Are You Edge?

Published On: 20th July 2018//2.7 min read//

Edge computing is one of the biggest data trends of the decade. Huge companies are adopting the technology and more branch sites than ever are recording and storing data. But what does edge mean? It feels like the definition keeps on changing, and the concept is as mysterious as bitcoin, Facebook’s privacy policy, and the Krabby Patty recipe combined!

Simply: Since networks do not cover an infinite distance, there will be sites that are too remote to adopt a centralized or cloud system for controlling data and applications. This is called the network edge, edge computing is the technology that sits in these remote sites and carries out work.

Edge computing use cases:

Optimizing cloud computing systems

Processing data with the cloud is great, but centralized processing can suffer from network interruptions. Therefore, when data needs to be processed and analyzed quickly – and failure to do so many have huge consequences – the edge can often be the better option, as it does not fall victim to latency.

Remote or branch sites

The network edge can be a frustrating place to sit. You either limit your capacity to process applications and data, or you pay huge amounts for a difficult connection to the cloud or corporate datacenter. Edge solutions can be very lightweight, and are often flexible enough to be hardware agnostic.

Connecting IoT sensors and devices

We are learning more and more about our world, processing data from the farthest reaches from the globe, and beginning to adopt IoT technology into our lives in an effort to automate services. By decentralizing data processing, we open up the possibility of creating massive intelligent networks, by using edge computing to connect IoT devices.

What does this look like in the real world?

E.ON Climate and Renewables virtualized their offshore wind farms and remote sites, to make them easier to manage

As a large energy company, E.ON has a huge number of sites at the network edge. By deploying SvSAN, E.ON delivers high availability at their remote sites, can manage all of their sites from one centralized location, and are able to run applications that ensure wind turbines keep rotating, even if there’s no wind, to avoid permanent damage to the generators. Read more about their story here.

Large retailer makes the most of a lightweight virtual environment

A retail store is a perfect edge computing location. A nationwide retailer needs local IT at each store to handle applications such as POS and CCTV. One retail chain in the United States with more than 2,000 stores created a highly available virtual environment by deploying an SvSAN cluster at each store. Localizing the storage and processing of data on a highly available architecture has significantly reduced downtime and increased efficiency. Read more about this case study here.

Find out more

Are you making the most of edge technology? Is it a good fit for your site? Check out the SvSAN overview page to find out more about simple, cost-effective virtual storage; download the SvSAN data sheet for a detailed breakdown of the solution, its features and capacities, or book a demo with the team by emailing [email protected] to see how edge computing could transform your site.

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