A Quick Overview of Edge Computing Solutions
Edge computing is a growing term, with the arrival of Microsoft and AWS solutions, among others. But what do these two cloud providers offer us?
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Edge computing is one of the 10 keywords for Gartner this year. And at the same time, quite a few articles have been written to explain it and give an overview of the market. But let's begin with the definition!
Edge Computing: Definition
Edge computing consists of deploying the cloud to connected devices, with connectivity, processing, storage and action capabilities, all with remote administration and monitoring on the cloud.
Edge computing, thus, makes it possible to minimize bandwidth requirements and also operates in offline mode.
In practice, edge computing allows databases, code, whether algorithmic, analytical or artificial intelligence, to be deployed from the cloud on connected devices.
Thus, edge computing is nothing more than the extension of cloud providers' IoT platforms, allowing a whole set of technical components to be deployed automatically as close as possible to the IoTs and to enable stronger administration of these components.
Attention: Architect Debate!
Edge computing and fog computing — the supposed difference between these two concepts is that the edge deploys on connected objects, while the fog deploys on gateways. But in practice, what is commercially called edge would actually be fog — even if fog computing is a component of edge computing. Are you lost? Forget the fog and talk only about edge computing.
All Right, But What For?
The main use cases that are emerging on edge computing are as follows:
- Autonomous vehicles
- Car-to-car communications
- Deportation of intelligence on the automobile
- Smart cities
- Intelligent traffic management
- Intelligent monitoring
- Intelligent public transport
- Industry 4.0
- Smart drones
- Digital Twin
- Improved prediction and safety
- Supply chain
- ATM Improvement
- Proximity to stock exchange data centers
- Telemedicine in rural areas
- Patient Experience
- Supply Chain
And What Do AWS and Azure Solutions Look Like?
And the Azure side:
The point that makes AWS very different from Azure is that you do not install anything on your IoTs, Azure manages all types of IoTs. And in particular, those using OPC, a network standard essential in the industry 4.0. In addition, at AWS, you are dependent on FreeRTOS, an open-source OS that is now under the aegis of AWS. At Azure, instead, you are asked to have Python and Docker on your Gateway.
Overall, Azure does the job, when AWS is missing. Forget about AWS so far in industry 4.0. Another remarkable fact is the lack of support for a remote database in the edge, even if to date the only possible choice is SQL Server.
What About the Competition?
Well, the situation is quite simple, on the side of the big cloud providers, only Google has something, but it's always in Alpha. I, therefore, prefer not to judge because they can complete/amend their architecture.
I hope that this article has clarified for you what EDGE computing is and what the forces are!
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