Edge Computing Use Cases: Edge computing has a new paradigm for deploying web applications outside of the Cloud. The Edge is the place where web users and their personal devices connect to the public cloud. It’s defined by its proximity to end-users. In this sense, it’s a browser-based platform, much more so than the Cloud, but still more fully distributed
This kind of platform doesn’t have any one unified way of operating. Rather, it’s composed of different layers – an interface, a server, and a collection of browser plug-ins and utilities. Once you deploy an Edge-based application, all your computers to communicate with the edge-computing “warehouse”. Each device has its own virtual private cloud environment. This enables you to use a browser on any number of these devices without needing to be anywhere else.
You may be familiar with some of the benefits of using the browser virtual desktop model. To take full advantage of this architecture, however, you will need an Internet provider with which to connect. This is a very different experience from connecting to a local data center. A large corporation could provide all Edge computing devices and data centers. However, in a smaller business, that may not be possible. If you use an ISP that provides cloud services, you can access any device – even if you aren’t located in the same physical area as the edge-computing “cloud”.
One of the primary use cases for Edge computing is in the area of telecommuting. Instead of having to wait on your ISP to deliver your work or communicate with your co-workers in real-time, you can submit your information to the Edge cloud and receive it immediately. This is known as instantaneously publishing.” This type of service is best provided by broadband with low latency. In other words, if you have a low-latency connection, then you will be able to use Edge.
Another use case for Edge computing is in the area of virtualization. Virtualization enables you to create partitions between two different types of devices – one hosted on the internet and one on a remote server. One benefit of using an Edge computing platform is that it allows you to run different operating systems on the same hardware. Therefore, if you are running Windows OS in your office, and want to use Linux in your laptops, then you can simply boot your virtual machines off of the internet (on a virtual server) and access them via a VPN connection.
A third popular use case is in the area of software development. With applications written to run on the Edge through the browser, you no longer need to use software that has been installed on your computer. With this type of service, a developer creates and deploys his or her application without actually having to install any hardware, or deal with drivers or downloads. Thus, it is beneficial in the area of reducing development costs, as well as simplifying communications between team members.
While all three of these use cases make use of an Edge computing device, there are still some differences between them that are worth noting. First, there is no need to have a laptop, for one. Second, while the IoT software runs on the web browser itself, so it is not necessary to have internet access. Lastly, while most IoT applications are browser-based, they are not all rendered in the manner that you would expect when viewing a web page on a computer. Some images are only partially displayed, and some do not respond as they should in real-world situations. But, most use cases for internet-based Edge computing are quite straightforward, as most people understand how to use the browser.
The future of Edge computing looks strong. As companies such as Apple, Google, Amazon, and others to integrate more closely with their respective cloud services, we will see more closely-real-time interactions within the office or at home. We may even see Edge support added to smartphones, which will allow consumers to access websites that are off-the-shelf and ready to go in real-time. Regardless of whether or not we see the ‘end’ of Edge, it does look as if we will, for the time being, move our conversations away from desktops, and towards the ever-popular cloud.
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