Tech Trend: Edge Computing

Data is everywhere, and new technologies like 5G are setting the expectation that information can be processed, analyzed, and acted on almost instantaneously. Edge Computing promises to cut down on latency in industrial automation and user experience by providing relatively small data centers near to where the data is being generated, often on the edge of the mobile network.

The primary market for edge computing is enterprises, which increasingly collect massive amounts of data about every aspect of manufacturing, distribution and operations. In addition to rapid processing, edge computing also lets corporations build infrastructure that is specific to their use cases, often using commodity components. It also cuts down on reliance on the handful of cloud computing vendors that now dominate that infrastructure model.

Gartner predicted that by 2025, fully three-quarters of all enterprise data will live “on the edge.” One recent study predicts a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19 percent through 2026, to an overall global market value of $87.3 billion. (By comparison, the cloud computing market is projected to hit $1,251 billion by 2028.)

In Fast Future Country, infrastructure providers are researching and implementing edge computing solutions for both enterprises and smaller public entities. The Living Edge Lab at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh was one of the first academic centers of research on the topic, which it dubbed “cloudlets” back in 2009.

And Scale Computing in Indianapolis announced several deals last fall in the public sector, including a county elections board in Ohio and the Kitselas First Nation in Canada. Scale, whose solutions are based on the HC3 virtualization platform, closed a $34 million funding round last year.