Linux a key player in the edge computing revolution

In the last couple of decades, border computing has been revolutionizing how some very familiar services are provided to people just like me and you, as well as how services are handled within major businesses. Attempt to get your arms around what edge computing is now, and you might just find that your arms are not nearly as long or as flexible as you’d imagined. And Linux is playing a significant part in this ever-expanding border.

One reason edge computing defies simple definition is that it takes many different forms. Since Jaromir Coufal, principal product manager at Red Hat, recently pointed me out , there isn’t any single edge. Rather, there are plenty of advantages — based on what calculate features are needed. He suggests that we are able to consider this advantage as a tool of a continuum of capacities with the difficulty being resolved deciding where along that particular continuum any border solution will rest.

Some forms of edge computing include consumer electronics that are used and installed in millions of homes, others which serve tens of thousands of small companies with operating their centers, and others that connect big companies to their distant sites. Key for this evasive definition is the idea that edge computing always involves distributing the workload in this manner that the majority of the computing work is performed remotely from the central heart of the business and close to the business problem being addressed.

Done correctly, edge computing can provide services which are both faster and more reliable. Software running on the edge can be resilient and run substantially faster because their required data resources are local. In addition, data may be processed or examined locally, often requiring only periodic transfer of results to principal sites.

While physical safety might be lower in the border, edge devices often implement security features that permit them to detect 1) manipulation of the apparatus, 2) malicious software, and 3) a physical breach and wipe information.

Benefits of edge computing

A Few of the benefits of edge computing include:

A Fast response to intrusion detection, including the capability for a remote device to detach or self-destruct
The ability to instantly stop communication when needed
Constrained performance and fewer universal entrance points
Rugged and reliable difficulty resistance
Making the overall computing system harder to attack because computing is distributed
significantly less data-in-transit exposure
Some examples of border computing devices include those that provide:

Video surveillance — viewing for activity, reporting just if seen
Controlling autonomous vehicles
Production monitoring and control
Edge computing success story: Chick-fil-A

One impressive example of highly successful edge computing caught me by surprise. It ends up Chick-fil-A uses advantage computing devices that will help handle its food prep services. At Chick-fil-A, edge devices:

Analyze a fryer’s cooking and cleaning
Aggregate info as a failsafe if internet connectivity is lost
Assist with decision-making about cooking — how much and how long to cook
Enhance business operations
Assist automate the Intricate food ingestion and holding conclusions so that even newbies get matters right
Function even when the connection with the central site is down
As Coufal pointed out, Chick-fil-A runs Kubernetes in the border in every one of its restaurants. Their key motivators are low-latency, scale of operations, and constant organization. And it seems to be working extremely well.

Chick-fil-A’s theory captures it all: From making smarter kitchen equipment, we can collect more information. By employing data to our restaurant, we could build smarter systems. By creating more intelligent systems, we can better scale our business.

Are you edge-ready?

There is no quick answer as to if your organization is”edge prepared.” Several factors determine what kind of services may be deployed on the edge and if and when those services will need to communicate with more central devices. Some of them include:

Whether your workload could be distributed
If it’s OK for apparatus to have infrequent contact with the central services
If devices can work properly when cut away from their connection back to central services
Whether the devices can be secured (e.g., reliable to not provide an entry point)
Implementing a border computing system will probably take a long time from initial planning to execution. However, this kind of technology is taking hold and provides some powerful advantages. While edge computing initially took hold 15 or more years past, the past couple of years have witnessed renewed interest as a result of technology improvements that have enabled new uses.

Coufal noted that it has been 15 or more years since edge computing concepts and technologies were first introduced, but revived interest has come about due to technology improvements enabling new uses that require this technology.