Welcome to “Notes From The Edge”, a bi-weekly blog about events, technologies, people and findings in the world of Edge Computing. After writing about and covering Edge Computing for Gartner beginning in 2015, I created and lead the Edge Computing Research Community at Gartner. This series is your portal into Edge happenings both inside Gartner Research, as well as in the broader market.
What IS Edge Computing? Gartner defines edge computing as “part of a distributed computing topology in which information processing is located close to the edge — where things and people produce or consume that information.” The edge is where the physical and digital worlds interact. For example, Edge sensors measure activity in the physical world. These measurements inform decisions, drive local actions, reveal patterns and can be fed into analytics applications for further analysis.
Why Should You Care? In many cases, Edge Computing is picking up momentum as an enterprise-strategic complement to the largely centralized hyperscale cloud model. As we see in Figure 1, placing workloads and data closer to the creators and users of data solves for the problems induced by the centralization of resources often accompanying hyperscaler cloud. Latency, Bandwidth Requirements, Autonomy (or the ability continue operations when a link or cloud region is unavailable), and security and compliance based on physical data location can all be addressed through the deployment of Edge Computing. Enterprises are also finding that the distribution of intelligence out to “The Edge” enables innovative applications and business models, particularly as Edge devices become more intelligent and capable. For example, we are beginning to see enterprises capitalize on the opportunities springing from deployment of Machine Learning out where customers and systems interact directly with the enterprise, such as factory floor, retail store, or even atop a wind turbine. In short, Edge Computing can not only improve existing systems already in place, but it can drive new application types and business innovation.
Hopefully, this introduction has whetted your appetite for an ongoing stream of Edge-related posts. We plan to cover business drivers and financing models, emerging technologies, innovative use cases, and even organizational issues arising from Edge Deployments.
If you have any questions you would like to see addressed, please respond to this post and we can begin to drive a dialog.