What’s the difference between device edge and cloud edge?

A few years ago, a lot of our systems were highly centralized and they acted as single points of access for different resources. That’s when cloud computing entered the tech world and dramatically transformed these centralized systems into a more distributed and decentralized architecture.

Such an architecture called edge computing takes cloud computing closer to the consumers. In other words, you can visualize this infrastructure to offer the functions of compute, storage and computing in blocks present at the edge of networks.

The obvious advantage with this architecture is that the latency time is reduced because requests and responses don’t have to travel very long. This short latency time has given a big boost to new technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality and augmented reality. Even rapid strides made in the worlds of artificial intelligence and machine learning can be attributed to some extent to the emergence of edge computing.

That said, let’s get to the central question of this piece- what’s the difference between a device edge and a cloud edge?

Broadly speaking, edge computing is  in its nascent stages, so many companies are trying to identify a niche for themselves in this growing market. They have come up with two models in edge computing.

Device edge computing

In this model, customers have the choice to run any kind of edge computing software in existing software environments while the hardware is shared with other resources or can be dedicated, depending on the needs of edge computing applications. This model is most ideal for running low-powered devices such as an embedded system on chip software in vehicles.

Also, this is best in cases where sensors have to talk to cloud blocks often, as is the case of machine to machine (M2M) communication. Sensors need to communicate quickly and frequently to update information to these device edges, that in turn can be sent to the cloud. So, in all these scenarios, you need a device edge.

Cloud edge computing

Cloud edge computing, also known as fog computing, is a concept that surrounds the implementation of IoT. For this, a device known as fog computing device or cloud edge gateway is placed between the sensors and the cloud, and this device is what provides connectivity between the two.

In other words, this device analyzes the data first, decides if it needs to be compressed or cut, and the remaining is sent to the cloud. This way, network traffic is greatly reduced. Besides this advantage, you can perform calculations on your data and do real-time processing before sending the data to your cloud storage.

This is most ideal when you have to gather and process large amounts of data in a limited bandwidth situation.

Thus, these are the differences between device and edge computing. The right choice of technology depends on your requirements.

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