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Combining the Strength of Cloud with Edge Computing

 

Centralized servers were built as the be-all and end-all of computing until it began to change as this form of computing is costly, difficult to scale, and resource-intensive. Cloud computing began as the most flexible model of computing that could provide a broader range of networking requirements. But computing requirements have grown to the peripherals of the network with devices known as edge devices.  

Edge devices are those devices that are on the edge of a network, either near to the end-user or just at the peripherals of a complete network in an unmanned environment. Such devices don’t work as best as those placed closer to the central servers. Because of the lack of sufficient storage, network capacity, and other helping infrastructure, cloud computing was also a no-go for certain edge devices.  

Alternative computing methods that satisfy modern network consumption specifications are, therefore, a necessity in today’s age. They should present the ability to perform computations and process data at high speeds for devices on edge networks. However, it is hard to achieve due to a few limitations. Let’s look at some of the conditions and how they can be solved through the use of alternative computing. 

 

Edge Device Computing Limitations 

For any cloud computing system, the data gets saved in the cloud or the local server. But the value of cloud storage can improve significantly regarding the large amount of data produced by IoT devices. Besides, the data has to be collected in the cloud using the available bandwidth.

Besides the difficulty of storage and bandwidth, edge devices generate many practical difficulties during implementation: 

  • Real-time data availability: The very goal of edge devices is mostly real-time data retrieval for the main systems. But with the enormously decreased down processing speeds and improved latency, this never occurs.  
  • Data loss: Intermittent connectivity leads to loss of data throѵgh transmission, rendering edge devices inaccurate.  
  • Cost: Edge device set-ups themselves cost a lot, however without real-time data availability, this cannot alter to enough ROI or profits in the long term.  
  • Connection scheduling: Scheduling jobs for each edge node can be challenging. The scheduling requires to be made in order that the data processing and data handling does not alter the device’s performance in the end.  
  • Maintenance: Maintenance is expensive and time-consuming for edge devices because they are mostly placed in remote areas or non-serviceable areas. They may even be fitted onto vehicles that cross large geographical areas.  
  • Privacy: Privacy is a significant concern for edge devices as most of the devices deal with sensitive data such as health information from wearables or personal knowledge from workers or even location information. This data is privy to hacking in a cloud environment. Data ownerships require to be established early on when customer data is being manipulated for essential device functions and its broad usage.  

To overcome these challenges with edge device computing, computations required to be done nearer to the edge devices without compromising on the numerous advantages that the cloud could present, giving rise to new edge computing technologies. 

 

Edge Cloud Combines Cloud Capabilities with Edge Computing 

When edge device computations are implemented by combining the strengths of cloud technology and local storage and processing capability of the devices through the use of gateways, it is recognized as cloud edge computing or more commonly, edge cloud. Such a confluence of technology ends the dispute that existed with edge computing vs cloud computing. 

Edge computing architectures are becoming more and more capable of processing data on the edge by edge processing. The devices or their connected systems can use available storage and processing power to perform computations and analytics.

However, this could indicate huge losses of invaluable data. That’s because all the data produced by an IoT device cannot be stored in the local storage and requires to be deleted from time to time. Since data is regarded as the new fuel, this can be untapped potential.  

Edge cloud can replace as an additional resource in such a situation to save valuable data. It is the new way to merge the cloud storage capabilities with the data-gathering potential of edge computing. Some data storage and a part of the processing could be performed in the cloud, while the most necessary methods are run at the edge. This mitigates the problem of unavailability of real-time data while also taking care of the wider data requirements. Needless to say, the data thus accumulated on the cloud can be used for advanced data analytics, data research and also drive innovation.  

Edge-connected applications are more responsive and strong. Network connectivity performs a huge role in achieving this through sliced networks and bandwidth management. The edge devices should be capable to work isolated from the rest of the network. Such measures can also increase the edge device’s security and privacy.  

 

Use Cases for Cloud Edge Computing 

Edge computing use cases are growing and it is being leveraged more and more as time goes. Yet, edge cloud has discovered its unique place in some business fields and has also become the most important inapplicability in their edge locations. However, these are only a few instances of an expanding ecosystem. 

 

Supply Chain 

The biggest difficulty for the supply chain market has been the visibility of assets. As assets are moved over geographies, most of the time the asset managers require visibility into their location.  

Previously, supply chain businesses were dependent on manpower (internal and external) as well as other expensive methods to trace and observe assets from various locations. A dependable and continuous process of asset management was lacking. This drove the loss of assets and damaged assets through transport, ending in high losses to the businesses in the supply chain.  

Edge devices and edge cloud computing solve these difficulties by almost completely reducing the requirement for any other external resources. Managing assets wherever they are is simple and cloud edge computing presented a means to obtain information periodically from the devices, if and when required. This system got rid of middlemen and also completed additional analytical insights for the business.  

 

Autonomous Industries 

IoT and connected devices have performed an important role in helping autonomous industries like manufacturing or production organizations to power plants or mining operations. By nature, those are found in the outskirts of cities, creating most communication technologies unreachable.  

Asset management and spending are controlled through the IoT edge devices and there is a huge investment into creating cloud edge computing work in industrial sites. Edge computing is an essential element in all autonomous industries such as manufacturing. The manufacturing industry is thus very leading among all the industries in IoT spending.  

Devices that examine the premises, track asset production pipelines, identify abnormalities and keep track of assets during the delivery process are employed in the sites. This extends to logistics and shipment of goods also from site to site and to other locations. 

 

Smart Transportation 

Intelligent transport systems utilize smart technology like traffic management, navigation, automatic number plate identification, incident recognition, parking administration, and information systems, etc. These are IoT systems that are raised at the network peripherals making usage of edge technology and edge cloud computing.  

Transportation becomes particularly challenging for a centralized server to manage as the vehicles such as fast trains are continually on the move. This results in intermittent network connections, inaccurate data exchange, and more. With edge computing, the local data can be stored and processed locally, dropping unimportant data. All necessary and required data are stored in the cloud. This enables for data analytics without disrupting the normal tasks of an edge device. 

 

Healthcare 

Perhaps the most common usage of edge devices is in healthcare systems, and mobile apps, etc. Managing healthcare from the home and replacing valuable health data with health practitioners have transformed the way data impacted the medical industry. Storing EHR data in patient-held health monitoring devices and sharing them by the cloud benefits patients as doctors have insight into patient health treatments, history, and further medical research.  

Furthermore, it reduces the burden on doctors and other health practitioners in managing patient data and information. The data is regularly collected in cloud systems. There is also a requirement for edge cloud devices in real-time data exchange for critically ill patients and data available through emergencies.  

 

Financial institutions and retail stores

Mobile banking and simple money handling applications can rely on cloud edge to process significant financial data. Such distributed systems can depend on cloud computing to make consumers’ life easy.  

Inside financial institutions, the edge devices could watch and see everything from people, surroundings, safety measures, as well as all money transfers and purchases. The reliability and performance of edge computing for such significant and critical requirements have skyrocketed the need for safe edge computing.  

Retail stores are covering competitive and digitally transformative technologies to maintain them afloat in the digital age. Online shopping has grown and taken over much of the sales shares of the retail market. It is important that the stores give a fresh experience to the users, whether for payments or for determining the products they want, creating the shopping experience simple and fulfilling.  

 

Need some guidance in edge computing? Choose to team up with a QA services provider like TestUnity. Our team of testing experts specializes in QA and have years of experience implementing tests with different testing software. Partner with our QA engineers who can help your team in adopting the best suitable testing practices. Get in touch with a TestUnity expert today.

 

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