Edge computing delivers significant networking benefits: reduced latency, reliable connectivity, and well managed bandwidth. While use cases are discussed in-depth, there is less talk around business cases.
Edge computing taps into the local network edge — for instance, a cell phone tower or a router — and brings networking services closer to the end user. The close proximity of the edge to the user accelerates networking speed and supplies a constant connection. Here are a few real-world applications that are starting to be realized.
Six Edge Business Cases:
It’s critical for connected cars to have a reliable connection and quick transmittance of real-time data in order to make decisions that deliver a passenger safely to their destination. Greg Bohl, VP of U.S. Analytics Services for Harman Connected Services, stated in a 2017 company blog post that “by leveraging edge computing, moving computing functions and machine learning closer to the data generation center, connected and autonomous vehicles will continue to evolve at an exponential rate with the ability to function in the Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) environment.”
Industrial Internet of Things
Industrial IoT (IIoT) is the use of IoT devices and platforms to optimize the manufacturing process. The Internet of Things Institute explains why edge computing is necessary for the next wave of industrial revolution: “To jump-start the productivity engine of IIoT, real-time response is needed at the machine-level at scale and that requires an edge-plus-cloud architecture designed specifically for the industrial internet.”
A reliable network that’s readily available is crucial for large enterprises. Too many people using the same network can result in high latency for users. In an enterprise network, edge computing will give copious employees simultaneous access to a company’s intranet. Mass trainings using the intranet can be held without worrying about slowing down the network for everyone else.
Smart cities rely on the Internet of Things (IoT) to analyze and transmit data in real-time. A city needs a flexible, scalable network for all the data traffic coming to and from the numerous connected devices that make a city smart. This is where the edge shines. On its own, edge makes a flexible network because it can have nodes almost anywhere. When edge integrates with NFV architecture, it becomes scalable. Together they can easily scale resource usage up or down. Some examples include a smart lighting infrastructure, and smart traffic lights to ease traffic congestion.
Smart Public Transportation
By using nodes and sensors, public transportation buses are able to stay on schedule using real-time data coming from buses and stoplights. For instance, Los Angeles saw a 14 percent increase in traffic efficiency in their smart public transportation. In 2015, the city’s then-CTO, Peter Marx, told Government Technology magazine that “We have 4,500 different intersections with stoplights wired to a central computer, and in addition we have some 56,000-odd loop detectors in the streets, which provide real-time traffic conditions across the entire city.”
Smart homes fall into the category of consumer IoT, and the homes alleviate the simple issues involved in daily home life. A smart home may consist of smart appliances, lighting solutions, and home security.
Updated April 2019