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  /  5G   /  Edge Computing: What can we expect in 2021?
Edge computing IoT cloud 5G forrester

Edge Computing: What can we expect in 2021?

How the market dynamics of Edge will transform in the coming months?


Edge computing is deemed as the new cloud. Thanks to deployments of IoT devices and the arrival of 5G fast wireless, placing compute and analytics close to where data is created is making a case for edge computing. In technical parlance, edge computing refers to generating, collecting, and analyzing data at the site data generation source, and this may not necessarily be at a centralized computing environment like a data center. While cloud platforms are profitable and beneficial, there is one major issue-latency. Edge helps in quick data processing with lower latency connections, all while maintaining central control. Despite dating back to the 1960s, it is still considered a new paradigm.

Today, the rise of edge computing is mainly accredited to the increase of the Internet of things (IoT) devices connect to the Internet every second. Edge computing allows data generated by IoT devices to be processed closer to its source instead of sending it across storage networks. This helps organizations to analyze the data in near real-time.  So, in edge computing, data is processed by the IoT connected device by itself or by a local server, rather than being transmitted to a data center. Also, as mentioned earlier, in edge data does not suffer latency issues that can affect an application’s performance. Hence, companies can save money by having the processing done locally, reducing the amount of data that needs to be processed in a centralized or cloud-based location. Besides, edge also reduces bandwidth while also offering enhanced security and data privacy.

With the growing capabilities of edge systems, some people believe that edge computing has the ability to replace traditional Cloud Computing infrastructure eventually. But, both technologies have vital and distinct roles within an IT ecosystem. Meanwhile, many companies have already deployed edge computing as part of their IoT strategy. As the numbers of IoT devices increase, edge computing will proliferate.

Forrester Predictions

Forrester says that in 2021, the edge will gain its real value. And its potential will be enhanced by cloud platforms having to compete with artificial intelligence and the widespread proliferation of 5G. According to its report, Forrester mentions that content delivery networks like Akamai and Fastly have begun to target edge computing demands, leading to them reaching out to colocation companies to find small, widely distributed data centers where applications can be hosted closer to the populations they serve. It has also predicted that lightweight Kubernetes deployments will account for 20% of edge orchestration in 2021. Although this won’t mean the battle for edge orchestration will end. Canonical, Huawei, OpenStack, Rancher, and other companies are also trying to expand their lightweight, edge-optimized platforms, and competition will be fierce in the year to come.

Besides, AI in edge computing will undergo a major shift in 2021, i.e., instead of machine learning models being trained in the data center, learning will start to happen at the edge. Forrester also has forecast that there will be explosive spending for edge computing. Simultaneously, the public cloud market will experience a growth decline from 42% in 2018 to 24% in 2022 due to market maturation.