Living On The Edge And Why You Do

October 30, 2018
October 30, 2018 Kate Neale

Living On The Edge And Why You Do

Getting up to speed on streaming innovation is as important for anyone making or consuming content, as it is for those charged with delivering it. Do you know how the Internet will process the zettabytes of data generated by billions of IoT/IoE devices and the infinite array of new applications ranging from AR (augmented reality) to self-driving cars? It will be processed at the edge.

So you might care about the edge and what it is, because you like to invest in the new and emerging businesses that edge computing related technologies will introduce. You might care because you’re developing a product that is delivered, facilitated and/or measured over the Internet. Or you might care because you want to know why your lag time or latency is not just related to the NBN. But you do care about the edge – you just might not know it yet!

The edge has been described as a “once-in-a-generation-innovation cycle”, which sounds like it’s fairly significant – much like the industrial revolution was! Yet at this time it seems only the technically inclined are savvy to the fact that the current Internet is inadequate to the tasks that it has evolved to host. It has to be rebuilt.

While it might be hip, cool and groovy to herald the potential of self driving cars, data mining from your refrigerator or how many kilometres you ran at great speed on your fitness device, all these innovations fundamentally function on the flow of data. Anyone who’s experienced the frustration of buffering, packet loss or latency interfering with the efficiencies of their day can recount a multitude of ways this can cramp your user experience and satisfaction.

“Edge computing places high-performance compute, storage and network resources as close as possible to end users and devices. Doing so lowers the cost of data transport, decreases latency and increase locality.

Edge computing will take a portion of today’s centralised data centres and cloud and put it in everybody’s backyard.”^

“What is the edge? We posit four principles:
• The edge is a location, not a thing
• There are lots of edges, but the edge we care about today is the edge of the last mile network
• This edge has two sides: infrastructure edge and device edge
• Compute will exist on both sides, working in coordination with the centralised cloud”^

The Internet is constantly evolving and today’s Internet is built around centralised cloud architecture, which alone cannot feasibly support emerging application and business requirements.

The parameters surrounding any individual’s data delivery experience vary enormously from the ISP package they subscribe to, the quality of the Internet facilities they’re connected to in their location, the equipment they’re using and their technical savvy. But the Edge is keeping a lot of people busy thinking and inventing ways to improve the data delivery experience for everyone.

Basically out-dated infrastructure which no one wants to step up to update or replace lest they end up with an NBN type disaster, is being supported by dynamically scalable, hybrid hierarchical architectures that can leverage a wide variety of infrastructure efficiently. That is to say new technologies are enabling existing infrastructure to function so it can accommodate the demands of new enterprise.

We’re already seeing conventional services, from content delivery to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) being enhanced with edge computing. Today’s Internet and cloud services will all benefit from edge computing and the advantages it brings in terms of latency, inexpensive data transport and locality.

Certainly smart homes, smart cities, IOT and yes the autonomous car, will need to use edge computing but content delivery networks are already being extended using edge technologies.

So now I’ve given you a taste of what the edge is and why you do care about it, if you would like to get up to speed on how edge computing will impact streaming, you might like to access the full report on The State of the Edge 2018. You might find your next great investment, develop a better product or improve your understanding of streamed products and services.

A big thank you for helping us to those in the know who curated the report: Structure Research, arm, Unified Delivery Network/Ericsson, packet, Rafay and Vapor

Source: State of The Edge 2018 A Market and Ecosystem Report for Edge Computing

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