Over the years, the shift to cloud services has resulted in computing resources being concentrated in a few large data centres. Edge computing is a counter-trend that decentralises cloud services and distributes them to many sites that are located closer to end users or data sources allowing applications to deliver a better-quality experience, thereby enabling new use cases and gaining operational efficiencies. While the market is still emerging, analysts and industry watchers predict it will be significant. Offering a broad portfolio in the edge computing space – solutions that provide connectivity, integration, and infrastructure and all of these powerful building blocks,Ben Panic, Vice President and Head Of Telco, Media & Entertainment – APAC in an exclusive conversation with Business Today talks about how enterprises can benefit from edge computing and the associated costs.
BT: Why should enterprises consider edge computing?
BP: Edge computing provides faster, more stable services at a lower cost. For users, edge computing means a faster, more consistent experience. For enterprises and service providers, edge means low-latency, highly available apps with actionable real-time insights and decision making. It can help enterprises reduce network costs, avoid bandwidth constraints, reduce transmission delays, limit service failures, and provide better control over the movement of sensitive data. Advanced applications such as Artificial Intelligence, Proactive Monitoring, Predictable Insights, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality applications etc., benefit from computing at the edge.
With the heterogeneous nature of edge computing, consistency is the key. An edge deployment could theoretically be hundreds of thousands of tiny sensors connected to a data aggregation tier which help to provide real-time feedback. It’s fundamentally impossible to manage each of these deployments if they don’t share a more secure control plane via automation, management and orchestration.
This consistency can only be offered through the hybrid cloud – from edge devices to the network to the centralized datacenter. A hybrid cloud deployment only can provide sanity to what would otherwise be sheer complexity across a technology ecosystem. It gives all of these varied components a common foundation upon which to rest, whether it’s Linux, Kubernetes or Ansible, enabling IT teams to manage ten thousand networked devices just as they would their centralized IT.
[While] edge computing can simplify a distributed IT environment, the edge infrastructure isn’t always simple to implement and manage.
BT: Are enterprises in India open to the idea of edge computing?
BP: In India, with a smartphone in almost every hand and with that kind of data, edge computing is emerging in many ways. We are seeing its increased use in telecommunications, healthcare, mobility, manufacturing, utilities, amongst others. With people becoming more health conscious, we are witnessing a surge in usage of wearables, where quick and timely analysis of data is of critical importance. With Telemedicine and the use of robotics in hospitals, the edge computing is helping in data analysis without having the data to travel to a datacenter.
Other usage coming to fore is in telecommunications. With our lives revolving around our mobile devices right from shopping, banking, trading, video calling to collecting health data and connected homes, telecommunications is another aspect, where edge computing will continue to redefine the mobile services. Industry is yet to identify a killer application in 5G, the idea is to have an edge platform with all the intelligence which can enable all the much needed innovation. 5G enabled smart factories, smart cities, immersive experiences, connected things to name a few will be the coming future as the country moves to the new spectrum.
BT: How big is the edge computing market and what has been the growth over the last few years, globally as well as in India?
BP: The global edge computing market size is anticipated to reach $61.14 billion by 2028, exhibiting a CAGR of 38.4 per cent over the forecast period, according to a new report by Gran View Research. Inc. Also, according to “The State of Enterprise Open Source” from Red Hat, 72 per cent of IT leaders surveyed expect open source to drive the adoption of edge computing over the next two years.
BT: As connected devices can be compromised easily, what are the security concerns and solutions that come into play with the deployment of edge computing?
BP: There are two types of security which need to be taken care of. The first is the security of the actual Edge devices; the second is the security of the data those devices collect and send to other points in the network.