Edge Computing can reduce delays in smart devices

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Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast has designed a new system that can reduce delays in smart devices. These devices will process data from geographically closer to the devices, instead of via “The Cloud”.

Researchers have designed an edge computing system and a software framework for providing computing services on the system.

At the moment all data is accessed and processed in The Cloud over the internet. Forbes has predicted that by 2025 more than 80 billion devices, including smartphones, will be connected to the internet and 180 trillion gigabytes of data will be generated. Eventually, The Cloud will not be able to cope with the billions of devices seeking data processing.

Tech website Phys.org reported that Researchers Dr. Blesson Varghese and Nan Wang from the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) at Queen’s University Belfast have been working on a solution to this problem using “edge computing” technology.

Speaking about the research, Dr. Varghese said: “Edge computing offers a much faster solution for smart devices by bringing application services onto hardware that is geographically closer to users. This means that a proportion of the data can be processed there and doesn’t need to be sent all the way to the distant Cloud.

“With the edge computing system we have designed, multiple traditionally Cloud-hosted applications are able to service users from their adjacent places such as a home router. Consequently, delays experienced by application users are reduced.

“ECIT is leading the way in ensuring the adoption of edge computing. Our research focuses on developing the underlying approaches and software tools to deliver a comprehensive edge adoption solution. Our vision is to make the UK the first public adopters of edge computing.”

#What is Edge Computing

Edge computing is a distributed computing paradigm in which computation is largely or completely performed on distributed device nodes known as smart devices or edge devices as opposed to primarily taking place in a centralized cloud environment. The eponymous “edge” refers to the geographic distribution of computing nodes in the network as Internet of Things devices, which are at the “edge” of an enterprise, metropolitan or other network. The motivation is to provide server resources, data analysis and artificial intelligence (“ambient intelligence”) closer to data collection sources and cyber-physical systems such as smart sensors and actuators. Edge computing is seen as important in the realization of physical computing, smart cities, ubiquitous computing, multimedia applications such as augmented reality and cloud gaming, and the Internet of Things.

Edge computing is related to the concepts of wireless sensor networks, intelligent and context-aware networks and smart objects in the context of human–computer interaction. The Internet of Things and edge computing are variously classified as sub-disciplines of the other, but edge computing is more concerned with computation performed at the edge of networks and systems whereas the Internet of Things label implies a stronger focus on data collection and communication over networks. Both disciplines are instrumental to the nascent Fourth Industrial Revolution and industry 4.0, which are predicted to improve product design and industrial feedback by providing manufacturers with telemetry and usage information, helping to drive predictive analytics and user behavior analytics, in turn allowing future products and product updates to be based on customer insights. Edge computing and related Fog computing have been proposed as environmentally friendlier alternatives to the prevalence of cloud computing in data centers by reducing network electricity consumption and cooling costs. (Source: Wiki)

#How this new Edge Computing based software framework will help

Cloud server has a limitation that it provides data from a central server that takes some time when a device request for data and receive response from the server. Using edge computing, smart devices can use service from the hardware that is geographically closer to the device. This will help the device to reduce the latency between devices and data provider.

Consider a home-based smart device that is using services from home router vs a smart device that is using service from any available cloud. Obviously, home router service will be faster than that are being used from cloud services.

#Cost

It is not clear that the new software framework will come under which license. Will it be under open source license or a closed source framework. However, it might be possible that users may spend some more on home-based devices because of some smarter distributed nodes or other hardware but that can be neglected because of the speed and the money spent by the user on cloud services. (This is just an opinion and we will know the actual cost once everything will be in market).