How the shift to edge computing is impacting enterprises

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It comes down to simple physics and cost: in cloud computing, high availability and sub-second response time is almost impossible, or at least impossibly expensive.

This flaw has given birth to Edge Computing, which takes computing resources to the physical location of data creation or the so-called “Edge” of the Internet. Touted results are real-time speed and dramatically increased availability, flexibility, resilience and data consistency.

According to Dave McCarthy, vice president of research for Cloud and Edge Infrastructure Services at IDC, “… anything and everything should go to the cloud, ‘let’s use the cloud for what is good for it, and use it. It makes more sense. “

Edge computing has become increasingly a priority for growing organizations. According to IDC, global enterprise and service provider spending on hardware, software and services is expected to reach $ 176 billion in 2022, an increase of 14.8% over 2021. That cost is expected to reach $ 274 billion by 2025, according to the firm. Similarly, the Linux Foundation’s LF Edge Arm expects the same cost to reach $ 800 billion by 2028.

This equates to exponential growth in the number of providers. Industry giants and specialized companies are expanding into the same space; Edge computing platforms and established providers of services include Cloudflare, Macrometa, Platform9 and Litmus Edge. Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers its Lambda @ Edge technology, while IBM owns Watson Anywhere, and almost all other IT vendors up to Google, Dell, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) have announced plans to offer some sort of multiple edge. . Computing platform.

Couchbase has also expanded its support for Edge Computing with the launch of the distributed NoSQL Cloud Database, Couchbase Mobile 3. The new platform allows developers to create completely native applications in the cloud, on the edge and on mobile and IoT devices with their chosen use. Languages, frameworks and platforms, according to Wayne Carter, vice president of engineering at Couchbase.

Better, faster, stronger – the demand for data and applications

The 11-year-old Santa Clara-based public company has established itself with its two versions of open-source, NoSQL, multimodal, document-oriented database software.

As Carter noted, modern applications should be faster, more resilient, agile and accessible, and have the ability to run from anywhere. Since applications run on multiple different systems, developers need to be able to quickly and easily configure hundreds of locations and devices.

“Consumers need more and more mobile and edge capabilities to meet the demands of modern applications, and data should always be available, so applications operate at unmatched speeds,” Carter said.

The goal with the Couchbase platform, and with the edge in general, is to move data closer to where it is being used, even when it is in motion, to ensure that apps always have access to it.

One of the reasons Edge Computing is so popular is that it helps to use cases that can’t be clouded, explained McCarthy of IDC. Using the cloud is cost-effective and fast, but it has performance-related limitations. Apps that rely solely on centralized cloud data centers to process and store data are subject to latency and downtime whenever Internet connectivity is slow or frequently disrupted. The time it takes to send a command to the cloud, the cloud that processes it and sends the information may be restricted. What’s more, there has been a significant outage recently among the top cloud providers.

“How can you continue to manage if the cloud is not available, or the network between you is not available?” Posted by McCarthy.

Couchbase 3 addresses this difference by giving a sub millisecond response time, Carter said. Data integrity is maintained with automatic synchronization across edges and mobile infrastructure, regardless of Internet connectivity.

Developers can use the platform in Edge data centers, in the cloud, on 5G networks, on-premises or in Edge devices. This multi-level, hierarchical architecture support allows it to meet any speed, availability, technical or security requirements, Carter said. The result is that the apps are fast and resilient and are not dependent on or influenced by variability in remote cloud data center or network speeds. Apps can be developed and used to meet increasingly restrictive governance and security requirements.

Device ubiquity means that if the device is turned on, data is available, and it is always synchronized, Carter said. Given the laws of physics, you can only achieve a certain speed with cloud computing. “There is no other way you can solve this problem,” he said.

For example, the platform is used by a leading airline to digitize its pre-flight check process. It is embedded on tables for recording observations, to synchronize data between crew tables in real-time, even when those devices are disconnected. This improves accuracy and safety while ensuring a timely departure, Carter explains. In similar cases, the platform has underlined airplane meal ordering systems so that all flight attendants have visibility in inventory (say, number of available turkey sandwiches or cans of ginger L).

Promoting creativity on the edge

Couchbase 3 is certified on Amazon Web Systems (AWS), Verizon, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Azure. Reference architectures and deployments have been developed for AWS Local Zone, AWS Wavelength, AWS Outposts and Verizon 5G Edge.

“What Couchbase has done is take into account their success in cloud databases and expand those feature sets to smaller Edge environments,” said McCarthy of IDC. “It enables this world of apps that can extend from the cloud to the edge.”

Because of its vastness, McCarthy acknowledged that the edge is a concept that can be difficult to understand. “If it’s so new, how can it be so big?” He said.

He described it as a market driven by a more distributed computing model than the centralized computing model and the expansion of IoT and AI applications. “It’s a big market, partly because existing things are being modernized,” he said. “Edge creates many different deployment scenarios.”

Edge computing also promotes creativity, McCarthy said, as it enables developers to create more tools and application features and options. “You can get all the benefits of the cloud without being limited to just being in the cloud,” he said. “It’s kind of the best of both worlds.”

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