The trend is moving upwards very quickly. With the fast arrival of IofT across all industries and the quantum growth in data automation/ai edge computing and distributed processing seems to be the logical way to move into the Future. But with over a decade of the cloud what does this mean to end users and IT groups.

Edge and/or fog computing have been positioning themselves as the solution. According to Kevin Scott EVP and CTO of Microsoft, “the next wave of computing is the intelligent edge and intelligent cloud.” So the future seems to be set. How we manage data automation and file sharing/transfer seems destined to change in the future. Whether its from the super-powerful IoT devices – phone or tablet, or from the new plethora of intelligent appliances, smart cities or autonomous vehicles that will be emerging over the next decade. According to Kevin Scott, “when we take the power of the cloud down to the device – the edge – we provide the ability to respond, reason and act in real time and in areas with limited or no connectivity.”

So it’s not like the cloud is going away – with deep learning, data mining and AI we will need awesome power just to process these new planets of information. But we can’t wait for centralized data and that explains why we are seeing edge services from all the major cloud vendors. The future is really what I call the edge multi-cloud infrastructure. Which means enterprise and SME software solutions will have to address this emerging landscape.

In a recent Forrester report called Edge Computing Will Radically Alter Your Infrastructure Strategy states, Chris Gardner states, “edge computing processes and stores data locally and transmits only selected summaries to the cloud. Rather than trying to analyze data in the cloud, edge processes it locally, which is cheaper and easier to manage and enables real-time insights…”

And to finally make us all sit up and take notice, IDC forecasts amazing growth for IoT with worldwide spending on IoT will reach $772.5 billion in 2018 and will top $1.1 trillion in 2021. So, if I’m running a medium sized IT operation what should I be doing. Well look at those EFSS services and see if new edge-

based solutions can give you more control and security over shared data. Take a close look at emerging sensor-driven applications, especially in manufacturing and shipping. It is getting increasingly evident that today’s cloud infrastructure cannot manage to send all the data back to the central cloud to process. We need keep on expanding our centralized cloud just to process and analyse the data on servers that is needed to data automation intensive applications.

So, it’s clear to IT that it’s time to progress to an edge-based multi-cloud setup. In other words, we need to evolve to a decentralized architecture where boundaries between servers and clients are broken and resources on central cloud and the edge are combined to form an expanded cloud fabric. Edge devices can process data locally, communicate with other devices directly and share resources with other edge nodes to unburden central cloud computing resources.

The trend is evident for the next year. Expect more innovation in distributed cloud solutions. Pilot some of the emerging technologies that are pushing forward like FileFlex, Azure, etc., especially if you’re in a high-compliance sector like health, government and education (come to think of it we are all in high-compliance/security mode).

With the emergence of an effective edge cloud, change is obvious now it’s time to manage it and make it as effective as possible.

Sources and Resources:

Philip Bliss
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