Are you a locavore? Do you go to your local farmers market for seasonal and local items? Going local often means fresher food, increased food security, and a stronger relationship between growers and consumers.
If you haven’t heard, cloud computing is going local. Those big corporate data farms known as public clouds have ushered in a lot of great infrastructure and application management tools. And they certainly have made it quick and easy to develop, test, and launch new applications. But there is a new movement afoot, known as Edge Cloud, and every major Cloud and IT Vendor, from IBM to Amazon, are lining up behind hyper-local Edge Clouds – that bring cloud computing closer to the user (also referred to as Fog Computing and Edge Computing).
Like the onset of the Internet twenty-something years ago, the forces driving the Edge Cloud trend are too many to enumerate in a single blog post. But consider for a moment the relationship between the physical world around you: a traffic light, your car, the cash register at your grocery store, or every appliance in your kitchen; and the intelligence that is increasingly a part of those things: traffic lights adjust with conditions, your car knows when maintenance is likely, the cash register offers you coupons you actually want, and soon your refrigerator will tell you that the milk has soured and fresh milk is being automatically delivered later that day.
What is Driving the Local Cloud Movement?
Physical World + Intelligence = Better Business Outcomes
Internet of Things (IoT) sensors are making the physical world very “real” for smart software and big data solutions hosted in public clouds have started to provide insight into IoT data. But analysis alone has not yet yielded significant business improvements, or “digital transformation.” What’s missing is the instantaneous action that results in a desired business outcome.
Edge Clouds are the place where real-time decisions can be made in complex environments. Environments like industrial plants where 10,000 IoT sensors are measuring and monitoring every conceivable part of the plant for safety, efficiency, and security or for a retail store that wants to interact with retail customers in real-time. Based on IoT beacons and video tracking information, they can now help make the sale while the customer is still in the store and the data and decisions are fresh.
Public clouds are simply too far away to have that “strong relationship” between the data, the intelligence, and the millisecond-by-millisecond decisions that are common in successful business outcomes.
As IT decision makers look at your next budget, remember – be a locavore and start planning for Edge Clouds.
To learn more about Edge and Fog Computing, download our White Paper, Demistifying the Edge.