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It boils down to simple physics and cost: With cloud computing, high availability and sub-second response times are nearly impossible, or at least prohibitively expensive.
This disadvantage has given rise to edge computing, in which computing resources are moved to the physical location of data creation, or the so-called “edge” of the Internet. The touted results are real-time speeds and dramatically increased data availability, flexibility, resilience and consistency.
According to Dave McCarthy, research vice president of cloud and edge infrastructure services at IDC, the mindset has changed from “…everything should go to the cloud to ‘let’s use the cloud for what it’s good for and use it ‘Other things if they make more sense.’”
Edge computing has increasingly become a priority for a growing number of companies. According to IDC, spending by enterprises and service providers on edge hardware, software, and services is expected to reach $176 billion in 2022, a 14.8% increase from 2021. According to the company, this expenditure is expected to amount to $274 billion by 2025. Similarly, the Linux Foundation’s LF Edge arm expects Edge spending to grow to $800 billion by 2028.
This corresponds to an exponential growth in the number of providers. Industry giants and specialist companies alike are expanding into the space; Established providers of edge computing platforms and services include Cloudflare, Macrometa, Platform9 and Litmus Edge. Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers its Lambda@Edge technology, while IBM has Watson Anywhere, and nearly every other IT vendor from Google to Dell to Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) has announced plans to sort of Provide multiple edge computing platform.
Couchbase, a distributed NoSQL cloud database, has also expanded its support for edge computing with the launch of Couchbase Mobile 3. The new platform enables developers to build fully native applications in the cloud, at the edge, and on mobile and IoT devices using their chosen device languages, frameworks and platforms, according to Wayne Carter, vice president of engineering at Couchbase.
Better, faster, stronger – the demand for data and apps
The 11-year-old Santa Clara-based public company has established itself with its two versions of open-source, NoSQL, multimodel, document-oriented database software.
As Carter noted, modern apps need to be faster, more resilient, more agile, more accessible, and able to run from anywhere. Because apps run on multiple different systems, developers need to be able to quickly and easily configure hundreds of locations and devices.
“Increasingly, customers are demanding mobile and edge capabilities to meet the demands of today’s applications, and data must always be available to keep apps running at unmatched speeds,” said Carter.
The goal of the Couchbase platform, and Edge in general, is to bring data closer to where it’s used, even as it travels, to ensure apps can always access it.
One of the reasons edge computing has become so popular is that it helps address use cases that the cloud can’t, explained IDC’s McCarthy. Using the cloud is inexpensive and fast, but has performance-related limitations. Apps that rely solely on centralized cloud data centers to process and store data are subject to latency and downtime when internet connectivity is slow or drops frequently. The time it takes to send a command to the cloud, have the cloud process it, and send the information can be prohibitive. Additionally, leading cloud providers have had significant outages recently.
“How can you continue to operate when the cloud is unavailable or the network between you is unavailable?” McCarthy observed.
Couchbase 3 bridges that gap by offering sub-millisecond response times, Carter said. Data integrity is maintained regardless of internet connection through automatic synchronization across edge and mobile infrastructures.
Developers can deploy the platform in edge data centers, in the cloud, on 5G networks, on premises or on edge devices. This tiered, hierarchical architecture support makes it possible to meet any speed, availability, technical or security requirement, Carter said. The result is that apps are fast and resilient, not dependent on or impacted by remote cloud data centers or fluctuations in network speeds. Apps can also be developed and deployed to meet increasingly restrictive governance and security requirements.
Device ubiquity means data is available whenever a device is on, and it’s always syncing, Carter said. Due to the laws of physics, you can only achieve a certain speed with cloud computing. “There is no other way to solve this problem,” he said.
For example, the platform was used by a leading airline to digitize their preflight check process. It has been embedded into tables to record inspections and sync data in real time across crew tables, even when those devices are disconnected. This has improved accuracy and safety while ensuring a timely departure, Carter explained. In similar cases, the platform has embedded ordering systems for airline meals so that all flight attendants have visibility into inventory (e.g. the number of turkey sandwiches or cans of ginger ale available).
Encourage creativity on the fringes
Couchbase 3 is certified for Amazon Web Systems (AWS), Verizon, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Azure. Reference architectures and deployments have been developed for AWS Local Zones, AWS Wavelength, AWS Outposts, and Verizon 5G Edge.
“What Couchbase has done is leverage its success in cloud databases and extend those feature sets to smaller edge environments,” said IDC’s McCarthy. “It enables this world of apps that can go from the cloud to the edge.”
Because of its vastness, McCarty acknowledged that the brim is a concept that can be difficult to grasp. “If it’s so new, how can it be so big?” he said.
He described it as a shift from a centralized computing model to a more distributed computing model and a market driven by the expansion of IoT and AI applications. “It’s a big market, partly because it’s modernizing what’s already there,” he said. “The Edge accounts for many different deployment scenarios.”
Edge computing also encourages creativity, McCarthy said, as it allows developers to create more tools and app 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 a best-of-both-worlds scenario.”
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https://venturebeat.com/2022/03/10/how-the-shift-to-edge-computing-is-impacting-enterprises/ How the shift to edge computing is impacting businesses