Case study for Edge Computing

Understanding how and where state-of-the-art computing fits into an organization’s overall IT roadmap contributes greatly to the formulation of a business case within your organization.

Not so long ago, cutting-edge computing was seen as a futuristic, forward-looking concept that was interesting to consider – but offered no real benefit to the company. That is no longer the case. As end-users access network services from anywhere and real-time applications appear almost daily, more flexibility is needed on the periphery of the network to ensure the highest levels of security and performance.

IT managers need to learn to visualize the true benefits of periphery computing from a long-term strategic perspective. Understanding how and where state-of-the-art computing fits into an organization’s overall IT roadmap contributes greatly to the formulation of a business case within your organization. This is all the more true as more mobile users and new applications require greater agility. Here’s what you need to know to start developing your business case.

Edge Computing is a necessary architectural change in the company

Like traditional cloud architectures before it, advanced computing has become an ambiguous term that means different things to different people. As a result, the move to a more dynamic architectural edge model can be welcomed with undecided support. It is often accepted that major changes to the architectural network are considered high-risk proposals from both the point of view of IT architecture and commercial investment. However, it doesn’t take much research to see that there are currently valid cases of use of advanced computing – and that others are created every day.

Today’s IT world is now defined by real-time communications, data collection and AI-based analytics for many different business functions. These highly sought-after services require a network architecture that delivers more flexible performance levels in an increasingly distributed world. Edge computing bridges the gap between on-site and cloud applications. Deploying applications and services to one or more urban peripheral locations offers the advantages of the low-latency network found in on-site deployments with the benefits of managed infrastructure offered by public cloud service providers. For those already operating in this hybrid infrastructure style, adding a deployment option in the metropolitan periphery simply makes sense for applications that require low latency network services in a managed services model.

Looking a little further, there will soon be a time when only one application will be deployed on all three locations (private data center, public cloud and metropolitan periphery) and the network will intelligently direct users to the service location that benefits the most. performance, safety and cost. This architectural concept is called “edgeless enterprise” and is in the process of transforming the application and service delivery models of the future. Of course, a key element of a company without an edge will be the ability of an IT department to serve applications from multiple service peripheral locations.

Network technology providers are currently developing ways to achieve this. For example, AWS and Microsoft already offer ways to bring their cloud offerings closer to customers through their AWS Outposts and Azure Edge Zones services. In addition, major telecommunications operators such as AT-T and Verizon are starting to launch metropolitan periphery solutions in some U.S. cities. Finally, innovators of 5G network technology like Celona are seeking to streamline the way users and data are intelligently routed to various periphery service delivery locations by bringing SLA-supported 5G microslicing technologies to the company’s LAN and WAN. This promises to provide a unified periphery framework that is dynamic by definition. Thus, as you can see, the dynamics are clearly moving in the direction where companies can move from a two-pronged hybrid architecture to a much more flexible architecture on the periphery of the company.

Determine what problems can be solved today

To develop a solid business case, it is important to detail how advanced computing solves existing problems. While architectural conversations about the future of periphery computing and application delivery are useful, there must be an immediate commercial need to invest in the periphery today rather than next month or next year.

Despite various supplier demands, the ultimate goal of periphery computing is to bring computing, storage and network services closer to terminals and end-users to improve overall application performance. Based on this knowledge, IT architects must identify and document instances in which periphery computing can solve existing network performance problems. While existing weaknesses are not necessarily the main reason for your business case, it helps determine why budget budgets should be allocated as soon as possible.

Calculating the value of edge computing

No technological business case is complete without showing the value of the investment. Just think of the recent IT spending that could have been avoided if the new technology were already in place. In terms of the need for more flexible and efficient networks using advanced computing, we only need to look as far as the recent COVID-19 pandemic that forced a large number of employees to work from home. When the transition to remote work began, IT architects struggled to figure out how to deliver the required application performance to a large and distributed workforce. In some cases, significant network changes and upgrades have been required to restore the balance of the required levels of remote application performance. Combine this with the fact that new applications require increased network performance requirements and you can start to see the value of investing in a flexible periphery architecture versus margin implementation.

An architecture based on flexibility and scalability

Ultimately, designing a more agile and dynamic periphery results in massive economies of scale from an IT, operational and flexible deployment perspective. This is because the network’s IT resources become intrinsically dynamic and software-defined. When these network functions are physically deployed closer to applications and users, performance efficiency can be achieved much more easily.

When other aspects of enterprise computing have evolved over the years to adopt flexibility and scalability, the network has remained largely unchanged. While understandable from a risk perspective, periphery computing is poised to be an intrinsic architectural change that has the potential to revolutionize the way business networks work in the foreseeable future, saving businesses time and money. A business case that successfully reflects these concepts is one that IT managers must strive to achieve.

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