Edge computing. It’s flavour of the month, especially in IoT where putting processing power at the edge can solve issues of latency, resilience, transferring massive amounts of redundant data to distant data centres, and more.
As with any hot technology, the pundits and the analysts are jumping on the bandwagon with their assessments of the ‘top 10’ ( or more) edge computing platforms, lists of who’s hot in the edge computing market, etc.
Latest of these is MachNation, a research firm that claims to be “exclusively dedicated to testing and benchmarking Internet of Things (IoT) platforms, middleware, and services.”
It has just put out its The 2020 IoT Edge ScoreCard, billing it “a detailed rating of 11 IoT edge platform vendors.
MachNation president and analyst Steve Hilton says it is “the industry’s most comprehensive review of IoT edge platforms.”
MachNation has certainly explored its chosen edge platforms in great depth, but you don’t have to look very far to find other organisations that come up with lists somewhat different from the 11 MachNation has selected.
Here’s its list
ADLINK, Amazon, Bosch, Crosser, Eurotech, HPE, Litmus Automation, Microsoft, Siemens, Software AG, and Telit.
In December 2019 another research firm, Datamation, published its list of 15 Top Edge Computing Companies: ADLINK, Amazon, Cisco, ClearBlade, Dell EMC, Google, Hitachi Vantara. HPE, Huawei, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Saguna, SAP.
Another list, published in September 2019, came from Enterprise Management 360 (EM360), which ranked them on some measure of merit that was not revealed. From one to 10 they were:
Microsoft, Amazon, Dell EMC, Cloudera, IBM, Hitachi Vantara, Cisco, ClearBlade, Saguna.
MachNation’s is certainly a more comprehensive assessment than any of the others. It has produced detailed analysis of the merits of its chosen 11. This is available only to paying customers.
It claims to have assessed its chosen vendors on four main categories: edge data processing, edge management; architecture and integration; strategy and business, and 19 sub-requirements.
Its free executive summary offers no guidance as to how, or why these were chosen, but major players like Dell EMC, Cisco and IBM — included in the other lists — are likely to be miffed at their exclusion.
However MacNation’s report does contain a series of matrices detailing its assessments of the relative merits of each on several criteria. Datamation and EM360 offer only short paragraph on the merits of each of their chosen vendors.
Given the diversity of applications for edge computing, it’s likely to be a case of horses for courses and any general assessment of only limited use.
McKinsey, in November 2018 said it had identified 100 edge computing use cases across 11 sectors that it thought could create more than $US200 billion in hardware value in the next five to seven years.
Plenty of opportunity for all the edge vendors to tackle all these specific requirements.