Edge is about a new tech stack, not a different location
Edge computing is fundamentally different from “computing at the network edge”. Computing at the edge is what IBM, Nutanix, Dell and HP sell – putting current technology, mini-data centers, closer to the customer.
That is NOT edge computing. True edge computing uses a completely different tech stack where super computer capabilities are delivered to mobile and embedded devices, wherever the customer might be.
We made this point in several recent articles.
Computing at the network edge is about location. The technology, delivered by current hardware vendors, remains the same.
Edge Computing is an entirely new distributed processing software technology eliminating expensive legacy software taxes like Oracle, VMware, etc. used to develop and deploy large production systems.
With true Edge computing there is no need for data centers, in the cloud or on premise.
Companies understand the cloud is not nearly as secure as their internal network. If they forget, the CapitalOne CISO mid-career implosion is there to remind them.
Eliminating the data center does not mean eliminating the corporation’s infrastructure of security, governance, and best practices. For the CIO, eliminating much of the data center via Edge computing means dramatically reducing the 66 percent of IT budgets typically spent on maintenance of expensive, and now unnecessary, legacy software such as Oracle, VMware, etc.
For the CIO, eliminating much of the data center via Edge computing means freeing the CIO from being a purchasing agent hamstrung by legacy vendors who do not believe the CIO has other options.
Operating behind the corporate firewall in the midst of the company’s governance and security infrastructure, Edge computing delivers transformative benefits to corporate application portfolios.
One early adopter of Edge computing technology reimplemented their billing system as a distributed processing application. The new billing system went from inception to first production release in a single business quarter. The company has been running both the legacy and new billing system in parallel for over a year – using the new Edge computing billing system as a quality check on their legacy system – and has been able to virtually eliminate the 2-5 percent billing error rate that they had been struggling with in their legacy system.
Edge computing provides a lightweight software stack that can run on almost any hardware platform (down to the smartphone in your pocket). Each EDGE compute software instance is a self-contained system that stores data, runs application code, requests data from other instances, responds to data and compute requests, and serves up web-based user interfaces both to interactive (human) users as well as other software instances.
Edge computing is inherently a loosely coupled distributed processing network with built-in tools and frameworks for scaling and managing a deployed network of EDGE compute software instances. For the application developer and the business domain expert, Edge computing enables them to develop and test functionality on small bite-sized, easy to understand, subsets of data and then easily integrate and scale the collection of system building blocks. Prototyping major system features can be done in hours and days instead of weeks and months. Similarly, moving from prototype to production scale occurs in days instead of months.
Edge computing applications are developed by full-stack software developers. In Edge computing applications, each software instance is a full-featured “system” containing database technologies, distributed processing middleware, application logic, and full-featured web servers that expose and manage web services API’s and HTML-based user interfaces. Features and capabilities can be developed and tested on a single software instance and then easily deployed throughout the distributed processing network.
Edge computing (as opposed to computing at the network edge) enables the CIO to finally have the tools their IT organization needs, for fast responsive development, behind the corporate firewall, in a safe, secure, governance-driven environment that delivers the price-performance transformation that “the cloud” has proven unable to provide.
Freeing the corporation from the tyranny of most legacy data center costs via Edge computing means the CIO can, finally, be a true transformation agent for the enterprise.