Edge Computing vs Cloud Computing: A Beginner’s Guide

When it comes to computing, there are two main options to consider: edge computing and cloud computing. Both computing types have their pros and cons, so understanding each one will help you make an informed decision for your business. In this comprehensive guide, we will explain differences between the two to help you choose the right solution for your specific requirements.

Introduction to Edge Computing and Cloud Computing 

Cloud computing and edge computing are relatively related, but they have distinct technologies. As computer terminal components became smaller and processors became more efficient and cost-effective, personal computers began to make their way into the workplace. Each device had the processing power required by the end user. 

This led to work applications becoming cloud-based, to which our computers serve as terminals that connect to the cloud. The only difference is that each device and local server has its own significant amount of computing power. We have two types of computing: edge computing (local devices) and cloud computing (remote server room access via the internet). While edge computing processes time-sensitive data, cloud computing processes non-time-triggered data.

Edge Computing

To start with, edge computing is a way of computing and storing data in close proximity to data sources, such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices or local edge servers. Unlike cloud computing, edge computing enables data to process and analyze at or close to the edge of a network, where data is being generated. This reduces latency, improves response times and network bandwidth, and enhances the overall performance.

How Does Edge Computing Work?

Rather than sending all the data to a centralized data center, edge computing is designed to enable data processing and analysis to occur at or near the edge of the network. This is done by deploying edge devices, such as edge servers and edge gateways that are close to the data source. 

It also enables selective data to transfer over to the cloud or data center. This means that less data needs to be sent and stored centrally, leading to cost savings and better network performance. Overall, edge computing enhances the performance and effectiveness of applications and services that depend on fast and low latency data processing.

Advantages of Edge Computing

From operational efficiency to increased security, edge computing provides several advantages. Here are some of the the following edge computing advantages

  1. Increased Operational Efficiency – Edge computing enables enterprises to streamline their daily operations by processing massive amounts of data locally. If the collected data was sent to a central cloud or a main datacenter across time zones, it can lead to excessive network congestion and performance problems.
  2. Improved Workplace Safety – In work environments where malfunctioning equipment or changing work environments can lead to injuries, IoT sensors and edge computing helps to  improve worker safety and prevent collateral damage.
  3. Reduced Latency and Fast Response Times – Edge computing minimizes latency by working closer to the data source, resulting in faster response times and better user experiences. This is essential for applications that need to process data in real-time, such as self-driving cars or industrial automation.
  4. Functionality in Distant Locations – Edge computing makes it easier to utilize data collected at remote sites where internet connectivity is intermittent or network bandwidth is limited.
  5. Reduced IT Costs – By processing data locally instead of in the cloud, businesses can reduce their IT costs. In addition to reducing cloud processing and storage expenses, edge computing reduces transmission costs by eliminating redundant data at or near the location.
  6. Employee Productivity – Businesses can quickly deliver the data that workers need to complete their job duties. For workplaces that take advantage of automation and predictive maintenance, edge computing keeps the equipment running smoothly without any interruptions.
  7. Increased Security – The  security risk of adding thousands of internet-connected sensors and devices to their network is a real concern for enterprises. Edge computing mitigates this risk by allowing enterprises to process data locally and store it offline. This decreases the data transmitted over the network, so enterprises can become less vulnerable to security threats.
  8. Offline Operation – Edge devices have their own computing power and storage capacity, so they can still function even if the network connection is lost. This is important for applications that require continuous operation, such as remote monitoring or disaster response systems. 

Cloud Computing

Secondly, cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing services over the Internet, rather than through physical hardware or physical infrastructure. These computing services include servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence. By using applications and services over the internet, cloud computing allows for faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale for your business. 

How Does Cloud Computing Work?

For starters, cloud computing works by storing, managing, and accessing data and applications on a network of servers that are located far away. When a user connects to a cloud application or service, their request is sent to the server. Then the server processes the request and sends the result back to the user’s device. This means that the user can access the data and applications from any location that has an internet connection. 

Overall, cloud computing providers take care of all the maintenance, security and updates for the servers. This allows users to focus on their tasks without worrying about the technical aspects of cloud computing. 

