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Edge Computing vs. Cloud Computing: Key Differences Explained


By now, practically everyone – not just business IT support – is familiar with the idea of cloud computing. This, in part, was helped by the coronavirus pandemic which forced many companies to shift a lot of their data to the cloud.

What the public might not be so familiar with is edge computing. The basic idea of edge computing is to bring computing resources closer to the device or user, at the “edge” of the network. This is opposed to a hyperscale cloud data center that might be very far away.

Edge computing aims to reduce latency and improve processing. But when it comes to edge computing vs. cloud computing, what are the real differences? And which is better?

Luckily for you, we’ve got you covered. So keep on reading and we’ll explain to you the key differences between cloud computing and edge computing.

What Is Edge Computing?

Edge computing allows computing application services and resources to be distributed along the communication path, through a decentralized computing infrastructure.

When using edge computing, computing needs are met more efficiently. Wherever there’s a need to collect data, it can be accomplished in real-time.

Usually, the two main benefits associated with edge computing are reduced operational costs and improved performance.

Advantages of Using Edge Computing

Edge computing, aside from collecting information for movement to the cloud, also performs, analyzes, and processes necessary actions on the collected data locally. Because these processes happen very quickly, it’s critical for optimizing technical data.

Transferring large amounts of information in real-time in a cost-efficient way can be challenging. Especially when it’s done from remote sites.

This problem can be solved by adding intelligence to devices that are present at the network’s edge. With edge computing, we can bring analytics capabilities closer to the device and cut out the middle man.

When it comes to cloud computing, latency, bandwidth, data migration, and connectivity features are fairly costly. These inefficiencies can be solved with edge computing, which requires much less latency and bandwidth.

You no longer need expensive bandwidth additions because there is no need to move large amounts of data to the cloud. It also analyzes sensitive IoT data within a private network. This means that you can more successfully protect important data.

Businesses are now turning to high-quality edge computing companies to address security and compliance protocols, optimize operational performance, and lower costs.

You can also lower your dependence on the cloud when you take advantage of edge computing. You’ll even be able to speed up your data processing.

Examples of Edge Computing

Autonomous cars are one example of edge computing. They need a lot of data from their surroundings to properly work. If they relied on cloud computing, there would be disastrous delays.

Streaming services like Hulu and Netflix use edge computing to deliver a better experience via edge caching. This is when popular content is cached in nearby facilities to allow for quicker access.

Smart homes are another example of edge computing. When you process information closer to the source, you can reduce latency and speed up response times in cases of emergency.

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing has to do with the use of various services including servers, storage, and software development platforms. Cloud computing vendors have three common characteristics:

Cloud vendors manage the back-end of the application

A user must pay the expenses of the services used, which can include bandwidth, processing time, and memory

Services are scalable.

There are four main cloud deployment models. These are community cloud, private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid cloud.

The community cloud infrastructure allows a cloud to be shared among multiple organizations. This limits costs because it’s spread among many groups.

Private clouds are operated, maintained, and deployed for specific organizations. The public cloud can be used by the public on a commercial basis and is owned by a cloud service provider.

Lastly, there is the hybrid cloud. This kind of infrastructure consists of several different cloud types. All of these clouds have the ability to allow applications and data to move from one cloud to another.

A hybrid cloud can be a mix of public and private clouds.

Benefits of Using Cloud Computing

One of the biggest benefits of cloud computing is its scalability. Companies can start with small cloud deployment and then quickly and efficiently expand. It’s also easy to scale back if needed.

This means that companies can add extra resources when they need to and meet growing customer demands.

Cloud computing is also very reliable. Services that use multiple redundant sites are able to support disaster recovery and business continuity. Business owners don’t need to worry about maintenance because that is taken care of by the cloud service providers.

You also have a lot of mobility when it comes to cloud computing.

The Importance of Knowing the Key Differences for Edge Computing vs. Cloud Computing

Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now have a better understanding of the differences between edge computing and cloud computing. As we can see, there are advantages to each system. This is why it’s so important for you to evaluate your current computing needs and where you plan on taking your business.

It’s best to start small and build up as your company grows. This way, you won’t end up spending a lot of money unnecessarily.

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