Edge clouds distribute cloud capabilities across the network and runs at the edge of the network. Edge clouds are being investigated to work with use cases like the Internet of Things, streaming video and 5G. These use cases are latency sensitive and require close access to computing resources. Intelligent applications running on these devices often use a “sense, analyze, act” model which require more computing power than what is on the edge device.
The architecture to support edge clouds is a network of distributed mini-clouds that are distributed to be located short distances from where the applications will run.
Mark Lewis, wrote for Forbes that “Ultra-low latency cannot be achieved by using our present cloud-based systems. The speed of light becomes the limiting factor. A localized transaction might have a delay of one to 10 milliseconds but a cloud transaction would typically have a delay of 100 milliseconds or more. While this difference is not even detectable in term of human/computer interaction, it is an eternity in a machine to machine interaction. The solution will be to add edge computing and data storage systems capable of providing ultra-low transaction latency. These “edge-clouds” will provide the backbone for a new generation of machine-to-machine transactions enabling a whole new suite of capabilities.”
CPlaneai.com provides an interesting infographic of five possible use cases for edge clouds. The diagram shown below for Industrial IoT is the first of these use cases.