Basics on Edge Computing & Comparisons to Cloud – Blog Article – Simply NUC

Basics on Edge Computing and Comparisons to Cloud

January 2021

The world of computing involves a number of remarkable processes that devices drive, and a great example here is known as edge computing. Originated from content delivery networks in the late 90s, edge computing involves both computing and data storage within close proximity to the locations where these facets are needed, with the goal of improving both response time and bandwidth usage.

At Simply NUC, we’re happy to feature a wide variety of advanced computing solutions, like our Beechwoods Edge Server and more. What exactly is edge computing and how does it compare to other storage solutions like the cloud? Here’s a primer. 

Edge Computing Basics

It’s important, first and foremost, to understand that edge computing doesn’t only refer to traditional computers. Numerous devices that need to collect and process data will use the concept of edge computing to do so, including your Apple watch. 

This is because edge computing actually refers broadly to the ability of a given device to collect, process and share both data and insights derived from that data. The goal is for the data and the computing device to be close together, with some of the analysis taking place within the actual device itself and in real-time.

Edge Vs. Cloud

Another simple way of understanding edge computing is by comparing it to cloud storage and computing. In some ways, edge computing is an extension of the cloud that allows the cloud to be unlocked – data from devices within an edge system are collected on the device itself, then analyzed at the network level before being sent to the cloud. 

But before it’s sent there, some of this data is already processed at the edge. This means that instead of needing to send 100% of the data intake information to the cloud, less data needs to be sent – reducing processing latency for real-time decisions and diverting the more compute-intensive computations to more powerful cloud computers. For this reason, while cloud storage and edge computing are very different, the highest-level solutions actually combine them. 

Closer to Location

Another key difference between edge computing and the cloud is proximity to the actual device location. As those who have used the cloud are well aware, it’s not physically connected to any of your devices – meaning data must be sent to and from it, which requires bandwidth plus data and computing power.

Edge computing, however, is localized data intake and analysis. As we noted above, this saves significant bandwidth time, especially in situations where rapid decisions need to be made across multiple devices,

For more on edge computing and why it’s valuable, or to learn about our broad choice of mini PCs and solutions, contact us today.