What goes into making a highly secure and ultra-responsive edge cloud environment?
The past couple of decades have seen a huge shift from on-premises computing to the cloud. But while the convenience of being able to access key resources from anywhere is undeniable, cloud data centers aren’t without their limits. Edge cloud is a solution to the limitations of conventional cloud computing.
Where latency, is a factor, edge computing wins over cloud-based processing every time. With time-sensitive events, such as predictive maintenance in manufacturing and industry, every millisecond counts. Edge computing brings data processing in close proximity to IoT devices to help build a highly integrated infrastructure with minimum latency.
Here are the key ingredients that make up the edge cloud:
1. Networking technologies
The key purpose of edge computing is to enable a reliable ultra-fast closed control loops. For this to work, it’s necessary to achieve two main goals – minimum packet latency and maximum service availability. It’s also important for any edge solution to support all the common protocols so that it can be easily integrated into existing network infrastructure.
The emerging fifth generation of mobile technology is a key enabler of edge-computing. 5G greatly increases the range over existing WiFi networks, making it invaluable in large premises like factories and agricultural facilities. Even more importantly, and unlike its predecessor 4G, it allows for the creation of private local networks too.
2. Cross-platform support
Edge computing networks need to facilitate communication between a huge range of devices. Many of these devices run different operating systems and firmware and communicate over different protocols. That’s why the platform must be entirely software-based and support virtual machines, containers, and bare-metal hardware for maximum versatility, application portability and compatibility.
Each of these infrastructures have their benefits and drawbacks, and many edge applications will make use of more than one. For example, legacy workloads might still use bare-metal servers. For other workloads, however, virtual machines and containers offer a more economical use of physical resources.
3. Integrated DNS services
The simple act of accessing a service triggers a multitude of activities. One of the more time-consuming of these is translating the domain name into an IP address. It often takes over 100 milliseconds just to resolve a single IP address. When multiple DNS resolution requests need to be resolved consecutively, the latency can skyrocket.
4. Cutting-edge security
While edge computing solves many of the cybersecurity challenges that come with cloud data centres, it also introduces some fresh challenges of its own. For example, IoT devices in a typical edge network are often physically remote and aren’t regularly monitored, potentially resulting in many single points of failure spread across the network.
An edge cloud network should be fully automated and able to achieve maximum security with complete separation between the network and edge-cloud domain. Workloads must also be isolated to enable zero-trust security. For example, the IPsec protocol can protect data with authentication and encryption, while the network itself should be closed off from the public internet behind multiple layers of security, including multifactor authentication.
When choosing an edge cloud solution, the key priorities to consider are network performance, application mobility, and security. However, taking advantage of edge computing doesn’t have to mean replacing your entire infrastructure. With a software-based solution that runs on all hardware, you can greatly reduce the costs the project and the time it takes to complete.
Saguna is transforming communication networks into powerful edge-computing platforms. Call us today to find out more.