Pros and Cons of Edge Computing

After a certain period, technology attains traction and gains mainstream adoption in a short period. A few years ago, it was cloud, then IT came, and now it seems edge computing is the new buzzword.

Edge computing is an evolved form of cloud computing that is optimized to move closer to the data source, right where the data is being generated. It is a contemporary design approach used in the IoT environments that provisions IT resources—computing power and storage capacity—near to the data-producing sensors and devices. As a result, it is an alternative to conventional cloud solutions with central servers.

The term edge comes from corner, an English word, which serves as a reference to the fact that all data processing in this form of computing is not performed centrally in the cloud. Instead, it takes place decentrally around the network. The objective of edge computing is to address the shortcomings of the cloud. It offers servers that can assess a large amount of data from traffic systems, supply networks, and smart factories, without causing loss of time and responding with immediate action whenever a need arises. So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of edge computing? Here is a brief overview.

Pros of Edge Computing

Here is what makes edge computing so powerful.

Reduces Latency

The period during which your request goes through your device to the network and comes back is known as latency. Modern IoT-based devices that are linked to the Internet work at blazingly fast speeds. However, factors such as network speed, bandwidth and distance (from the database or the server) might get affected.

Latency gets unnoticed by average users, but it exists. Usually, it does not do much damage to the device’s performance. But, in some scenarios, latency can cause significant damage. For instance, consider a self-driving car. It can lag and losethe capability to make real-time decisions due to clogged network while going on the road. At this time, the mere loss of a second due to latency can cause irreparable damage. In this equation, edge computing empowers devices to perform computations locally at high speed.

Improve Security

As the numbers of cyberattacks are growing rapidly, it is no surprise that even the most secure databases are unsafe. Cloud-stored information is always susceptible to a hack, compromising valuable customer data. Edge computers allow a device to collect a large amount of data, but makes sure that it is filtered, so only relevant and contextual information is sent to the cloud.

Sometimes, the device might not be linked to a network. In such a case, if the cloud gets compromised, it will not put all of the user data at risk. With less information transferred to the cloud, this means that it is harder to intercept data during transmissions. Although edge computing does come with its own risks, eventually, the technology minimizes the amount of data that is compromised during a successful malware attack.

Reduce Infrastructure Requirements

The use of cloud offers certain perks, but also needs a robust infrastructure as support. Edge computing can help you to reduce the infrastructure required. Rather than expanding servers to make enough capacity for information, you can store the data directly with the user. In this way, you can also expand without paying for more resources for additional infrastructure.

Improve Reliability

DDoS attacks have always remained a bane for cloud-based services. A DDoS is a malicious campaign in which the victim’s server is flooded with fake queries, jamming up the network and hindering the real users from accessing the services online. This conundrum can be resolved with edge computing, allowing users to enjoy uninterrupted service.

Edge computing does not depend on a steady connectionwith a server or the Internet. This is precisely why the offered service cannot struggle with a slow connection or a network failure. On the other hand, edge computing is used for operations in remote areas or locations. Typically, these areas lack the presence of a reliable and high-quality network connection.

Cons

Here are some drawbacks of edge computing.

Security

Earlier, we mentioned how much edge computing is advantageous for security. However, as it happens, there are some cybersecurity concerns that are common with edge computing too. One such concernis the possibility of an attack during the data collection process. If compromised at such a critical juncture, the hacker can manipulate the device to misunderstand the collected data. Thus, edge makes IoT safer than before.

Without following the industry standards and protocols, all the device data is prone to a hack. As a result, cybercriminals can access the core network. Edge-powered devices are required to physically shieldthe data stored by them. If they fail to do so, any hacker can tamper with them. When possible, cables should be used to connect IoT devices.

Incomplete Data

Yes, localized information has its charm. But, as a customer-oriented venture, you cannot get too much of user behavior data. As the local device signals the transfer of data to the main information centre, it might also suggest that you have not fully grasped your IT infrastructure and are yet to utilize it fully.

More Hardware

Implementation of edge computing raises a certain issue; you need more storage on the device. As storage devices and computing evolve in terms of compactness and sophistication, you have nothing to worry

about when it comes to usability. But, when you initiate the development of an IoT device, this can become a major factor.

Final Thoughts

It is hard to neglect the inevitability of edge computing, it is an evolution of cloud-based systems. As the technological world keeps on growing, IoT will expand further, requiring edge computing to step in for support.

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