Need for Speed: Why Edge Computing is the next wave in our Digital-first World

By : |April 11, 2019 0

By Jaheer Abbas, Senior Regional Director – SEA & India, Limelight Network

The cloud services market in India is growing at an exponential pace and is expected to reach $4.1 billion by 2020. A fair share of this growth is attributed to the digital boom as internet users in India have already crossed the 500-million mark and are expected to skyrocket to 627 million by the end of this year.

The ‘need for speed’ is gaining ground faster than we can imagine within our country. With growing need, our IT infrastructure has to be developed prudently to meet the demand today and in the future, to generate the desired results.

Get, Tech, Go! What is needed to turn our digital dream into a reality?

The advent of smartphones has brought new prospects to industries including media and entertainment, tourism, retail and e-commerce, and fintech alongside others. Gaming, which is rising in popularity amongst both the millennials and baby boomers, is an industry with untapped potential for transformation.

                                 

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For a specific game genre like Battle Royale where survival and exploration elements are incorporated, players expect the server to transmit data at a much higher speed to relay user-specific instructions such as running, aiming, and shooting. In the case of survival games such as PUBG and Call of Duty where there is only one chance to win, any delay in data transmission, even for a few seconds can be game-changing.

This is evident in the State of Online Gaming 2019 survey by Limelight Networks where performance is the most important consideration for Indian gamers and how fast a game loads has the greatest impact on their experience. But it is not the gaming industry that is expected to overcome the challenges of data latency. The financial and healthcare industries are also demanding real-time, high throughput communications to facilitate services like day trading and telehealth.

Globally, the number of connected devices is expected to triple to 75 billion by 2025. This implies that every individual will have around 10 devices and the required scale of change cannot be underestimated.

So, what can be the solution to this Gordian knot, an issue that is only going to intensify soon?

The answer – edge computing.

What is Edge Computing and how does it make a difference?

The capability to process data closer to the edge of a network’s logical unit is called edge computing. This approach eliminates the constant back and forth of data originating from a device to the data center. What edge computing essentially does is that it gathers and processes data as close to the data source or the last-mile internet, and in this manner, prevent the needless to and fro of data with the data center. This approach minimises the distance of data transmission, inessential use of network elements, and thereby, considerably decreases data latency. Edge computing also maintains a decentralised approach and minimises the exposure of ‘data in transit’.

Collectively, this presents a number of advantages. Firstly, the decreased distance reduces the overall transmission costs and improves Quality of Service (QoS), while reducing the data latency. Secondly, the decentralised network limits dependency on a singular IT resource considerably. This removes a ‘single point of failure’ which can lead to major service disruptions. In gaming scenarios, it ensures that the server load or the geographical distance does not cause data lag for any user. Other applications such as telehealth are able to avoid errors due to mismatch of data between haptic sensors and transducers on the other end. Moving on, edge computing also boosts security and compliance by filtering out sensitive data at network edges and only transmits relevant data-model-building information to the server.

Conclusion

As India continues to progress in the IoT era, the nation is gradually losing its identity as a laggard and is witnessing increased technological adoption across all industries. It is already expecting the launch of 5G devices this year, followed by the provision of 5G services the next year. There are immense opportunities for businesses to improve their network infrastructure to power intelligent devices and connected technologies and deliver on the need for speed.

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