7 Components of an Edge Strategy

May 19, 2020

If you’re a CEO, CTO or CIO moving your enterprise toward edge computing, you’re not alone. A 2020 IDC survey found that by 2023 over 50% of new infrastructure will be deployed at the edge.

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 IoT everywhere, 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 micro data centers generally located at the base of cell towers, to high-quality, near-edge data centers.
  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 tetherless virtual reality to self-driving vehicles.
  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. The closer you place processing and data, the more agile your organization becomes.
  6. Drop and dump non-critical data at the edge
    Non-critical data should be sent over the network so that critical data can be acted upon immediately at the edge. This is vital for industries like healthcare and self-driving cars 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.

Use fog computing whenever possible. Both edge computing and fog computing move the workload closer to the network edge, reducing data travel, latency and bandwidth. Fog computing places data at the local area network (LAN), whereas edge computing pushes data directly to devices.

As more and more data requires real-time analysis—by the year 2025 almost 20 percent of data created will be real-time in nature—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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