EDGE computing is starting to get traction in many companies. But implementing it in a way that provides the benefits without causing a lot of special and dedicated solutions is often a challenge. Not to talk about how to manage a wide array of remote locations.
There are many types of environments that are called Edge. It depends on the context, for one it may be the cash register at a local outlet or ticket office, for others it may be a small remote office and for others it may be an autonomous data collection point be it of IoT type or some other. In the telco space it may be a mobile base station.
Edge configurations often consist of specialized hardware that is built for a dedicated solution. But the main common feature is that it has limited processing capability in order to keep the costs low because there may be quite a number of locations involved.
in implementations and operations
The challenges can be roughly divided into 2 main areas – how to develop, test and distribute the associated software and on the other hand how to manage all those remote instances. There is a third dimension involving the available HW resources at the Edge location – being able to squeeze in all the needed features and then to expect them to perform well under diverse load situations.
Edge initiatives are often held back due to all these perceived difficulties.
With a Cloudshift21 Cloud CapsuleTM
One of the original design criteria for the Cloudshift21 platform was to be able to cater for all possible needs at all stages of deployment and runtime. And also, to be able to handle a lot of remote locations with a minimum of operations personnel.
The platform has been built in such a way that the full functionality can be had in anything from a laptop to a full-fledged cloud data center. Applications run exactly the same way in all of those, the only difference being in the speed at which complex operations are fulfilled. The resource handling algorithms still ensure that everything gets processed in due time even if it takes a little longer.
Using it for an Edge solution would be very simple – develop, test, performance optimize and finalize the applications at a central cloud or on-premise location where appropriate resources and personnel are available. Then use the automated deployment capability to send it out and get installed to all the intended Edge locations. And immediately start getting monitoring data for how those locations perform in practice. If any glitch or problem is encountered then just send out an update and get it deployed automatically.
It is the perfect solution for this kind of setups.
There is also an additional option available as a kind of extremely lightweight Edge – a PC based instance. The Cloudshift21 platform can be run on any PC hardware that can provide a enough of CPU virtual cores (min 9) and enough memory (16 GB preferred). It is not a HA setup but it can be used for development, field testing, data transfers etc. An application developed on the platform can also be run there as long as it doesn’t exceed the available hardware resources.