Blog: Life on the Edge – The Evolution of Cloud Computing

Published: 14th December 2017 - 10:45 am

By Jason Harborow, CEO, GiG UK

As commerce, population and digital ecosystems merge, and business and IT organisations become more complicated, a new technological infrastructure is required to enable, and retain efficiency.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the evolution of connecting previously inanimate objects to the internet, enabling them to talk to each other and provide end users with a service. This shift is the emergence of a ‘digital edge’ where data is created and then enabled to interact with people, devices and things, exchanging ideas in real time.

The significance of this new paradigm is made clear by research into the potential of its effect. IDC, expects IoT spending to hit $1.35 trillion by 2021, with much of th

at depending on the underlying infrastructure being developed and rolled out, and Accenture expects industrial IoT add $14.2 trillion to the global economy by 2030.

Edge computing is, in part, the result of this new paradigm. Whilst, cloud computing provides access to centralised data storage and power, it doesn’t deliver the agility needed to provide edge-based interaction. Therefore, it is likely that cloud computing will remain an important part of digital business architecture, facilitating coordination, aggregation, archiving and machine learning, whilst the edge takes over to enable autonomous, virtual and intelligent interactions that facilitate IoT. The very function of IoT involves dozens of data points with many algorithmic interactions. In order to work, many of these interactions must take place at the edge for things to work.

As a result, there is a shift away from centralised data centres in place of computing infrastructure that is closer to the end user to enable reduced latency, better power efficiency and smarter interactions that facilitate efficiency, across a wide range of industries. Indeed, this is why we at GiG UK developed the G8 edge-cloud service.

Our G8 product is a cloud based solution that brings end users closer to the edge than ever before. By interconnecting services locally, our approach interconnects locations, people and data at the edge, for the most secure, highest-performing, lowest cost connectivity possible.

The technology is based on open source software and principles that are more open, yet less vulnerable; less complex and but more scalable, and, best of all, require little or no human intervention, reducing the risk of errors and downtime. In addition, by replacing much of the hardware typically found in older public, or indeed, private clouds with an open source, software based alternative, our cloud has zero legacy.

As the power element is a vital element of the cloud, we have considered the power consumption required to run traditional cloud based storage solutions and created a product that requires just 20% of the power and 10% of the space of traditional cloud operations. This means we can house our technology anywhere in the UK that has a reliable power supply and an internet connection.

As datasets get bigger and bigger, computing, AI and data mining are all merging, to produce new ways of considering many different services from security to product design, customer experience to data efficiency. Edge based cloud computing allows enterprise to remain ahead or in line with trend cycles by facilitating the computing flexibility they need, where it is most efficient.

Analyst house Gartner expects that by 2022, 50 percent of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside of a traditional data centre or cloud – a stark contrast to the roughly 10 percent mark where it currently sits. Therefore, it seems that a new way forward for technology and the cloud must evolve to create ecosystems that provide fresh strategic thinking, and facilitate business, commerce and innovation across the UK, and beyond.

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