Cloud Computing vs. Edge Computing: What You Should Know

Computing has morphed over the years, leaving tracks that...
Cloud and edge computing technology concept with cybersecurity data protection system. Three large cloud icons stand out on the right side. polygon connect code small icon on dark blue background.

Computing has morphed over the years, leaving tracks that have consistently been studied and reworked to augment technology. In the course of such development, the world of IT has come to comprise different types of computing such as cloud computing and edge computing which are both gaining usage and reliability. However, as businesses are left to choose what IT architecture maximizes their capability to meet their vision, the type of computing to adopt is a crucial question to consider. To help resolve that, this article addresses one of the critical comparisons — cloud computing and edge computing — in the context of their meaning, benefits, and suitability for businesses.

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a type of computing where data is stored, processed, and managed over the internet rather than on an individual computer or server. It’s also known as on-demand computing because it allows users to access information and services quickly and efficiently without having to install any software on their local devices. In cloud computing, all the data is stored in a remote, secure location (the cloud) and accessed through web-based applications or services.

What Are the Benefits of Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing provides a wide horizon of benefits to businesses today. These include scalability, reliability, cost savings, and flexibility. Below is a quick look at these benefits:

Scalability

With cloud computing, businesses can expand their operations without having to invest in more hardware. This means they can easily add new IT resources to their cloud infrastructure and remove the assets no longer in use.

Reliability

Since the cloud infrastructure is more conventionally managed by a cloud provider, businesses don’t have to worry about technical maintenance or upgrades. This is because cloud resources are also configured to run by automation, thus minimizing the engagement required to manage the infrastructure.

Cost Savings

Cloud computing also offers significant cost savings for businesses because they only pay for the resources they use, thanks to their scalability. The maintenance cost of cloud applications is low as they are not subject to damage from physical environmental factors.

Integration

With cloud computing, businesses can easily combine on-premise IT resources with cloud IT resources. This also makes it easy to access the resources they need from any device or location.

What Is Edge Computing?

Edge computing is a distributed computing model that brings data processing and analysis closer to the source of data, such as an individual device, rather than having all processing occur in the cloud or a centralized location. This allows data to be processed more quickly and efficiently and ensures that the most up-to-date information is available for analysis.

The edge computing architecture works by bringing processing and storage capabilities to the edge of the network, where data is generated.

Real-time Deployment

By placing these resources at the edge, there is less latency when communicating with the cloud. This makes it easier to deploy machine learning applications, process data in real-time, and reduce bandwidth costs associated with transferring data back and forth between the cloud and the edge.

Improved Security

With edge computing being a decentralized model, data is easier to secure as fractions are usually spread across endpoint repositories which makes it more difficult for hackers to access comprehensive and usable information.

Reduced Costs

The cost of moving data in the IoT space is on a consistent rise, making organizations require broader connectivity bandwidths to support such movements. However, edge computing keeps these in closeby repositories thus helping to cut down or slow the pace at which the cost of moving data rises.

Reliability

Since its connectivity is not based on a centralized data center, edge computing allows organizations to execute their operations even when communication channels are slow or down.

Cloud Computing vs. Edge Computing: Which Will Lead the Future?

Cloud computing and edge computing both thrive in the IT market today. With cloud computing saving the global business landscape during the Covid-19 pandemic and redefining work in Industry 4.0 and edge computing redefining speed in the IoT space to drive operations amidst an accelerating tech landscape, telling which model will lead the future can be uncertain. However, with the global landscape of business expanding to a scope that allows for wide-ranging sophistication, it is safe to expect that both models will thrive at their own pace and in their functional lines across industries,  especially because they are not practically substitutable.

Trends have further shown that both computing models are growing at prospective rates: By 2025 cloud computing is expected to reach a market size of 864 billion US dollars and edge computing, 274 billion US dollars. Thus, both models are crucial to the unfolding of Industry 4.0. For one thing, cloud computing is needed to enhance the connectivity of smart devices and the running of the metaverse. Edge computing will help to streamline the speed of connectivity and digital service deployment due to its low latency.

Which Is Better for Your Business?

This depends on your particular needs and the type of data processing you will be doing. Since cloud computing offers scalability, flexibility, and cost savings, it is a great choice for businesses that need to access large datasets or rely on data-intensive applications.

On the other hand, edge computing is ideal for businesses that require real-time processing or need to process data locally.

Sometimes, companies looking to maximize their scalability may invest in both models which allow for greater control and protection of critical data and the flexibility needed to run operations in the IoT space speedily. The idea behind such a hybrid model is to upscale the IT infrastructure by adapting the capabilities of both computing models.

However, you may as well choose to look elsewhere for your computing solution if neither suits your organization nor a hybrid made of both. One such option worth considering for what it is and the benefits it holds is the mesh computing model, which is somewhat in between both deliberated options. #Cloudcomputing #Edgecomputing #Computing

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