New technological advancements and opportunities seem to drop out of the sky every day. The cloud has long been a standard for unlocking ROI, reducing costs and driving innovation — but the edge is the hot new thing.
The edge’s capabilities of handling and storing data locally present new possibilities for speed and processing power. Should you choose the edge or the cloud for your business?
MILL5 has harnessed both the cloud and the edge! Let us guide you through this decision to optimize your enterprise.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EDGE AND CLOUD
Public cloud computing platforms supplement private data centers with global servers that extend infrastructure to any location and allow computational resources to be scaled up and down as needed. However, while cloud data centers might be many miles away in the “core” of the network, the edge places computing resources closer to the user or the device. Some applications, such as artificial intelligence (AI), greatly benefit from this form of computing where the data is produced.
“The edge approach emphasizes reducing latency and providing more processing of data close to the source,” says The Enterprisers Project.
Many companies view these advantages as an incentive to move applications to the edge. Gartner estimates that 75% of the data will be created outside of the data center and cloud and in the edge by 2025.
SHOULD YOU CHOOSE THE EDGE OR THE CLOUD?
Edge computing utilizes more data centers that are much smaller and located everywhere, says CIO. This transformation of the conventional notion of a large, centralized data center enables real-time computing.
The edge is separate from the cloud for four main reasons:
- Edge computing is used to process time-sensitive data, while cloud computing is used to process data that is not time-driven.
- Sheer volumes of data collected can be too much for the cloud. Edge computing can process more data locally and send to the cloud only data that needs to go to the cloud.
- Security, privacy and data sovereignty advantages to keeping more data close to the source rather than shipping it to a centralized location.
- Edge computing is preferred over cloud computing in remote locations, where there is limited or no connectivity to a centralized location.
But there are plenty of challenges ahead for edge computing:
- Lack of scalability to multiple small sites, as the increased overhead can be difficult to manage.
- Vulnerability to failure, as edge computing sites are usually in remote locations with few people that lack on-site IT and financial resources.
- Vulnerability to malicious attacks and security breaches at each localized point of the edge network, as edge computing sites often have reduced physical security.
- Possibility of the wrong data being discarded or destroyed if the edge device deems it “useless.”
- Necessity of more software and hardware for launch and management of an edge network is expensive and costs can escalate with the addition of more geographies.
Edge computing adopters need to prepare for obstacles associated with unproven technologies as best practices for edge system management, governance, integration and more.
By contrast, the cloud has many tried-and-true benefits, including:
- Quick scalability.
- Massive amounts of processing power.
- Enabling organizations to focus on workloads and data instead of managing infrastructure and data centers.
- Reduction in costs, people, equipment and facilities.
Although the cloud is not perfect and does have its cons:
- Lack of Internet access due to network reboots and outages prohibits cloud access.
- Possible user errors with digital security methods and user access management.
- Minimal control over cloud infrastructure, as it is owned and run by the cloud service provider.
- Sudden cloud service provider shutdown could lead to a total loss of data.
- Vulnerability to cybersecurity breaches, as cloud services are shared, online environments.
MILL5 SOLUTION — WHY NOT BOTH?
MILL5 has years of experience developing modern, cutting-edge applications that leverage today’s modern technology stacks, including the edge and the cloud.
One example of our portfolio of work is building Internet of Things (IoT) gateways using both the edge and the cloud:
- Modern hardware (ex. Dell Edge Gateways for IoT)
- Microsoft Azure Sphere which talks to these IoT devices
- Container-based SaaS applications for IoT devices that run in the cloud
MILL5 can also combine the capabilities of both edge and cloud together with Microsoft Azure Stack Edge. This cloud-managed, hard-as-a-service (HaaS) solution can run:
- Machine learning in near real-time, in an environment that is highly regulated, where data can’t leave your on-prem data centers, such as operating rooms
- On-premises and processes data locally before uploading to the cloud
MILL5 impressed one customer with a solution previously believed to be impossible. Olympus had built a robust platform for managing situational awareness with cameras in the surgical operating room. They wanted to utilize Microsoft’s AI platform to analyze the video in real-time but lacked the infrastructure. MILL5 was able to come in and integrate Azure Stack Edge, then called Data Box Edge, into that environment to consume and run machine learning on the video. Watch this video to learn more about the collaboration between MILL5 and Olympus.
“The ability of running machine learning in near real-time in an environment that is highly regulated where data can’t leave your on-prem data centers is a huge deal,” says Shri Bhupathi, Founder and Technical Fellow at MILL5. “Azure Stack Edge allows our clients to do that because it consolidates their footprint on what they need to manage, where they need to go to manage their devices and where they need to go to actually look at the assets that they have.”
MILL5 is also your expert strategic consultant. We will work with you to determine which information should be sent up to the cloud and what should remain on-prem or at the edge.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MILL5
The difference between the edge and the cloud is use case, the data being processed and the purpose of that data. One computing methodology isn’t necessarily better than the other!
Partner with MILL5 to understand your workloads and the main differences between the edge and the cloud and what’s the best choice for your enterprise. Fill the form below today and one of our representatives will be in touch with you as soon as possible.
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