When comparing edge computing and the distributed cloud, it’s not a case of one or the other. Instead, companies must decide if they will use both strategies in conjunction. Edge computing is a distributed strategy that places computing power and storage closer to the user and where data originates. For example, much computing is done at the edge on IoT devices, smart manufacturing devices, smart home devices, etc. This creates numerous data origin points that may need to be managed by an edge provider or other third party. The distributed cloud allows companies to leverage the control of cloud computing and apply it to distributed computing hierarchies, like those found in edge computing. Users can then access resources and data from a centralized dashboard, just like with cloud computing. Let’s dig into three ways the distributed cloud enhances edge computing.
Three Ways the Distributed Cloud Improves Edge ComputingCompanies that leverage edge computing have infrastructure distributed in many locations. They are likely managing resources on-premises, in the cloud, and of course, at the edge. The distributed cloud acts as the connection point to ensure all of your resources are accessible in the cloud at the same location — extending the capabilities of the public cloud to other areas. The distributed cloud adds the following capabilities to your network:
- Centralized control. Imagine that you want to deploy a new application. From your distributed cloud dashboard, it’s possible to deploy an application anywhere on your network, even to on-premise and edge locations. This flexibility means that every time an ops engineer needs to deploy something new, they’ll have a consistent experience. It also enables applications to communicate with each other using service meshing, regardless of their physical location.
- Improved DevOps. Another advantage of the distributed cloud is access to services that the cloud would typically provide. For example, companies can currently deploy databases in their cloud environments. However, with the distributed cloud, they can deploy databases in non-cloud environments leveraging on-premise or edge infrastructure. Additionally, the distributed cloud makes advanced capabilities like machine learning and AI more readily available to your organization by giving your team access to additional compute resources.
- Agile governance. IT security is crucial when you consider the vast attack surface of a company with distributed computing resources. The distributed cloud enables security admins to deploy security policies across all your company’s infrastructure simultaneously. This ability dramatically reduces the chances of leaving security gaps when creating new policies — fortifying your system against attack.