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What Does Edge Computing Mean?



Edge Computing, also known as unified communications computing, is a new, revolutionized form of computing that brings data storage and computation closer to the point where it’s needed, as well as reduces bandwidth and response time. This new technology is very different from traditional computing approaches; in fact, it defies traditional categorization altogether. By “unified communications”, we mean that all the communication done by a desktop, laptop, tablet PC, or smartphone with internet access is unified, with no extra hardware required. What this means for the consumer is: you can access the data you need, when you need it, without having to carry around lots of bulky equipment.

As mentioned, one of the big advantages of using edge computing in your business is that it brings computing closer to where it’s needed, rather than placing it in offices, departments, or storage areas. With this approach, everything is instantly available, even the data needed by your customer service representatives can be found and used in seconds. One example of this is how Amazon Echo devices can help customers. The Echo can be connected to the Amazon Web Services’ Lambda Function by speaking the queries aloud, which stores the answers on the Echo device’s digital voice recorder. When a customer calls in, the Lambda function analyzes the call and returns the information via an e-mail message, or a voice call, if the customer is anywhere near the Echo device.

One of the other advantages of using this new approach to computing is the reduction in costs. One large edge computing company, Google, estimates that up to 80 percent of the cost of implementing unified communications is eliminated. For instance, there is no need for costly or complex switches or routers, and the data centres that were once necessary to support massive amounts of computing power don’t have to be built. Additionally, the large savings in battery life and cooling costs means that the devices will run much longer than they did before. This leads to a more energy-efficient environment, and the lower cost of operation makes the devices even more useful.

But what about the lower-level system integration, such as the creation of an in-house intranet or a Waywire connection between the various nodes of a unified system? The answer is that it doesn’t have to be. One popular company that uses this approach in their advanced PaaS offering, called Kinetica, found that all of their in-house IT staff was able to integrate the devices into the company’s existing information management system (IMS). There are so many benefits to implementing this strategy at the enterprise level that many companies are doing it. One such company, Nima Negahban, located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, now integrates all of its in-house computer hardware and software with its Nuwave processors and networking components.

Some of the other examples include smart utility detection, medical image processing, image enhancement and localization, object recognition, speech recognition, and video analytics. With the development of new device technologies, some of these solutions will become part of the enterprise. The examples include:

Even though there are many areas that technology is not yet ready to cover, one area that is starting to emerge is the ability for end-users to access and process on-demand resources via the internet. As networks evolve, such capabilities will give end-users a closer connection to the technology and a closer connection to the business. This will result in a more efficient end-user experience and may herald the next wave of edge computing.

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