2nd April 2023

Hybrid cloud inevitably leads companies on the edge of cloud computing

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In honor of edge computing, fanfare continues, and rightly so. Gartner estimates that in the next two years, the share of corporate data that will be created and processed on the edge will exceed 50%. However, if you look at it, edge computing is a localized cloud infrastructure that can be deployed in a given place for specific tasks. Therefore, if you already have a hybrid cloud strategy, then you are in an advantageous position to move towards the network edge, more precisely, towards the edge cloud. If this strategy is also built on an open IT infrastructure, you automatically have the freedom to use the best third-party solutions when building your cloud edge.

Today’s IT executives have enough tasks to further complicate the enterprise IT stack when deploying cloud edge computing. Alas, many businesses are preparing for just this. However, in the absence of model standards for such computation, large enterprises need guidance to move in the right direction.

Reach out to the border

Let’s start by looking at the predictions of which industries will move to cloud edge computing and why. First of all, this is the manufacturing industry, auto industry, retail and healthcare, since applications and services with ultra-low latency are critical for those who work with physical supply chains, production lines, or need tens of thousands, and eventually millions, connected to networks of sensors and devices. Edge computing is the ability to place data processing engines and computing power as close as possible to the end user. Obviously, this is great for heavy industry and transportation, but more broadly, the exponential growth in the number of devices connected to the network will soon lead to the fact that the edge of the cloud will become an integral part of literally every corporate IT system and enterprise cloud.

The cloud periphery is a highly volatile entity. It easily takes different forms depending on applications, use cases and peak loads. Therefore, it must be reliable, scalable and smart. At the same time, it must be effective. If cloud edge computing is to become a strategic enterprise asset, it must be tightly integrated with the enterprise’s existing cloud infrastructure, rather than being built as a stand-alone solution.

And this is one of the main reasons why enterprises that choose a hybrid cloud strategy to manage a variety of IT environments have a good chance of success with edge.

A distributed cloud architecture enables an enterprise to extend the boundaries of its IT system to the edge of the cloud. This can be done incrementally, testing the fault tolerance and reliability of this boundary as it develops. It is based on a unified model that allows an enterprise to build and run applications anywhere in its distributed cloud infrastructure. The centralized system enables developers and IT professionals to roll out new applications and then deploy them to any available virtual or geographic location.

Container effect

All of the above is based on the use of containers, since otherwise it is almost impossible to obtain the scale and coverage that are associated with cloud edge computing. Containers are smaller in size and much more flexible than virtual machines; in fact, dozens of containers can be placed in place of one or two virtual machines. In addition, containers provide a general level of abstraction. They can run in a distributed cloud infrastructure, freely roaming from one node to another and provide the ability to organize the desired functionality at the edge of the cloud. This flexible model allows the enterprise to scale capacity and functionality at the edge of the network as the fleet of sensors and devices grows, as well as adapt to new use cases.

In addition, the container-based architecture makes it easy to build an integrated and centralized management system for orchestrating, provisioning, and securing applications. With this unified model, the enterprise can fully see and control everything about its cloud edge computing. This boundary should be a natural extension of the corporate IT infrastructure and the corporate cloud. For maximum efficiency, it must stand on the shoulders of an existing enterprise IT system to leverage existing protocols, systems, data and intelligence.

Insight at the border

Another major benefit is the ability to integrate the cloud edge with central business systems and data analytics tools. When it comes to deploying and managing massive numbers of networked devices, development teams and IT professionals have the ability to test containerized applications before deploying to a vast network of devices. And the smarter the edge of the cloud, the better, because it allows early detection of problems and anomalies, which is extremely important given the critical role of applications and services, whose work is provided by the edge of the cloud, and therefore requires minimizing risks.

Obviously, businesses will need to identify problems early before the onset of the acute phase. With built-in analysis engines, it will be possible to continuously collect and analyze data pulled into the center from the distributed periphery. Using AI and machine learning, this data will be sent to predictive analytics systems that can register unusual activity and take appropriate action by sending notifications through the right channels.

Open platform

In terms of corporate culture, mastering the edge cloud will help the enterprise retain and grow its intellectual baggage. By starting by leveraging developers and IT professionals already working with hybrid cloud, businesses can better understand their cloud ambitions. The lessons and knowledge that will be gained from this will form part of the intellectual baggage of the organization and the basis for corporate practices and schemes for building the edge of the cloud. The success of the pioneers will attract other developers who may not have previously considered working in certain departments until they began to move to the cloud rails.

The use of open frameworks in the development of edge solutions provides a number of significant advantages, among which not the least is the ability to gradually and methodically move the corporate IT system to the edge of the cloud. In addition, enterprise developers are empowered to participate in the open source communities to accelerate the pace of innovation and influence in an emerging field. Crucially, this gives the enterprise the freedom to choose technology partners when building complete solutions at the edge of the cloud, allowing you to carefully select a telecom operator that can provide the required 5G services, or use multiple cloud providers at the same time. In other words, the enterprise gets rid of the rigid binding to a specific solution provider or software stack, and, as a result, can freely form a development roadmap for its edge cloud.

Bringing the future closer

Cloud edge computing is already being applied in practice, but so far the business is just beginning to realize their possibilities. Today, most real-world cloud edge deployments are related to the Internet of Things, but their potential is much broader. For example, financial companies can use them to support trading. Applications for virtual reality, entertainment and cloud gaming are also possible. With a completely new platform and IT environment with enormous room for experimentation, developers can create fundamentally new applications and services based on a flexible and constantly evolving infrastructure. This approach will support new business models, spawn new businesses, and open up new economies of scale. For these reasons, it is important for businesses to pay close attention to these technologies.

Enterprises with a hybrid cloud strategy are inevitably moving towards cloud edge computing. These companies already have experience with containers that are ideal for the cloud edge in terms of application architecture. The openness of the platforms allows you to move forward at your own pace and carefully select partners and solutions for cloud and edge computing that meet technical and business needs. All this allows in practice to implement a unified approach and build the cloud boundary as a natural continuation of the corporate IT infrastructure and the corporate cloud.

Martin Percival,

Solution Architecture Manager, Red Hat

Cloud service

IT-News Magazine,

Red Hat

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Vicky O. Torres

My name is Vicky O. Torres. I am a psychologist by profession, and I love my work very much. And in general, I am an active seeker of truth, silence and beauty of the world.

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