IDC forecasts that edge computing will see new workloads and high growth

More and more computer resources are being brought to the places where data is generated, notwithstanding the cloud migration of many IT tasks.

An emerging trend in “edge computing” offers more processing power distribution, and it’s becoming a focus for telcos, established IT companies and other organisations, including leading cloud providers whose machine learning products are increasingly surfacing in “edge AI” variants.

Analysts at this week’s IDC Directions 2022 conference in Boston told delegates that edge computing reveals both familiar and novel elements. It’s reminiscent of the client-server computing model that existed before to the advent of cloud computing. Advanced computing’s future potential is reflected in various workloads involved.

Jennifer Cooke, research director for edge strategies at IDC, says data drives the movement of intelligence and storage to the edge in precision farming, drone deployments, public safety applications and other front-line use cases.

Massive volumes of data are a guiding force in many application cases. In an IDC Directions presentation, she defined edge computing as “the runway to digital-first operations.” “We need edge to actually make sense of it.”

With today’s more digital operations comes a slew of issues that have never before been faced by IT departments, Cooke said. And the effect of edge applications has grown exponentially in recent years.

Nowadays, we don’t have as much of an advantage as we had in the past. It’s about more than simply making bean counting simpler for the bean counters,” she said.

Edge networking infrastructure, monitoring edge workloads, and guaranteeing durable and low-latency operations are among the difficulties ahead for edge, although growth is expected. Global edge expenditure is expected to reach almost $274 billion by 2025, with a CAGR of 18.7 percent, according to IDC in January.

Meantime, we’re back in the cloud

Services are expected to account for the vast majority of the increase in edge computing, according to IDC forecasts. Such forecasts have definitely caught the attention of corporations that have been eagerly embracing cloud computing for some time. For instance,

Among Amazon’s IoT services are AWS IoT Greengrass and AWS Outposts, the latter of which serves as an IoT edge runtime.
Azure Stack Edge gateways, Azure IoT edge devices, and Azure MEC (multiaccess edge compute) platforms have all been introduced by Microsoft.
Distributed Cloud Edge infrastructure and services are Google’s main focus.

Charles Fitzgerald, a Seattle-area angel investor and former Microsoft and VMware platform strategist who recently talked with Venture Beat, says that underneath their various products is a shared desire to push their own cloud architecture to the limit.

When it came to embedded computing, Microsoft was the first to the market. Amazon first dismissed the idea, but as you can see with Outposts and Greengrass, they’ve now come around. In order to compete with Amazon and Microsoft for the same commercial market, Google will have to provide a wider range of services than Amazon and Microsoft, he added. “They all want their architecture to be everywhere,” says the author.

In the case of AI and analytics applications that have been earmarked for cloud migration, but whose data pipelines to and from the cloud have become congested, edge computing represents a crucial next step.

In many AI use cases, “there is simply too much data to round-trip,” Fitzgerald said, while adding that people are still working out which AI use cases provide the highest return on investments.

As now, it’s unclear how cloud-based software architectures may be packaged for edge use cases. Such software-based content delivery networks as those offered by Cloudflare and Akamai might compete with “hyper scalar cloud companies” like Google and Microsoft, according to Fitzgerald.

A lot of ground is covered by edge computing

Ian Skerrett, in an email exchange with Venture Beat, underlined that today’s edge nodes come in numerous shapes and sizes. HiveMQ, a messaging platform for linking edge devices to the Internet, employs Skerrett as vice president of marketing.

As part of the high-profile rollout of 5G, telcos are focusing on the network edges of the edge, which include intelligent sensors, edge gateways, edge data centres, and network edges that are connected to the Internet and are comparable to industrial computers and controllers.

A significant shift in corporate data is underway, and most of it will originate at the edge, according to Skerrett. Data collection and processing will be radically altered by this new technology.

To him, vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication is a key new edge use case. He believes industrial enterprises, telecommunications companies, and cloud service providers will work together to define this sector.

The boundary is marked by a variety of perspectives.

Edge computing has a lot in common with the metaverse and Web3.0, two of the most popular memes of the day. Each one enhances the already well-established cloud computing architecture by distributing computing power more widely. Every one of these tools has several facets and may be used to convey various meanings depending on the situation.

IDC’s Jennifer Cooke predicted that there would be a wide range of edge architectures in the future.

According to her, various areas of the same corporation may make different edge computing decisions. The notion of what constitutes excellent edge architecture will evolve as companies operate in various regions of the world or grow reliant on diverse business partners.