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The Edge: A Powerful Platform Within the Compute Continuum

New Forrester Predictions report identifies 2020 as a tipping point for edge computing
By Arm Editorial Team

The next time you settle in to watch “The Crown” or “The Irishman” on Netflix, you’ll be joining other viewers in consuming 15 percent of the world’s downstream bandwidth.

Now, factor in new streams of data that will be captured and transmitted by billions if not trillions of connected Internet of things (IoT) devices, and you may spot a looming problem: The traditional ‘downstream first’ cloud computing paradigm will struggle to meet the demands from these vast new sources of data.

However, we’re seeing a bolstering of computing resources throughout infrastructure as companies wise up to the benefits of more heterogeneous compute. Key to this is understanding where to apply computing resources within the cloud-to-edge-to-endpoint spectrum—what we call the compute continuum—in order to deliver the most optimized solution for a given application or use case.

But if 2020 is the breakout year for edge computing, it’s not been an overnight success. Rather, it is the product of several years’ work as the Arm ecosystem coalesced around hardware and software standards, greater technology choice and end-to-end security capable of supporting a robust platform to democratize compute. The system we see evolving is far more dynamic than before: It’s a compute continuum rather than a cloud-dominated architecture.

Within this compute continuum, edge computing has caught fire because companies understand that they can take advantage of a number of things, chief among them:

  • Faster decision-making thanks to lower latency
  • Increased security and privacy
  • Reduced infrastructure and operational costs

For example, Facebook researchers reported in 2019 that when it comes to the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) enabled apps such as Facebook Camera, most of the inference today is already done at the endpoint, namely on smartphones. This significantly reduces the amount of data Facebook’s own servers would otherwise need to receive and perform inference using, and provides users with not only a privacy benefit but a largely reduced monthly data hit – especially in the case of heavy users.

As more powerful endpoint hardware leads to more and more complex use cases, the edge will rapidly become as powerful a compute platform as any other within the compute continuum – not in raw speed, but in the flexibility and benefits it enables.

But don’t take it from us – dive into Forrester Research’s new study that illuminates the trend and its underlying drivers. Its “Predictions 2020: Edge Computing” report is a must-read for innovators who want to take advantage of these new, expansive opportunities to deliver better optimized solutions that continue to transform their businesses and their customers’ experiences.

Download Forrester Research’s report “Predictions 2020: Edge Computing” to read more about the opportunities for edge computing solutions.

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Editorial Contact

Brian Fuller and Jack Melling
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