Clearing up confusion between edge and cloud computing

Clearing up confusion between edge and cloud computing

The benefits of edge computing are not just hype; however, that doesn’t mean you should throw cloud computing initiatives to the wind.

Edge computing and cloud computing are sometimes discussed as if they’re mutually exclusive approaches to network infrastructure. While they may function in different ways, utilizing one does not preclude the use of the other.

Indeed, Futurum Research found that, among companies that have deployed edge projects, only 15% intend to separate these efforts from their cloud computing initiatives — largely for security or compartmentalization reasons.

So then, what’s the difference, and how do edge and cloud work together?

Location, location, location

Moving data and processing to the cloud, as opposed to on-premises data centers, has enabled the business to move faster, more efficiently, less expensively — and in many cases, more securely.

Yet cloud computing is not without challenges, particularly:

  • Users will abandon a graphics-heavy website if it doesn’t load quickly. So, imagine the lag for compute-heavy processing associated artificial intelligence or machine learning functions.
  • The strength of network connectivity is crucial for large data sets. As enterprises increasingly generate data, particularly with the adoption of Internet of Things (IoT), traditional cloud connections will be insufficient.

To make up for the lack of speed and connectivity with cloud, processing for mission-critical applications will need to occur closer to the data source. Maybe that’s a robot on the factory floor, digital signage at a retail store, or an MRI machine in a hospital. That’s edge computing, which reduces the distance the data must travel and thereby boosts the performance and reliability of applications and services.

Ensuring resiliency of cloud and edge

Both edge and cloud computing require careful consideration to the underlying processing power. Connectivity and availability, no matter the application, are always critical measures.

But especially for the edge, it will be important to have a resilient architecture. Companies should focus on ensuring security, redundancy, connectivity, and remote management capabilities.

Find out more about CDNetworks Edge and Cloud Compute Solutions at

Source: Network World