Magazine article USA TODAY

"Digital Arms Race" Driving Growth

Magazine article USA TODAY

"Digital Arms Race" Driving Growth

Article excerpt

Edge computing is projected to grow at a cumulative annual rate of 46% over the next four years to more than $6,000,000,000 by 2022. With this growth has come a readjustment in planning strategy on the part of CIOs and other IT managers.

"For nearly a decade now, large, computer-intensive enterprises have been looking at IT investment in terms of moving virtually all applications to the cloud, with a concomitant reduction of operating expenses in local computing and the possibility of lower--or at least reasonably stable--overall cost. Unfortunately, it's going to be more complicated than that," says James D'Arezzo, CEO of Condusiv Technologies, Glendale, Calif.

The actual "edge" in edge computing depends on the application. In telecommunications, it could be a cell phone, or perhaps a cell tower. In manufacturing, it could be a machine on a shop floor; in enterprise IT, the edge could be a laptop. The important thing about edge computing is that it enables data produced by Internet of Things devices to be processed close to where it is created, rather than sending it to centralized, cloud-based data centers. This allows data to be analyzed in near real-time--a need of organizations across many industries, including manufacturing, health care, telecommunications, and finance.

Industry observers cite the autonomous, self-driving car as a kind of current ultimate example of the need for edge computing. Due to speed, privacy concerns, and available bandwidth, a user cannot feed each and every one of the various sensors of a self-driving car up to the cloud and then await a response. A latency delay which might be tolerable in, say, waiting for a video to start would be unacceptable in a situation involving split-second, life-or-death decisions. …

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