The edge isn’t the same thing to everyone: Some talk about equipment for use outside the datacenter, while others talk about equipment that lives in someone else’s location. The difference between this far edge and near edge is the topic of Utilizing Edge, with Andrew Green and Alastair Cooke, Research Analysts at Gigaom, and Stephen Foskett. Andrew is drawing a line at 20 ms roundtrip, the point at which a user feels that a resource is remote rather than local. From the perspective of an application or service, this limit requires a different approach to delivery. One approach is to distribute points of presence around the world closer to users, including compute and storage, not just caching. This would entail deploying hundreds of points of presence around the world, and perhaps even more. Technologies like Kubernetes, serverless, and function-as-a-service are being used today, and these are being deployed even beyond service provider locations.
Alastair Cooke, independent analyst and consultant working with virtualization and data center technologies. Connect with Alastair on LinkedIn and Twitter. Read his articles on his website.
Edge environments were historically very specialized, but virtualization and cloud technology is enabling companies to deploy commodity platforms at the edge. This episode of Utilizing Edge features Raghu Vatte of ZEDEDA discussing this commoditization with Alastair Cooke and Stephen Foskett. Although the transition is still getting started, standard compute platforms are rapidly being exploited at edge locations, from warehouses to retail to industrial. Even is some specialized hardware is still needed, a unified platform can increasingly absorb a majority of applications at the edge. Another factor contributing to commoditization is the standardization of application requirements, with most now virtualized or containerized with standards developing for I/O and shared hardware resources.
Although the technology is roughly similar to datacenter or cloud, the unique challenges of edge computing require new approaches to storage, networking, orchestration, deployment, and more. We were kicking off a new season of Utilizing Tech focused on edge computing, featuring Alastair Cooke and Brian Chambers as co-hosts along with Stephen Foskett.
Season 5 of Utilizing Tech focuses on edge computing, a whole new dimension for enterprise technology. As seen during our recent Edge Field Day event, there are new problems and new solutions for compute, networking, security, application orchestration, storage, and more!