Edge computing is becoming an indispensable technology for IoT, but it is by no means a universal technology, and there are still challenges at present. Here, let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages of edge computing while contrasting it with cloud computing, which is often compared with edge computing.
Benefits of cloud computing
What are the benefits of cloud computing? It is at this point that a flexible and efficient system can be built. For example, when there is a software update, it is often the case that the update is basically done only on the cloud server. Although it depends on the settings, if you update the software to the cloud server, the client-side will usually be updated automatically.
In addition, cloud server resources (memory and CPU occupancy) are often generous, and hardware costs can be reduced by running multiple software on a single server using virtualization technology. I can do it. Conversely, the same system can reduce the number of servers and improve the efficiency of hardware usage. This leads to hardware cost savings.
In addition, cloud servers are usually centralized in the server center, which reduces the need for people to move and reduces human costs.
In other words, by centrally arranging them in the server center, the human cost can be reduced, and by running multiple software on one hardware, the number of servers can be reduced, so the hardware cost can be reduced. I can do it. The advantage of cloud computing is that you can build a flexible system while reducing management costs.
Disadvantages of cloud computing
Next, let’s consider the disadvantages of cloud computing. In cloud computing, the data is on the cloud server, and the client always downloads the data over the network. Therefore, if there is a problem with the network, there is a risk that the entire system will become unusable.
Also, since important data is concentrated on the cloud server, it is possible that an external attack targeting this data can come. The scary thing is that because the data is stored intensively, once the security of the cloud server is breached, all the data may be leaked to the outside.
In addition, the slowdown is also a disadvantage because communication with the client-side always occurs and various processes need to be performed on the cloud server. In addition, although it cannot be said unconditionally if you make a mistake in planning the system construction, it may cost unexpectedly.
In short, the main disadvantage of cloud computing is that it can be a disadvantage in terms of security and speed.
Benefits of edge computing
So what are the benefits of edge computing? In edge computing, the processing is performed at the edge of the device and network. In other words, the processing is distributed at the intersection of the device and the network. Therefore, it has an overwhelming advantage in terms of speed compared to cloud computing.
Also, the data from the device is basically stored in the edge server. In other words, not all data is sent to the cloud, but the data is distributed and accumulated. Therefore, even if the security of one server is breached, it does not necessarily lead to the leakage of data for the entire system.
From the above, it can be said that edge computing has advantages over cloud computing, especially in terms of speed, due to its decentralized characteristics.
Disadvantages of edge computing
Conversely, consider the disadvantages, or challenges, of edge computing. Basically, as many edge servers are required as there are lines and bases, the number of servers increases, and the system becomes complicated. Therefore, the number of hardware will increase, and the hurdles for system development and operation will increase as the number of servers increases and the system becomes more complex. From the above, hardware costs, software costs, and management costs tend to be higher than cloud computing.
Also, the storage capacity of edge servers is limited, and not all data from the past is stored forever. After a certain period of time or after sending the analysis results to the cloud server, the data used for the analysis is often erased.
From the above, it can be said that high cost, especially high initial cost, is the main issue of edge computing.
Proper use of cloud computing and edge computing
We have seen the advantages and disadvantages of both cloud computing and edge computing. You can understand that the advantage of edge computing is speed, and the disadvantage is high cost. This is just the opposite of the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing. In short, cloud computing is the best choice if cost and efficiency are important, and edge computing is the best choice if speed is required.
For example, labor savings in sales clerical work need to be as cost-effective and efficient as possible, but clerical work usually does not require millisecond speeds. In other words, speed is not so important. In such cases, choosing well-planned cloud computing may reduce costs. That should be more efficient while maintaining practical speed.
On the other hand, production sites are now required to collect data in milliseconds. If you choose cloud computing in these cases, you may not often reach the required level of speed. In this case, choosing edge computing is more likely to meet the required speed. Regarding the cost issue, if it is better to introduce edge computing to improve the efficiency of the production line and make it IoT without being dismayed by the high initial cost, it will be profitable in the long run.
The introduction of edge computing should be seen in the long run
This time, I introduced the challenges of edge computing while comparing it with cloud computing. At present, the cost is a major issue for edge computing, but it is expected that it will be improved little by improving the development method of system development and lowering the price of hardware. As mentioned earlier, it is important to clarify what you want to do and what you expect from the place and purpose where the system will be installed, and make the best choice.