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Community Blog What is Edge Computing

What is Edge Computing

Edge computing is a distributed computing concept that integrates intelligence to edge devices, also called edge nodes, allowing data to be processed .

Edge Computing Definition

Edge computing refers to the use of an open platform that integrates network, computing, storage, and application core capabilities on the side close to the source of things or data, and provides the nearest service nearby. Its applications are initiated at the edge, resulting in faster network service response and meeting the industry's basic needs in real-time business, application intelligence, security, and privacy protection. Edge computing is between physical entities and industrial connections, or at the top of physical entities. And cloud computing, you can still access the historical data of edge computing.

Edge Computing Starts from Distributed Computing

Edge computing is not a new word. As a provider of the content delivery network (CDN) and cloud services, AKAMAI cooperated with IBM in "edge computing" as early as 2003. As one of the world's largest distributed computing service providers, it was responsible for 15-30% of global network traffic at that time.

For the Internet of Things, breakthroughs in edge computing technology mean that many controls will be achieved through local devices without having to hand over to the cloud, and the processing will be completed at the local edge computing layer. This will undoubtedly greatly improve processing efficiency and reduce the load on the cloud. Because it is closer to the user, it can also provide users with faster responses and solve the demand at the edge.

Edge Computing vs Cloud Computing

Whether it is cloud computing or edge computing, it is only a method or mode for realizing the computing technologies required by the Internet of Things and smart manufacturing. Strictly speaking, there is no essential difference between cloud computing and edge computing. They are all calculated close to the field application side. In its essence, they are all relative to cloud computing.

The development of IoT applications and edge computing

The rapid development of global smartphones has promoted the development of mobile terminals and "edge computing". The intelligent society of interconnection of all things and perception of all things is accompanied by the development of the Internet of Things, and the edge computing system is also emerging accordingly.

The concept of the Internet of Things has been proposed for more than 15 years. However, the Internet of Things has not become a hot application. There is a long process from a concept to a real application. The matching technology, product equipment cost, acceptance, and trial and error process are all lengthy, so the market for mass use often cannot be formed quickly.

Edge Computing Architecture

In China, the edge computing alliance ECC is working hard to promote the integration of three technologies, that is, the integration of OICT (Operational, Information, and Communication Technology).

The computing objects are mainly defined in four areas.

The first is the problem of the device domain. Compared with the automated I/O collection, pure IoT devices that appear are different but also overlapped. Those data that can be directly used for optimization at the top level without participating in the control itself can be directly placed on the edge to complete the processing.

The second is the network domain. At the transmission level, the direct terminal IoT data and the data from the automated production line have different transmission methods, mechanisms, and protocols. Therefore, the problem of data transmission standards must be solved here. Of course, the underlying automation data can be directly accessed under the OPC UA architecture. However, for the interaction of Web data, there will be coordination problems between IT and OT. Although some leading automation companies have provided mechanisms for Web data transmission, most of the on-site data still exists. problem.

The third is the data domain. Problems that need to be solved in the data domain such as data storage and format after data transmission, including the mechanism and strategy of data query and data interaction are issues that need to be considered in this field.

The last one is that this may be the most difficult problem to solve. The application model for this field has not yet had many practical applications.

The Edge Computing Alliance's definition of the reference architecture for edge computing includes four aspects: equipment, network, data, and applications.
Platform providers mainly provide software and hardware infrastructure in terms of network interconnection (including bus), computing capabilities, data storage, and applications.

Edge Computing Industry

Edge computing is a technology developed in the context of high-bandwidth, time-sensitive, and IoT integration. The concept of "Edge" was indeed earlier mentioned by automation/robot manufacturers including ABB, B&R, Schneider, and KUKA. Its original intention was to cover those "IT resources close to users and data sources." This is a design that extends from traditional automation vendors to IT vendors.

IoT is regarded as a field of rapid growth in the future, including the forefront of various Internet-based technologies. Qualcomm has proposed the Internet of Everything, it can be called IoX. Therefore, a new industrial pattern is about to emerge.

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Benefits and Applications of Edge Computing

Today, the world is highly interconnected and can count on seamless communication and data processing to make life easier. Enterprises are implementing solutions using technologies that accelerate growth and provide easy access to flexible, scalable, and practically unlimited computing, storage, security, and network solutions. Edge computing is the next big thing within the IT infrastructure. Its high-performance approach differs completely from how data is processed by a traditional data center or the cloud.

What Does 5G Do for Edge Computing

What is the relationship between 5G and edge computing, and where they fit? How do the Internet IT domain and telecom CT domain merge? What is cloud-network integration? Nanshu, a Senior Technical Specialist of Alibaba DAMO Academy XG Laboratory, and Yiping, a Senior Technical Specialist of the Edge Computing Team, share the possibilities of edge computing with 5G.

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Link IoT Edge: Intelligent Edge Computing Scheme

Link IoT Edge fully integrates cloud and edge computing and has native support for Alibaba Cloud. The service comes with communication protocol development, remote operation and maintenance, and edge application frameworks, all of which make business development simpler and more efficient.

Link IoT Edge is compatible with a large variety of IoT application layer protocols. It shields the differences in underlying hardware communication links, standardizes data conversion, and provides standard object model data, enabling cloud applications to seamlessly use edge capabilities.

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