Advantages of Cloud Computing

From increased scalability to reliability, cloud computing offers several advantages.. Here are some of the the following cloud computing advantages

  1. Cost – Cloud computing eliminates the capital expense of buying hardware and software. It also reduces IT costs by optimizing onsite center setup and operation when it comes to server racks, power and cooling for 24/7 operation, and IT experts for infrastructure management.
  2. Scalability –  Cloud computing services deliver the right amount of IT resources such as more or less computing power, storage, and bandwidth when required.  
  3. Performance –  Cloud computing services run on a worldwide network of secure data centers. It provides benefits regarding reduced network latency for applications and greater economies of scale.
  4. Security – There are a number of cloud providers that provide a wide range of policies, technologies and controls that enhance your security. These help protect your data, applications, and infrastructure from threats.
  5. Speed – Most cloud computing services provide self-service and on demand, so even vast amounts of computing resources can be provisioned quickly. This provides businesses with flexibility while taking off the burden of capacity planning.
  6. Productivity – Onsite data centers typically need rack and stack. This includes placing hardware into the server rack, software patching, and other IT management tasks. For IT teams to focus on achieving more important business goals, cloud computing removes the need for many time-consuming tasks. 
  7. Reliability – Data backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity is easier and less expensive because the data is mirrored at multiple redundant sites on the cloud provider’s network.

Edge Computing vs. Cloud Computing

In comparison to cloud computing, edge computing is primarily effective in situations where latency is low and data is processing in real-time. For example, a healthcare device that connects to an edge server can provide real-time information about a patient’s condition. This allows healthcare professionals to take immediate action when required. Other use cases for edge computing are autonomous vehicles, augmented reality, smart thermostats, traffic lights, and more. 

On the other hand, cloud computing is best suited to users who need remote access to their data, have variable workload needs, or need to quickly deploy digital apps and services at a low cost. For example, it is beneficial for remote collaboration because users within a team can access the same database no matter the location. Other use cases for cloud computing are conventional applications, video camera systems, smart lighting systems, and more. 

Here are key differences between edge computing and cloud computing:

Edge ComputingCloud Computing
Brings computing power closer to the source of data, such as an Internet of Things (IoT) device or an industrial control system.Relies on centralized data centers located far away from the source of data.
Process data on site quickly and analyze data in real-time. It does not focus on storing data.Processes data on a central cloud server far from the data sources.
Ideal for low latency, where every millisecond counts.Ideal for applications that are not time-sensitive.
As it processes in the device, it has lower processing power and storage capacity.Provides improved processing capabilities and storage capacity.
Ideal for fast and real-time analysis.Ideal for in-depth and long-term analysis.
Remote locations with limited or no internet connectivity. Requires reliable internet connectivity.
Automated scalability with zero-touch provisioning. Expensive and intensive operational activity for the company.
Fewer latency and bandwidth requirements,  increased performance, and lower operational expenses.Connectivity, data movement, bandwidth, and latency cost are relatively high.

Choosing the Right Computing Solution 

When it comes to choosing the right computing solution, it’s important to see which computing type fits your requirements. Edge computing provides the advantage of low latency, as data processing and storage occurs closer to the source of the data. This can be beneficial for applications that require real-time processing.

On the contrary, cloud computing provides scalability and cost-effectiveness. This allows you to easily scale their resources up or down based on their needs. Additionally, cloud computing eliminates the need for you to manage their own hardware and software. However, businesses may have concerns about data privacy and security with cloud computing. Ultimately, the decision between edge computing and cloud computing will depend on the specific needs and priorities of your businesses. 

Computing in Data Centers

Edge data centers are small facilities closely located to the edge of a network as part of a distributed edge computing infrastructure. They process time-sensitive data faster, while sending less critical information to a large centralized data center. These edge facilities also offer important benefits over larger-scale centralized facilities. Industries that utilize edge computing are manufacturing, retail, healthcare, utilities, security, and telecommunications. 

Compared to edge data centers, cloud data centers house IT infrastructure resources for shared use by multiple customers through an Internet connection. Many of the largest cloud data centers, also called hyperscale data centers, are run by major cloud service providers. Examples include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Apple, and Facebook. 

RackSolutions Server Racks and Cabinets 

Whether you need a single server rack or multiple for your edge data center or cloud data center, we provide a variety of server racks, cabinets, and rack accessories that are ready to order.

RS148 Data Center Server Cabinet

If you have any questions about our server racks and cabinets, feel free to contact us for more information. With our high-quality, in house manufacturing, you can be confident that you are buying the best equipment possible!


FAQs: Edge Computing vs Cloud Computing 

What are the different types of cloud deployment models?

The three different ways to deploy cloud services are on a public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud. To determine which one is ideal, these cloud deployment models depend on your existing IT investments and business requirements. 

What are the different types of cloud computing services? 

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Serverless Computing. 

What is edge computing technology?

Edge computing technology enables smart devices in remote environments to function without a full connection to a central network. Common edge devices include cameras, sensors, servers, processors, switches.  Routers that run AI locally and send critical data to the primary datacenter are also a common device.

Edge Computing vs Cloud Computing: A Beginner’s Guide
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Edge Computing vs Cloud Computing: A Beginner’s Guide
When it comes to computing, there are two main options to consider are edge computing and cloud computing. In this comprehensive guide, we will explain differences between the two to help you choose the right solution for your specific requirements.
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