This blog post is part of a series called “CommScope Definitions,” in which we will explain common terms in
communications network infrastructure.
computing is a hot topic in pretty much all data center or cloud-related
conferences; however, whenever I ask how people define it, the answer is always,
“it depends.” It’s a good idea for me to develop my own definition of edge. Edge
is the place where people, devices or “things” exchange data with the network. There
are a few points in the definition.
CLICK TO TWEET: CommScope's Frank Yang explains edge computing in this blog.
edge is where connection occurs. It’s the place people, devices or “things”
access the network. If there is no connection, it’s not edge. Connectivity will
play a critical role at the edge. The
connectivity can be wireless, fiber or copper in different forms.
the value of edge is data, in many cases real-time data. The majority of data
at the edge is processed locally. The rest of the data can be passed to the
data center for further compute and storage. If there is no data, it’s not
the interactions at the edge go beyond just human beings and the networks.
Devices or “things” play important roles at the edge.
definition does not talk about the location or the size of edge. Edge can be
located anywhere (i.e., cell tower, airplane, car, homes, and even your wrist).
The size of edge computing facilities, sometimes referred to as edge data
centers, can vary considerably. The size of the edge data center can vary from
1-2 kW (1 or 2RU) or less to sub-mega Watts (for example, a few dozens of racks).
what is driving edge computing? It’s the dynamic balance between the latency caused
by physics and the increasing demand of better customer experience. As the network
continues to get bigger and is distributed further, the latency increases. This
is just physics. On the other hand, the demand for better customer experiences and
faster responses is endlessly increasing. Amazon reported every 100
milliseconds (ms) of latency cost them one percent in sales. Similarly,
Google found an extra 500
in search page generation time dropped traffic by 20 percent. During the 2017
Gartner Data Center Conference, Gartner stated 7 ms delay in virtual reality or
augmented reality will cause users motion sickness.
computing is expected to provide tremendous growth opportunities in hardware
and software. Traditional content, telecom and cloud providers have heavily
invested in edge computing. Today, business in many other vertical sectors like
manufacturing, retail, etc. started investing in edge computing. Also during
the 2017 Gartner Data Center Conference, Gartner predicted 40 percent of large
enterprises will be integrating edge computing principles into their 2021
projects, up from less than one percent in 2017.
necessary for enterprises to develop an edge computing strategy to achieve
higher productivity and better customer experience. What are your thoughts on
Graphic: Bob Gill, “Reimaging Data Centers on the Edge – The Edge Computing Roadmap,” Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations Management & Data Center Conference 2017.