage to the cloud server as and when needed. Typically, in motion detection cameras, data continuously streams a signal to the cloud server. 

Reduces Data Center Costs 

The best thing about edge computing technology is that it delivers improved bandwidth and high computing power. As you deploy servers where the data is generated and stored, edge computing can operate several devices over a relatively smaller yet more efficient local area network (LAN). Here, local data-generating devices use enough bandwidth, making congestion and latency almost non-existent. In addition, an edge computing solution moves some amount of compute and storage resources from the central data center closer to the source of the data itself. High computing power comes from the processing and analysis of data where it is generated. 

Comparison of Cloud Computing and Edge Computing

Comparison of Cloud Computing and Edge Computing

Edge Computing vs. Cloud Computing. It’s a tie! 

According to analysts, edge computing will replace cloud computing as computing will become decentralized. Besides, the need for the centralized cloud will diminish. However, such should not be the case, as functions of cloud and edge computing solutions are different. On the one hand, cloud computing is based on infrastructure and is scalable as per your business needs. On the other hand, edge computing devices collect and process data on-site faster, analyzing data in real-time and without focusing on storing data.  

Remember, cloud computing works ideal for non-time-sensitive applications, and edge computing best suits applications where every millisecond counts. Rather than replacing cloud computing, edge computing should complement it.

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