On November 28, 2022
Finding the ideal edge computing solution
The rapidly growing popularity of the XR landscape has helped to accelerate various forms of digital transformation throughout the globe. As companies continue to invest in VR, AR, and MR experiences, we’re seeing an increased focus on concepts like high-definition screens, spatial or 3D audio, and even more lightweight wearable devices.
One area gaining particular attention in relation to XR technology is cloud computing. To deliver highly immersive digital experiences, companies need to be able to stream content quickly into headsets, without compromising on video or audio quality. This requires the right network environment. “Edge cloud computing” could be the key to faster, higher quality XR interactions.
With an Edge cloud infrastructure, companies can leverage the benefits of the cloud for flexibility while utilising edge storage to minimise the impact on their bandwidth. So how can companies ensure they’re choosing the correct Edge computing vendor?
Step 1: Create an Edge Strategy
Edge cloud computing combines the agility of the cloud with the power of “Edge” technology. It provides a range of unique benefits, including enhanced data sovereignty, greater cloud autonomy, and even new opportunities for securing information. However, implementing cloud-edge solutions does require companies to have a cohesive, well-structured strategy.
Developing a technical edge strategy will ensure business leaders have an opportunity to assess the challenges they might face when implementing new solutions. It’s also a good opportunity to assess the potential benefits of the edge. Companies may want to start by discussing what edge cloud computing means with employees and stakeholders. From there, they can define why they want to implement this new networking opportunity.
Any networking strategy, including those associated with implementing cloud-edge technologies, should align with existing roadmaps and business plans. For instance, if a company wants to improve VR product development strategies, it could use an Edge environment to ensure users have quick and efficient access to critical product-building tools.
Step 2: Consider Future Use Cases
When choosing a cloud edge computing vendor, it’s also worth thinking about the rapid evolution of the XR and cloud markets. The right strategy and solution should be flexible enough to adapt to the changes in any company’s environment or marketplace. For example, a company may initially leverage cloud edge computing to improve collaboration among internal staff through AR.
However, going forward, the same company may decide it wants to build on its Edge solution to implement new technologies, like IoT sensors and beacons which allow consumers to connect with a customer service representative at the touch of a button.
Looking at the R&D efforts of any cloud-edge vendor will allow business owners to determine how prepared the company might be for emerging innovations. It may even be worth focusing on specific tools relevant to the company’s future roadmap, such as 5G, SDN solutions, machine learning, and artificial intelligence in the XR world.
Step 3: Assess Your Cloud Edge Needs
Based on the current and future use cases established for cloud edge computing, most companies will be able to determine what matters most to them in a deployment. Leveraging cloud edge solutions allows organisations to take advantage of various unique benefits, such as a highly responsive, adaptable, and fast network.
Some organisations may focus heavily on ensuring they have access to better bandwidth controls. All networks have limitations when it comes to bandwidth, and this can cause problems for those in the XR environment looking to take advantage of the latest tools. Other business leaders may want to think about how they can reduce the latency issues with their existing XR operations. For instance, in a construction space where employees are using IoT sensors and AR equipment to collaborate with remote team members, speed will be crucial.
Specialist vendors should be able to talk through your needs and goals with you in-depth, exploring the specific features you’ll need to prioritise to achieve the correct targets. Many of these vendors will even be able to customise cloud edge networking packages to suit specific needs.
Step 4: Prioritise Consistent Monitoring
Visibility is often an important part of deploying any networking strategy. A cloud edge deployment, just like a traditional cloud solution, requires comprehensive monitoring. Depending on the structure of the cloud edge solution, it may be difficult to ensure IT staff are always available at the physical edge site to check on the performance of tools. This means the architecture of the deployment will need to be adapted to allow for self-healing capabilities, resilience, and remote tracking.
Most cloud edge vendors will have their own dedicated portals in the cloud which companies can use to enable simple provisioning, configuration, and reporting. Some vendors will also provide managed service solutions, which give business leaders the opportunity to leverage the expertise of external professionals, who can watch over the security and performance of the network resources.
When choosing a cloud edge computing vendor, business leaders should consider what kind of IT support they have access to in-house, and where they may need extra help preserving security, connectivity, and managing physical maintenance.
Step 5: Remember Security
One of the major benefits associated with cloud edge computing is it can often provide businesses with more control over security, privacy, and compliance. With edge solutions, companies can make decisions about where data needs to be stored, to allow for sovereignty. It’s also possible to determine how local storage systems collect and distribute collected data.
Edge cloud computing vendors can offer specialist gateways, firewalls, and other tools designed to preserve the most crucial data and minimise possible attacks. It’s even possible to stop some pieces of data from travelling through the cloud when necessary. However, business leaders will need to be careful to ensure they have the right security strategy in place from start to finish.
While edge computing solutions do deliver new opportunities for enhanced security standards, they can also come with additional challenges too. For instance, some IoT devices aren’t designed to be as secure as their competitors.