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Edge vs. Cloud Computing: What Is The Relationship?

Edge vs. cloud computing is done near or where data is generated, with no transmission to and from a cloud environment or on-premises data center back to the device. On the other hand, cloud computing is performed in sizable remote processing centers managed by a few world-class providers.

We don’t need to say much to notice that the edge operates under very different conditions than the cloud: it collects, processes, and transmits high-quality data in real-time and locally, under virtually any situation. We are talking about low latency and high speed, reducing the volume of data transferred and the distance traveled by them and, consequently, reducing the costs of all this.

The concepts are opposed. And for many, the advantages brought together by the edge seem to diminish the grandeur of the cloud. After all, milliseconds of cloud lag can mean too much time for an autonomous vehicle, for example.

But will the edge take at least part of the cloud domain, if not the post? Is this a dispute over territory and dominance of one over the other – at least about the technology itself and not its providers?

In this post, it is this question that we intend to answer. For this, we will analyze the cloud and edge computing markets, understand the latter’s impact on the former, and, finally, the trends in orchestration.

The Cloud Computing Market

The cloud needs no introduction. It is a technology whose expansion has been taking place for over ten years. In particular, the cloud has proved critical during the pandemic. And those who still resisted or insufficiently invested in a migration to the cloud before the crisis caused by the coronavirus felt the lack.

In the market, the consequence was quick, translating into an aggressive adoption of the cloud, which represented, for providers, a significant increase in earnings. According to Forrester forecasts, the growth, per provider, will be:

  • AWS: 29%
  • Microsoft Azure: 47%
  • Google Cloud: 43%.

The Edge Computing Market

If the volume of connected devices and the data generated grows, the demand for processing also grows. However, in this same measure, the efficiency of information transmission decreases.

It is from this problem that the need for distributed processing, for edge computing, arises. From the concept of edge computing, one can also see the expansion of technology and the maturing of the market.

What Does The Growth Of Edge Computing Mean For Cloud Computing?

Given the ever-increasing need for decentralized computing from edge computing, you’ve probably heard that the centralized cloud is doomed. But this is a reality as fantastic as it is remote.

It could be so if the edge came as a replacement for the cloud, as it was, for example, in many cases for data centers. But what can be noticed is that both fulfill specific functions distinct from each other.

This means that the cloud may not be the best solution for some applications and vice versa. For example, suppose the edge is excellent at processing and analyzing data quickly. In that case, ideal for latency-sensitive applications, it no longer fulfills the need for storage or scalability as well as the cloud.

This shows that the use cases for cloud and edge computing need to be precise. This is still unclear, but in the supposed dispute between the technologies, it is most likely that both complement each other in an architecture in which edge services offer even more value when combined with the cloud and even with traditional data centers, and vice versa. -versa.

So we can conclude that the domain will be mutual. This is what Forrester also shows: the expansion of the market and applications of edge computing will divide the fields. At first, this will imply a decline in cloud market growth to 24% per year by 2022.

But a decline in growth will by no means mean that the cloud will disappear, but that the two will complement each other in hybrid approaches.

Cloud Edge: Looking For The Best Of Both Worlds

For those who have already adopted cloud computing, the best of both worlds can be to expand the cloud with edge computing, in a cloud edge format, that is, in an architecture hosted in micro-data centers. This will be useful for latency-sensitive applications that handle high data volumes. Applications not affected by latency do not benefit from edge computing.

The key is to be selective in the combination of edge and cloud computing and, above all, to be prepared to deal with the problems associated with the edge. This emerging technology lacks good management, governance, security, and integration practices. 

Edge Computing And Cloud: Hybrid Architecture

As we have seen, the future will no longer be just in the cloud, much less confined within a data center. With edge computing, the processing is placed where it needs to happen, giving organizations enormous computing power. This power will be crucial, especially in applications that demand low latency and real-time responses, which are growing with the developments of IoT and IIoT, AR and VR, as well as AI, etc.

Also Read: Cloud Computing: 5 Trends For 2022

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