Five ways edge computing boosts businesses

As data shifts to the edge of the network, businesses can expect to benefit from the likes of greater mobility, enhanced IoT capabilities and increased bandwidth

“Data is the new intellectual property,” said Antonio Neri, president and chief executive officer of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) at the vendor’s HPE Discover event in Las Vegas last year.

Neri was announcing a $4bn investment in edge computing over the next four years as HPE looks to pursue the “Intelligent Edge” – the place at which data is generated and analysed, interpreted, and addressed.

“HPE has been at the forefront of developing technologies and services for the Intelligent Edge, and with this investment, we are accelerating our ability to drive this growing category for the future,” said Neri.

Edge computing is the practice of processing data near the edge of a network, where the data is being generated, instead of in a centralised data-processing warehouse.

In edge computing, data is processed by the device itself or by a local computer or server, rather than being transmitted to a data centre. It provides a distributed, open IT architecture that features decentralised processing power.

In 2015, HP acquired Aruba Networks for approximately $3bn, and since then Aruba has become HPE’s lead in the fast-growing edge computing arena.

Research house Gartner predicted that 75% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside the traditional, centralised data centre or cloud by 2020, up from less than 10 per cent in 2018.

This transition is one which will bring about a series of benefits for end-users and the performance of their businesses.

Greater mobility

Mobile devices are changing the way we live and work. People now expect the same personalised and performant experiences both on the road and in the office.

In a mobile-first world, the intelligent edge has the ability to transform an end user’s customer experiences, workplaces and operations to drive more engagement, efficiency, and profitability.

More and more data will be generated at the edge and much of this is created on mobile devices. Sending every bit of data from thousands of mobile devices back to the core for processing is often too slow and expensive. However, the solution is to collect and process video data at the edge and only send relevant data to the core.

For example, the HPE Universal IoT Platform working together with HPE’s Edgeline Converged Edge Systems can solve this problem and facilitate mobility.

Harness the full power of IoT

From household appliances and fitness trackers to drones and medical devices, the “things” that fuel the Internet of Things can now collect data and send alerts before they even need maintenance.

By 2020, it is expected that more than 28 billion IoT devices will be in operation. According to a report by IDC, by 2019, 45% of IoT-created data will be stored, processed, analysed, and acted upon close to or at the edge of the network.

Edge computing promotes high-velocity data management at the edge, enabling organisations to harness the full power of IoT data.

The rapid expansion of devices creates opportunities to gain faster insights by connecting the unconnected. IoT offers new ways to drive efficiencies, engage customers, and develop new business with greater insights at the intelligent edge.

The latest enhancements in ArubaOS-Switch are designed to power and secure the intelligent edge, optimising for mobile and IoT devices. These enhancements enable unified role-based access across wireless and wired networks with the ability to identify and assign roles to connected IoT devices in order to prioritise business-critical applications and secure the network.

Improved security

If companies are going to send large amounts of data to a wide variety of locations, this suggests increased vulnerability to attacks and breaches. Already, hackers have found ways to breach everything from cars to baby monitors that are connected to the internet.

Much of the value of the IoT resides at the network’s edge, where organisations collect some of their most sensitive information. Traditional security measures cannot always protect this data.

As the edge, not everything should be permissible and the convergence which takes place must be controlled by security policies and architectures.

By utilising edge computing, the ability to process data without ever putting it into a public cloud adds a useful layer of security for sensitive data.

Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager helps businesses see what is on their network and then enforce policies and automated workflows across multi-vendor wired and wireless infrastructures. ClearPass delivers profiling, policy enforcement, guest access, BYOD onboarding, and more to offer IT-offload, enhanced threat protection, and seamless user experience.

Increased bandwidth

Transporting data from IoT devices to the cloud or data centre requires a tremendous amount of bandwidth.

Fearing that such devices will be a drag on the system, some have proposed creating a separate network for the IoT. However, users can greatly curtail that drag by eliminating the need to send data back and forth by using data analysis.

Edge computing allows for efficient data processing in that large amounts of data can be processed near the source, reducing internet bandwidth usage. This both eliminates costs and ensures that applications can be used effectively in remote locations.
Data speeds

Data is the most valuable currency in the idea economy, where success favours the businesses that get their ideas to market the fastest. Data-driven organisations achieve significant gains by implementing continuous improvement and predictive planning to improve customer satisfaction, quickly inform big decisions, eliminate waste and reduce risk.

Edge computing enables data-stream acceleration, including real-time data processing without latency. It allows smart applications and devices to respond to data almost instantaneously, as it is being created, eliminating lag time. This is critical for technologies such as self-driving cars and has equally important benefits for business.

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