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Edge computing: What is it and what is the difference with cloud computing?

Nivedha Varun
Edge computing: What is it and what is the difference with cloud computing?

With the emergence and popularization of digital transformation tools, it is normal for some people to feel overwhelmed and confused with the immense variety of concepts, solutions and products that make up this trend: among those many, is the edge computing, usually confused with cloud computing.

The millions of computers, devices and thousands of companies – whose functions depend on various SaaS – are a constant source of information collection that they generally do not take advantage of. For example, much of this is sent to the cloud, where data centers sort and store it to obtain some insights. However, the vast majority are lost in oblivion.

This “passivity” is precisely what edge computing aims to change.

In other words, this philosophy applicable in scenarios and stages of businesses and industries provides autonomy to all devices to transform them into something beyond what they are.

Now, perhaps these words may be confusing for some people and, therefore, we are going to define the concept that we are quoted in this content so that the solution to that possible entanglement that you may have at this moment can then emerge.

What is edge computing?

Edge computing —edge computing— is a computing paradigm that brings computing and data storage to a state where they can be optimized response times and resources are saved to make this possible.

To begin with, edge computing dates back to the late 90s as an alternative to distribute web and multimedia content through servers close to users.

Later, this concept and utility evolved to store information from applications and digital services on specific servers called edge, which made edge computing into something much more popular and applied by companies in all sectors. Because of this, the first solutions stored in edge computing were:

  • Shopping carts.
  • Ad insertion engines for the web.
  • Locators.
  • Instant data generators, among others.

From this, the famous edge computing emerged, which makes virtualization software development services more flexible and facilitates the implementation of large groups of applications, many of which are essential for people, companies and organizations.

Therefore, we can say with complete certainty that edge computing is a ramification of the digital transformation and the internet of things that allows run at the user's physical location, in the database or very close to it: when these services run close to the individual and the device, the services are able to develop more quickly, in addition to protecting data and optimizing the flexibility of the cloud —cloud computing— hybrid.

Importance of edge computing

If until now you cannot visualize the relevance of this concept and tool within your organization, don't worry! A priori, it is difficult for some people to envision what this solution can do for their companies.

To better illustrate it, we will give you a real example with augmented reality:

In general, this custom software development services depend closely on the bandwidth and latency of the service, that is, its operation is anchored to the fact that the Internet service and the speed of communication between the server and the device are fast. If this does not happen and low power speeds occur, the ability to achieve truly immersive and immersive experiences disappears in an instant.

What can edge computing do in this case? It allows crucial parts of the process that consume a lot of data during execution to be downloaded directly to the cloud to reduce the workload and improve the experience.

Another clear example of the importance of this resource is the implementation of these functionalities within the Internet of Things in modern cars. If you are aware of the latest news in the area, you will know that corporations like Tesla already market cars that can "drive themselves": thanks to edge computing. These machines can access information to process data and make real-time decisions quickly while ensuring the safety of passengers.

All of this causes significant improvements in the transmission of information, the optimization of the service and the transfer of sensitive data of companies and people.

Indeed, custom software development company and other companies can rely on this technology to enjoy greater flexibility and considerable cost savings by keeping computing power close to their operations and, in the case of operating in several sites at the same time, being able to provide independence by sectorizing systems without depending on the matrix to provide services.

With everything said so far, the differences that exist between this digital transformation tool and the resources of cloud computing are clearer. .

Anyway, we will talk in detail about both immediately.

Edge computing vs. cloud computing

To distinguish both concepts, it is necessary to define them.

In principle, cloud computing is conceptualized as the ability to consume SaaS or software as a service from on-demand providers by paying for what is used and nothing more. Currently, many solutions fit into this category, for example:

  • Remote storage.
  • Mobile apps.
  • Databases, among others.

Now, edge computing focuses on optimizing cloud computing resources and processes to shorten response times and improve the user experience. 

By virtue of what we have just explained, we can affirm that the substantial difference between both technologies is, precisely, the processing of the data.

On the one hand, cloud computing stores all the information that is received and, on the other, the edge computing filters said data within the flow and only allows the passage of those that are truly relevant to the user's objective.

Likewise, technology edge makes it possible to become independent from data centers and streamline information traffic to optimize processes that benefit users .

Fog computing

There is another term closely related to edge computing and which is increasingly used: fog computing or fog.

In 2015, Cisco revealed a white paper in which it showed the power it has. This platform extends the cloud to "bring it closer" to the places where processes are executed, a concept very similar to edge computing.

This fog is powered through Internet of Things devices and Internet connectivity and becomes a kind of data node or intersection point: in this way, it allows cloud data centers can delegate part of their obligations to edge computing devices through the fog, whose platform defines the requirements and analyzes the needs at this point in the digital ecosystem .

In other words, fog computing refers to the connections between edge devices and the cloud on the network.

Benefits of edge computing

Due to the fact that the cloud has focused on centralizing resources and processes within large data centers, the possibility has opened up that resources could be shared more quickly and efficiently while maintaining control of operations.

In this sense, edge computing takes care of those practical concepts where cloud computing cannot be executed properly due to missing network requirements or obstacles. In addition, it "splits" data storage sites into small centers to reduce network demands and avoid restrictions that cause bandwidth deficiency.

A fact that facilitates the transmission of information, an element that contributes to the optimization of the service and, at the same time,

All this causes a significant improvement in the transmission of information, the optimization of the service and against the transfer of sensitive data of companies and people.

In other words, loading times are reduced to millisecond processes and those that run online are "closer" users to enable the memory section in the central processing unit —central processing unit (CPU)— of the device in question to store temporary information and speed up loading times.

As you see, edge computing is a necessary process—even essential—for the vision of hybrid cloud in order to achieve differentiated and favorable experiences for users, which demonstrates the great advantage it offers by establishing two different workloads in diverse environments to help carry this work to physical locations and thus make the most of the power of bandwidth.

Without a doubt, all of this simplifies the deployment operations and management of a company's automated operations, although it adds challenges of infrastructure needs to encompass network and storage computing solutions. Either way, it's worth it!

Nivedha Varun
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