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Answers to Questions About the Intelligent Edge

Jason Dobbs, Vice President & General Manager | November 1, 2017

Most people are unaware of the potential of Intelligent Edge. Intelligent Edge, a concept coined by Microsoft, can best be described as the intersection of where the action takes place and where your data is available.

Intelligent Edge recognizes that your data takes place across multiple devices in different environments. Cloud is a place to store data in a way that is free from the burden of physical storage facilities, while computer capabilities on the Intelligent Edge are where that data can be collected and analyzed. When you hear “Internet of Things” (IoT), Intelligent Edge is where the “things” operate.

How is Intelligent Edge Useful?

Intelligent Edge is a one-size-fits-all solution for controlling, connecting, and computing the activity of a business. It can facilitate data exchanges that will promote new quantities and sources of data, and then use systems to compute that data.

These systems also provide access to applications, unearth deep new insights about technological devices, the environment, and the things they are connected to. Once these new insights are drawn, they can then be used to prompt new types of control actions, to control things and devices at the edge, and to take other types of actions that will be helpful to a business.

What Different Types of Edges are There?

There are 3 different components of Intelligent Edge. Operational technology controls systems for complex atmospheres, such as offshore oil rigs and power plants; Information Technology components that are commonly used for distributed data transfer and processing; and campuses and branch offices as distributed computing.

Perhaps the most significant Intelligent Edge capability is IoT devices. IoT devices expose previously hidden data through sensors and actuators, capturing data and allowing control over the device.

Why Should You Compute Data at the Edge?

Latency is a big issue for many businesses, and, by using the Intelligent Edge to compute data, it is possible to minimize the amount of latency. Many applications require the ability to immediately control them and draw insight. For example, if a machine in a workshop is churning out many pieces per minute and needs to be adjusted, the Intelligent Edge can be accessed to instantly make the required adjustment in order to minimize the number of defects that would otherwise be produced.

Another benefit of computing at the edge is the reduction of bandwidth. Sending big data back and forth from the Intelligent Cloud can use up huge amounts of bandwidth, which is costly. Computing at the edge resolves this problem.

Even with unlimited bandwidth, it’s still costly to send data back and forth from the cloud, and, by using the cognitive service offered by the Intelligent Edge, efficiency can vastly be increased.

Transferring data always presents the risk of threats, especially when data is being sent across borders or oceans. Processing data at the edge, however, can provide a serious reduction in security vulnerabilities. Using Intelligent Edge also eliminates unnecessary duplication of data that often occurs when using the cloud. This can also reduce wasteful expenses.

The data processed by Intelligent Edge is also more reliable than cloud data. Data can become corrupted on its own without interference from outside sources, and the use of Intelligent Edge will significantly mitigate this. It’s also helpful to use Intelligent Edge to stay in compliance with any laws that certain countries may have about transferring the data of its citizens outside of these countries’ borders.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Intelligent Edge is an exciting new place in the world of data collection and analysis. Many organizations are using IoT projects to improve efficiency, raise customer satisfaction, and save money. By using Intelligent Edge, not only are businesses bringing all these great benefits to themselves, but they are also increasing their ability to predict the future and draw actionable insights from data. Put into widespread use, this could mean a rapidly growing ability for everyone everywhere to predict the future and improve processes.

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