What are key aspects of edge computing, regardless of industry?

May 19, 2020 // By Julien Happich
edge computing
The key aspects of edge computing include low latency, the ability to perform deterministic real-time computing, support for mission-critical or safety-critical use cases, and the ability to extend computing beyond humans to the extremes of the environment and things.

John Vicente, Chief Technology Officer,
Stratus Technologies.

What’s an example of an industry or business that’s been significantly impacted by edge technology?

It’s really interesting that right now, no one industry has truly been transformed or disrupted by edge computing. And that’s because we’re still in transition, the early days of evaluating and finding the optimal use cases. We haven’t seen anyone truly scaling (large) on edge transformation strategies just yet. Alternatively, we have seen edge computing enabling innovation and ROI across multiple industries as varied as manufacturing, energy, smart cities and buildings, transportation, retail, and law enforcement.


Why is real-time data processing so critical?

There are a couple of reasons. First is time criticality. Some decisions or actions need to be executed within milliseconds or even microseconds. Think about autonomous vehicles recognizing a pedestrian or hazard in the roadway. The vehicle needs to make a deterministic decision about how to avoid injury or hazard, and there isn’t time to send that data to a cloud for processing, and then send it back to act on it. Thus, time-critical processing or computing needs to be done in vehicle.

Second, there are many factory production scenarios where large amounts of machine data or vision need to be processed in real-time (e.g., motion control) to perform human-assisted (e.g., safety-critical) robotic control or in the networked coordination of many robots in assembly or production.

How can the edge benefit business areas where there’s a lack of skilled IT professionals?

Edge computing allows for truly autonomous installations in locations that are remote or unmanned, such as in the energy industry. Edge-computing technologies enable applications to run autonomously, where standard operational services such as security, application, or systems management can run in the background or be managed out of band with zero-touch administration.

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