Rethinking the Remote Working Infrastructure: Cloud Computing vs. Edge Computing
Cloud computing is by no means a new concept, and businesses have been using and relying on it for many years. So what about edge computing? Is edge computing a new type of cloud computing or is it an entirely new approach?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, cloud computing has proved to be invaluable for businesses across the world. It has enabled millions of companies to continue operating from home and kept the cogs of the business world turning.
Edge computing is often discussed alongside cloud computing with many believing that edge computing has the ability to replace the cloud. In reality, both technologies have crucial and distinguishable roles within IT infrastructure.
But, there may be areas where edge computing could be more advantageous over centralised cloud infrastructure, particularly when we are talking about remote working. Let’s take a look at what edge computing is, where it can be advantageous and how it can complement the cloud.
What is Edge Computing?
Edge computing is a distributed computing paradigm the enables data storage and computation to be closer to the location that it is needed rather than being stored thousands of miles away. This approach improves response times and saves bandwidth, both of which can be advantageous for remote working.
Advantages of Edge Computing
Edge computing can deliver significant advantages for remote working, as millions of workers and devices access company networks from home and away from central locations such as offices it can slow down the network.
With cloud computing data is stored a processed in a central location, often a data centre, which may be on-premise but is more likely to off-premise and could be in another country. The cloud has the capability to store and compute vast amounts of data, but strain on the network bandwidth can make it slow.
This is where edge computing comes in, companies can overcome operational strain challenges by using edge computing to process data and reduce the strain on the cloud and also overcome issues with latency. Working alongside the cloud, edge computing can take care of localised data processing, so the cloud can focus on other functions and perform faster.
Using the two technologies together can help companies place themselves in the best position for remote working and can help reduce network lag, increase efficiencies and mitigate the risk of network failure.
The increase in remote working has led to an increase in remote access to data, which can give cyber criminals more opportunities to access company data. This poses an increased security risk, but edge computing reduces the transfer of sensitive data between devices and the cloud as it is stored, filtered and processed locally.
Adopting edge computing can improve security and privacy for companies, especially at a time when there are more people working remotely. As remote working will likely become the new norm for companies, it is expected that future infrastructure will combine both the cloud and edge computing.