Edge computing visibility ensures best customer experiences

By Sebastian Krueger
Why is edge computing visibility essential in delivering exceptional customer experiences? And how does this affect the market?

The way we play video games, stream entertainment and even use smart technology to track our health has changed over time. The technology that enables and supports these have gone mainstream, as has the edge computing environments which support these. The reason for this is because for organisations to be able to always deliver exceptional customer experiences, their enterprise networks must perform at optimum levels all the time. 

At a high level, the network edge refers to resources for storage and compute closer to the end-user on the enterprise network. One of edge computing's appeals is the ability to reduce latency to a fraction of a millisecond due to the benefits of an edge-computing infrastructure. 

As enterprises move their applications closer to the edge and use a new form of latency-sensitive applications, they can address new use cases but can also produce new data patterns that require an edge network. This is not only distributed across a wide area but often runs on third-party infrastructure that provides less direct visibility and control.

How do organisations adopting edge computing ensure their edge network resources such as computing, database and storage capacity are readily available and perform at their optimum level with low latency?

Organisations that take the leap of faith by moving to the user edge will be better able to eliminate poor performance and expensive downtime by proactively monitoring applications on the entire network. 

Organisations adopting an edge approach will also be able to support exceptional user experiences by using actionable insights, from deep within the core, to the cloud and right to the user edge. And most importantly, they will be able to reduce costs by removing application and network and performance blind spots to ensure the delivery of high-value services to customers through better visibility.

Putting the data closer to the user on edge networks will require the latest in intelligent predictive analytics that can securely capture a huge amount of unstructured network and application data to guarantee network, application and infrastructure performance.

Edge computing is definitely the most exciting part of IoT, but if IoT is all about connecting all the devices to the internet, edge computing is all about giving more processing power to devices at the edge. 

Edge computing views edge devices as mini clouds or mini data centres. They each have their own mini servers, mini networking, mini storage, apps running on top of this infrastructure and endpoint devices. Rather than sending data to the cloud for processing and receiving already-processed data from a central hub in the cloud, in edge computing, all the processing happens on the edge device itself, or close to the edge device.

Edge computing involves interacting with the real world. Devices like sensors, smart home appliances and smart vehicles all take in data from the external world as well as process it. They further receive commands from a central cloud hub and act on it in the real world. These devices need monitoring 24/7. Beneath the devices, there is a complex mini-cloud, complete with its own infrastructure, storage and networking. It is essential for this layer to be monitored for the edge devices to function optimally.

In Australia, Telstra and Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently joined forces on edge computing in order to take more businesses to the cloud. AWS’s edge compute solutions provide the ability to deploy applications closer to end customers, which increases their resilience and performance, delivering a faster and more seamless user experience.

Telstra’s 5G network enables application traffic from 5G devices to reach cloud services running in edge compute locations without leaving the Telstra network. This prevents the latency that would normally result from additional jumps around the internet and means customers in industries that require low-latency and high resilience, including media and entertainment, manufacturing, healthcare and gaming can take full advantage of the low-latency and high-bandwidth benefits, delivering enhanced speeds and increased flexibility.

Collaborations like this will help accelerate digital transformation through increased cloud adoption for enterprise and government customers. This will facilitate a huge variety of transformative capabilities that require resilience and low latency, such as autonomous industrial equipment, smart cars and cities, the Internet of Things (IoT) as well as augmented and virtual reality.

The pandemic has increased the need for flexibility and reduced costs, which is driving the adoption of cloud applications and seeing more workloads move to public clouds. The organisations that have clarity and control across their entire IT infrastructure, including core, hybrid, data centres and the cloud, will be able to make faster and more informed business decisions if they have full visibility right to the user edge.


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