The most significant trend to emerge over the last few years is the growing relevance of the edge of the network in enterprise networking. More and more enterprises are now leveraging the many benefits of edge computing. More than 50% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside the datacentre or cloud, up from just 10% in 2019, according to Gartner.
The last few years have witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of devices accessing content and apps. While some of this content might be unidirectional, like video, but a significant number of new applications and content is response-based like mobile gaming, remote medicine, and connected agriculture.
Further, many of the existing and upcoming technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and 5G, demand a massive amount of real-time computation, which is not possible in the traditional network. Scaling a network to include hundreds and thousands of sensors means that the load would need to be moved to the backbone network to the cloud. The new-age applications, such as driverless cars, demand high performance in real-time. Traditionally, a device sends information to a data center, which may be hundreds of kilometers away. This leads to delays and a drop in performance.
The Enterprise WAN is expanding as IoT with edges is evolving beyond clients, servers, devices, branches, private data centers, public data centers, telco POP, RAN, and more are also moving from traditional branches to individual clients and devices. As demand for multi-cloud and IoT matures, enterprises are witnessing a drastic change in how traffic is handled at the edges.
MANAGING TRAFFIC AT THE EDGES:
The changing dynamics of content consumption means that the network architecture needs to take into account where this content is being generated, where it gets delivered, and where it is consumed to ensure best-in-class user experience.
While initially, edge computing helped in bringing down the cost of bandwidth, now the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and real-time applications that need processing at the edge are driving the adoption of this technology.
Several key features of SD-WAN are also helping in the wider adoption of this technology. For instance, dynamic path selection helps in optimizing how traffic moves between branches, data centers, and clouds and brings in greater efficiencies. This not only helps in bringing down costs and allows SD-WAN to determine the congestion issue and proactively divert traffic to the most appropriate path. It brings agility to the system, which helps in accelerating the business.
Further, SD-WAN helps in increasing network security with network segmentation, encrypted network traffic, and optimized performance overall. Edge computing makes it possible to process many functions on the network edge, which bring down the latency and enhance the speed and overall user performance. While critical data is processed on the edge of the network, the secondary or the less important data is sent to the cloud for further processing. Combined with 5G, which ensures better speeds and lower latency, edge computing provides near real-time performance.
Essentially, edge computing provides compute and storage resources with connectivity close to the devices generating traffic. The key benefit is the ability to provide new and innovative services, which require extremely low latency. With edge computing, the data doesn’t need to travel far in the network to reach the server. This way, the service providers are not just able to provide extremely low latency and high speed but are also able to meet the regulatory compliance requirements.
Thought the concept of edge computing is not new, it is fast catching up now with the emergence of several applications and use cases, like the Fourth Industrial Revolution, smart factory, and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), among others. These applications demand ultra-high-speed and extremely low latency. For instance, real-time IIoT data must be processed at the edge to ensure its speed and accuracy. Further, activities like caching, basic data visualization, and machine-to-machine communications are perfect for processing on the network edge.
The edge computing is key to the next level of network transformation as it brings forth new functions, including compute, analytics, security, and multi-cloud. These are also functions that are critical in supporting enterprise locations where the business is conducted.
EDGE COMPUTING: POWERED BY SD-WAN
The network edge is powering the next wave of network transformation by adding new functionalities, including computing, analytics, multi-cloud, and security. Over the last few years, SD-WAN has emerged as a platform of choice for the evolution of the network edge. The new-age SD-WAN solutions enable simplicity, agility, and automation while at the same time, allowing the enterprises to optimize cloud access and improve application performance.
The SD-WAN is a transformational approach that simplifies edge networking and goes a long way in bringing down costs and complexity. It also helps in ensuring optimal application performance and allows enterprises to leverage the benefits of the cloud and address bandwidth demand. SD-WAN has emerged as a technology of choice to deliver superior performance, real-time applications (such as voice, video, and data), optimized Quality of Services, and access to cloud applications, quickly and cost-effectively from multiple locations across the enterprise.
The enterprises are using SD-WAN to transform the legacy networks from MPLS to enhance efficiency, reduce total cost of ownership, ensure app performance, and provide a scalable and secure network. It also facilitates edge computing for Lavelle Networks recently conducted a demo at India Mobile Congress in the capital city of New Delhi.
The demo, conducted in collaboration with Wipro and Intel, showcased how an alarm is triggered when an asset is removed from a designated area. It intelligently uses edge computing to send notifications to the cloud using SD-WAN and OpenNESS, an Open Source Reference Software for enabling services for the on-premise and network edge. It effectively cuts through the complexity and diversity at the edge.
Powered by SD-WAN, edge computing is all set to transform the way businesses design their networks. It enables organizations to benefit from cost-effective and speedier connectivity and use the latest technologies, including automation, to enhance operational efficiency, productivity even as they bring down their expenses.