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7 Components of an Edge Strategy

February 2, 2022

The age of IoT and AI is quickly advancing, demanding more compute power and lower latency at the edge to ensure quick response and great performance.

If you’re a CEO, CTO or CIO moving your enterprise toward edge computing, you’re not alone. A 2021 Cowen report shows edge growing to more than $50 billion in the next five years with a 45% CAGR. Those are impressive, cloud-like growth numbers. A 2021 IDC survey showed 73% enterprises view the edge as a strategic area of investment.

You’re likely aware by now of the benefits of—and virtual necessity for—an edge strategy. A global data tsunami is being fueled by everything as a service and IoT everywhere, with emerging 5G technology and a flood of mobile devices enabling all that connectivity. By enabling the deployment of data as close to the consumer as possible, edge computing has become indispensable to enterprises of all sizes.

So, what does it mean to move to the edge? While there’s plenty of academia, analyses and opinions on the topic, what are the actionable steps involved in getting to the edge?

Read on for the seven components of an edge strategy. And remember—you don’t have to go it alone.

  1. Develop service offerings that support edge deployments
    The new edge landscape is rife with possibilities for new revenue streams and increased competitiveness. Edge computing combined with IoT creates a compelling reason to create “premium” levels of service.
     
  2. Utilize more near-edge data center deployments to manage data and traffic in-region
    Skipping the roundtrip to the cloud reduces latency, enables faster response times and lessens the chance for hazardous incidents along the way. Make smart decisions about which services to run locally and which to send to the cloud, and you’ll also reduce your overall IT costs.
     
  3. Improve the connectivity capacity from the edge to the core
    Tether those far-edge deployments, which are comprised of local edge data centers generally located at the base of cell towers, to high-quality, near-edge data centers. A robust interconnection strategy is key to a hybrid IT and edge strategy.
     
  4. Deploy more services at the edge
    Processing at the edge—within 10 milliseconds (ms) of the end user, device or machine— enables immediate response time needed for all things IoT, from automation, drones, gaming, online betting, smart cities, virtual reality, smart industry and agriculture, health and self-driving vehicles. All need very low latency to be successful.
     
  5. Define what needs to be managed at the edge
    Make smart decisions at what is managed at the edge and what is delivered to the core data center or cloud. The closer you place processing and data, the more agile your organization becomes.
     
  6. Drop and dump non-critical data at the edge
    Decisions on what data needs to be dumped, transported for later analysis or acted on immediately needs to happen at the edge. This is vital for industries like healthcare and self-driving cars or even video surveillance where milliseconds can make the difference between life and death.
     
  7. Take action on critical data
    Deliver to the core only that data which requires deep analysis, long-term storage or high security. These are costly to distribute, so core data center deployments will remain relevant.

Define your hybrid IT and edge strategies with a flexible approach, as edge is still being developed and new advances in private and public 5G will change the landscape. New applications, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) developments and growing mobile content will change our landscape. One size does not fit all, so be flexible, but act fast.

As more and more data requires real-time analysis, enterprises of all sizes and industries will build on their existing cloud computing architecture to process and securely store more data at the edge.

Build your edge strategy. Make smart decisions. Take action. Seek qualified partners, and don’t go at it alone.

Tim Parker, VP Network Solutions, Flexential

Tim Parker

Senior Vice President of Network Strategy

Tim is the vice president of network strategy at Flexential, where he is responsible for guiding the company's interconnection ecosystem and developing network strategies and architectures for Flexential's HybridEdge Strategy.

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