12-27-21 | Blog Post

Edge Computing Explained

Blog Posts

Everyone can relate to the frustration of a constantly buffering video on Netflix or Youtube. The video quality is poor and eventually you might give up watching altogether. This issue is normally a result of your laptop or phone trying to connect to a Netflix data center a couple hundred miles away from you. This large distance creates high latency, slow connectivity, and a poor experience for you as the viewer.  

To improve your viewing experience, Netflix has chosen to move to the edge computing model. Instead of one, giant centralized data center, Netflix deploys several regional micro-data centers, some of which are located just a couple of miles from your home. Shorter geographical distance between you and Netflix creates lower latency and better quality streaming, allowing you to binge watch your show all day long.  

What is edge computing? 

Edge computing is data processing or computing that’s done at or near the source of where the data is created. It allows data from the internet of things (phones, laptops, PCs, and so much more) to be analyzed and used “at the edge” of the network even before being sent to the cloud. Instead of processing data in massive centralized data centers, it gets processed right at the edge of the network (or extremely close to it), right where the data is collected. What does this mean for you? Instantaneous access to data. 

Why is edge computing important? 

There are several reasons why edge computing is gaining traction, one of which is that it addresses latency concerns. Instead of having your business’ devices connected to a central cloud that could be a couple hundred miles away, edge computing allows your business to connect to a more local cloud and process that data in milliseconds.  

Edge computing can also help separate mission critical and not-so-critical data. Data that is mission critical can be sent over the network to a central cloud data center while inconsequential data can be sent to the “edge” or local computing system for quick processing. It all depends on what data you have and when you need it. 

Another relevant topic on edge computing is the roll-out of 5G services from telecommunications providers. Many predict that telecom providers will build these “micro” data centers next to 5G towers. Business owners could then purchase space in these micro data centers to facilitate edge computing and use the 5G network to connect to a cloud providers’ data center further away. While you can already access Google Drive on your iPhone, 5G and edge computing will likely allow other cloud SaaS providers to roll out mobile apps with high-computing capabilities. 

The Bottom Line 

Edge computing reduces latency and allows your business to process data faster than ever. It’s becoming embedded into the future of cloud computing. At Otava, we’ve strategically placed our data centers and co-locations to bring your business ultra-low latency so that you can protect and process data closer to the edge than ever before. Learn more about our cloud hubs and if edge computing makes sense for your business.

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