Beyond recovery: building back better with edge computing
Edge is revolutionising how we collect, store and process data, says Dell Technologies' Marc O'Regan
7 December 2021 | 0
In association with Dell Technologies
Businesses and organisations across Ireland looking to strengthen their recovery in 2022 are turning to digital transformation in their quest to innovate and accelerate the transformation to a carbon-neutral future.
This was one of the key talking points at the recent Dell Technologies Forum where business leaders and technology experts from across Ireland and beyond came together to discuss how organisations can thrive in a data-driven era through technology.
Without a doubt, one of the technologies that will play a critical role as businesses embark on this pathway is edge technology. Edge is revolutionising how we collect, store and process data, all central facets on our global digital transformation journey.
Edge computing is achieved by extending traditional data centre to the ‘edge’ of a network, creating ‘centres of data’ through the aggregation of ‘distributed compute’ resources that live close to the location of data creation that produce high yield, low power consumption and much reduced latency. Instead of transiting through a dozen centralised data centres, data generated from cameras, sensors, and other Internet of Things (IoT) tools powered by artificial intelligence and functions of AI such as machine learning can be processed directly at or near the source.
At Dell Technologies we believe edge computing will support post-crisis recovery efforts, creating new opportunities for businesses, while helping them operate in more efficient and adaptable ways.
By providing instant processing and analysis, with greater analytical speed, edge computing allows organisations to enhance connectivity and observability of ‘things’ as well as critical tasks and events, automate operations, improve experiences, reduce energy usage as well as waste, and enhance safety measures.
While useful in and of itself, it is only when Edge computing is blended with other essential Technologies that its true power and potential is unleashed. Combined with IoT and 5G, Edge Computing will vastly improve how we live and work, as well as multiple industry and social domains, such as improving the experience of remote work and enhancing manufacturing and industrial applications for instance.
Real-time data analytics is already enabling new levels of innovation and the rise of smarter factories, where workers don’t go looking for parts, parts find workers, and where machines are able to predict potential problems and schedule their own repairs.
Edge accelerates digital transformation
Covid-19’s impact on how we work and the ways in which public and private organisations have had to adapt, has accelerated the need for digital transformation. The need for high performance, low latency and network connectivity has never been greater and will only increase. By 2024, IDC estimates there will be an 800% growth in the number of applications being launched at the edge.
Edge computing and indeed edge architecture plays a key role in this digital transformation journey, providing network and technology optimisation. The full potential of 5G speeds can only be realised if network latency is reduced by processing data close to the source. In addition, by improving the performance of applications and facilitating huge amounts of data to be processed in real-time, edge enables other emerging and new technologies such as IoT, AI and cloud or edge native technology.
There are benefits to real-time services across industries, ranging from manufacturing, energy, oil & gas, autonomous vehicles and aviation to healthcare, retail, finance and many more including, precision medical and robotics, cyber security and mobile virtual reality.
Connected public transportation systems which have embraced edge computing are now able to reduce passenger wait time by 30%, and public bus operators can improve service levels through fleet tracking, smart fare collection, and live video monitoring.
Driving sustainability with edge
New advances in edge technology is generally targeted at accelerating business transformation, but this capability is rapidly extending to transformation of entire industries, as well as world governments and its citizens. We have seen a shift to digital cities and smart manufacturing through movements such as Industry 4.0, and these advancements will also help us address critical global issues such as climate change, sustainability and other environmental imperatives.
For instance, the outcomes enabled by the combination of edge computing and 5G, promises to yield more energy-efficient solutions than current technologies being used today. By improving operational and infrastructural efficiency, and boosting decarbonisation initiatives, edge computing can play a leading role in helping countries shift to carbon neutrality.
The real-time analysis of data monitoring the health of trees, for example, contributes to forest preservation, alerting to dangers from pollution, disease or water shortages.
With the number of cars now set to reach 2 billion by 2040, countries around the world are investing in smart technologies like Edge to manage increased traffic flows and reduce travel time, reducing up to 30 minutes off the daily commute.
Finally, Edge Computing is enabling more efficient and sustainable energy production and distribution systems. Improving the two-way communication between utility and customer with edge technologies creates modern grid platforms able to deliver accurate real-time forecasting of energy demand and affordable and reliable service. Delivering analytics at the Edge also means energy companies can predict and prevent problems in near real time, cost-effectively deploy resources and increasing grid optimisation and reliability.
Realising the potential of edge technologies
By revolutionising where and how fast we can process and analyse data, edge technology offers enormous opportunities for countries moving beyond the recovery phase of the global pandemic and in search of long-term growth and sustainability.
To realise the full potential of edge computing, government, industry, and academia will need to work together. Achieving scalable and reliable infrastructure to deal with huge volumes and complexity of data demands the development of new approaches to balancing transparency, trust and security and will require investments to foster significant public-private collaborations.
Dell Technologies Forum 2021
Unlocking the value of Data at the Edge was one of the main topics of discussion at the recent Dell Technologies Forum which is now available on demand.
With this content, we provide business and IT leaders with the knowledge and tools to manage and analyse data at the edge in order to generate real-time insights. We also highlight the investments Dell Technologies is making in different solutions designed for all types of Edge environments to help companies increase production line reliability, reduce operational costs and make more informed real-time decisions.
By accessing the insights and solutions from the Dell Technologies Forum on-demand content, which is available across the month of December, leaders across Ireland can harness new opportunities for growth, unlock the value of data and accelerate the pace of digital transformation in 2022 and beyond.
Marc O’Regan is CTO in enterprise architecture at Dell Technologies EMEA
Register for the Dell Technologies Forum on-demand content here.