Schneider Electric On Why Edge Computing Is The Future; 5G, IoT & Digitisation

Dave Johnson, Executive Vice President, Secure Power Division;

Schneider Electric brought us out to Singapore to check out their innovation hub, and to tell us what Edge computing is really all about. The problem is, they themselves don’t really know. During the press conference and the presentations, we were given at least three different definitions to the term, but from what we gather, it’s this;

“Edge computing is designed to put applications and data closer to devices – and their users. While
cloud computing drove the creation of mega data centers, edge computing brings distributed IT with an
exponential number of micro data centers. This new environment reduces latency and increases
availability of data, ensuring IT systems can deliver the benefits of digital transformation.”

But what is it all about?

To me, it sounds like an evolution, and is the next step from Cloud storage, and computing. There’s a need for devices that process information directly, rather than accessing a cloud, and doing that way. It causes latency issues, and slower loads, and a sort of unreliability if the servers are overloaded or in anyway inaccessible.

As an example, Schneider Electric pointed out that Mobile Phones in a way, was Edge 1.0, and IoT is Edge 2.0. At one point, everything will be connected by sensors, which would drastically change and improve the way we live our lives. This would mean autonomous cars, self changing traffic lights, and basically tasks that we feel are mundane now, will soon be automated and connected together.

Improving Resiliency with Edge Computing

Adoption of fast-moving technologies and methodologies – cloud, Artificial Intelligence, and Internet of
Things (IoT) – are demanding a new kind of technical knowledge and dexterity. Traditional IT is shifting and becoming more distributed, requiring a digital approach to IT infrastructure and operations. With its ability to reduce latency and increase availability, Edge Computing presents a solution and promising way forward.

This is especially true across three key industries that are fast emerging through digital transformation: commercial (retail, healthcare, finance, and education), industrial (oil & gas, mining, automotive, and manufacturing) and telcos (cell towers and base stations).

In order to realize the full potential of Edge Computing, challenges faced across industries must be addressed, including poor resiliency, lack of remote monitoring and management, lack of standardization and integration and lastly, the large number of sites with limited IT staff.

With that in mind, Schneider Electric are providing solutions designed and developed to deliver resiliency, simplify design, deployment, and management across all edge applications – and equipped with integrated systems, cloud-based architecture, and partner Ecosystem.

Pretty cool stuff to know about, considering most of the time this is the behind the scenes things of what powers all of us. Eventually, we’ll make the shift to Edge Computing, and it seems that Schneider Electric is leading the way to that future.

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