What is Edge Computing?

It is a new computing paradigm that focuses on bringing data processing and storage closer to the devices that generate it, eliminating dependence on servers in the cloud or data centres located thousands of miles away. Edge computing is transforming the way data is processed, improving response times and solving connectivity, scalability and security problems inherent in remote servers.

The proliferation of IoT devices, the boom in edge computing and the advantages of cloud services are allowing for the introduction of hybrid-computing, where the strengths of edge and cloud are maximised. This hybrid focus allows tasks to be carried out in the best place to achieve this objective, that may be in local devices, in cloud servers or both.

  • Edge devices: these are devices that generate data at the edge of the network and have connectivity (Bluetooth, LTE IoT,...). They are equipped with small processors to store and process information and even execute, in real-time, certain analytical tasks, which can be turned into immediate actions by the device. Those tasks that require greater complexity are moved to more powerful servers at higher levels of the architecture. Some examples of edge devices are ATMs, smart cameras, smartphones, etc.
  • Edge servers: these are servers that can process some of the complex tasks sent from the lower devices in the architecture. These servers are in continuous communication with the edge devices and can function as a gateway to the cloud servers. Some examples are the rack processors located in the operating rooms of industries, offices, banks, etc.
  • Cloud servers: these are servers that have a large storage and computing capacity to deal with all the tasks not yet completed. These systems allow for the management of all system devices and numerous business applications, among many other services.