Edge computing moves processing power closer to the client with edge data centers and embedded data storage directly on devices. As a result, applications are shielded from data center outages.
Edge computing can be viewed as a layered approach, with the top layer comprised of data centers, including central and interconnected regional data centers. The edge layer is one level deeper and is composed of smart cars, oil platforms, retail shops, medical clinics, and the list goes on. Edge devices comprise this layer and include IoT devices, smartphones, sensors, and other internet-connected devices. The edge layer runs on a local network powered by wireless, 5G, fiber, or older legacy hardware.
Inside the edge layers, there are individual devices, smartphones, laptops, and other IoT devices that are all capable of communicating with the edge data center.
A key feature in this architecture is that databases are embedded within edge devices and allow continuous processing if a large-scale cloud database server fails. Individual devices synchronize captured data across the environment—between cloud and edge databases and between embedded databases on devices—ensuring it is always available.
As major cloud service providers increasingly offer edge computing services where data centers can be established in specific cities, on-premises, or in 5G networks, edge computing initiatives have discovered increased flexibility and simpler implementation.