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What is edge computing? Why does it matter?

Nov 22, 2019

Question: What is edge computing, and why does it matter?
Answer:  Edge computing is a new way of processing data that fits our current mobile environment.
To truly understand and appreciate edge computing, let's take a brief look of how we handled processing data in the early days of the Internet.
Over 20 years ago, speeds to the Internet were much slower. I can remember it taking over an hour to download a single song to play on my computer.
Instead of relying on the Internet, we accomplished intense processing task locally on our computers, laptops, servers, etc.
It was the most efficient option to get things done using computing technology.
As connections to the Internet grew in speed, so did the desire to find ways to process data efficiently.
Instead if having big, expensive devices that sat near users, what if that processing power moved to a centralized location where several users could take advantage of?
Cloud computing is born. As a result, more applications and computing power move away from the users to these centralize locations.
Although this was an important move, it became apparent that this wasn't the most efficient option.

Speed to process and use data is still king which got the tech industry to streamline cloud based delivery mechanisms.
This is where edge computing comes into play. Computing power is now transitioning from the cloud to “the edge”.
Netflix, Hulu other Over the Top (OTT) services are a good examples of edge computing.
Instead of storing shows in one central location (ie New York), computing resources are used near the end user to pull and deliver content.
Edge computing is only possible due to faster connections to the Internet.
It will play an increasing role in future technologies like autonomous vehicles, smart cities and devices.
Follow Jahmal Abbott on Quora for more tech insights.