There’s a lot of discussion within the ICT world of edge technologies, and processing at the edge. But it’s not always clear what the 'Edge’ actually is. We’ve compiled five different definitions that are used at different times by different market participants. They are:
What do we mean when we say ‘Edge’? Well, all of them. The key concept of edge (that all of the definitions above have in common) is around moving processing power closer to (or onboard) end devices and further away from any centralised processing infrastructure. But what really matters is how all of the different ‘edgy’ locations are combined to support an application.
The key consideration should always be to use the edge location that is best suited to a DX solution, potentially delegating elements of application processing to ‘nearby’ or ‘upstream’ devices that have spare capacity. This is more often than not a trade-off between cheaper processing power (up the chain) and lower round-trip delays and the potential to maintain service during network connectivity outages (towards any connected end device). Another consideration is often the optimisation of wide area bandwidth use, with edge analytics (redaction at the edge) being particularly important in the case of CCTV monitoring, for example.