Top 7 Benefits of Integrating Edge Servers with Cloud Computing

7 min read

As technology advances at a rapid pace, businesses are constantly looking for innovative ways to improve performance, reduce costs, and gain competitive advantages. 

While cloud computing has revolutionized how companies develop, deploy, and scale applications, it also introduces latency issues for applications with strict latency requirements or those processing large volumes of data. This is where edge computing comes in; by processing data closer to the source, edge solutions help overcome latency bottlenecks. 

In this blog, we will explore the top 7 benefits of integrating edge solutions with your cloud strategy and how you can leverage the power of both cloud and edge computing.

1. Optimize Performance for Latency-Sensitive Apps

By deploying applications and processing data at the edge through local servers, you can significantly reduce latency issues for real-time apps compared to relying solely on cloud infrastructure. 

This is extremely useful for latency-sensitive applications like augmented and virtual reality, autonomous vehicles, industrial IoT, video analytics, gaming and more. With edge solutions, these latency-critical workloads can operate with a minimal latency of under 10 milliseconds for fast, responsive interactions. The combination of cloud computing and edge computing ensures optimal performance wherever end users and devices are located.

2. Improve User Experience for Low-Bandwidth Areas

By deploying edge servers, you can significantly improve performance and the user experience for applications, even in areas with poor connectivity. Local edge solutions cache content and fulfill requests to avoid reliance on distant cloud servers over bandwidth-constrained networks.

  • Edge solutions store copies of popular content like videos, images, pages and files from the cloud at local data centers, caching facilities and base stations close to users.
  • When users in low-bandwidth areas make requests, the edge solutions are able to serve the content rapidly from local storage without having to transmit over the WAN.
  • For dynamic or personalized content, the edge can still generate and deliver responses rapidly while caching static components for future requests from other nearby users.
  • Videos stream smoothly even on lower-speed rural connections since edge servers locally store and transmit segments to prevent buffering.
  • Pages load almost instantly from edge caches, versus long waits for full page loads from cloud servers during peak hours or emergencies that impact internet infrastructure.
  • Applications perform like local apps on low-power devices since edge solutions can fulfill requests, run processing and even host backend services near these resource-constrained devices.
  • Over-the-top video and music streaming work seamlessly in trains, buses or areas with intermittent connectivity as the edge servers cache content during online periods.
  • Low-quality images are avoided as full-resolution photos are cached at network edges, versus downscaling by cloud servers unaware of local bandwidth constraints.

Real-time updates push to devices without delay through proximate edge solutions when the primary connection drops, ensuring continuity of service.

3. Support Massive IoT with Lower Latency

As IoT devices continue to proliferate in numbers, an edge-cloud model is crucial to support real-time insights from massive IoT deployments. Trying to funnel and process terabytes of data daily from millions of sensors to distant cloud data centers introduces latency issues. 

Edge solutions deployed locally can collect, analyze and process IoT data with lower latency before securely transmitting relevant insights to the cloud. This helps power mission-critical IoT use cases across industries requiring split-second responses like predictive maintenance, autonomous operation, smart grids, remote monitoring and more. Edge servers allow IoT infrastructure to scale exponentially with optimal performance.

4. Enable Offline Access to Data and Apps 

Relying solely on the cloud forces applications and content to be unavailable whenever internet connections drop. With edge solutions caching content, you can provide offline access to critical data, workflows and applications for seamless experiences even during intermittent connectivity issues. 

For instance, a medical application could allow doctors to access patient records, diagnostic tools or treatment plans offline through local edge solutions during emergencies or in remote locations. Offline capabilities are also useful for applications in transportation, the military, oil and gas, and other industries requiring uninterrupted access in disconnected environments.

5. Reduce Data Transfer Costs to the Cloud

Moving massive volumes of raw data to the cloud for processing and storage incurs significant network bandwidth costs. Edge solutions help minimize these expenses by filtering and processing data locally to only transfer relevant insights and analytics to the cloud. 

For example, edge devices in a smart city deployment could analyze video streams, detect objects and events, and then securely transmit only metadata alerts to the cloud, reducing cloud computing storage usage and data transfer bills significantly compared to uploading all raw footage. This cost-saving benefit becomes even more prominent for data-heavy IoT and AI/ML workloads.

6. Improve Security and Privacy with Local Processing 

Keeping sensitive IoT, surveillance and personal data on remote cloud computing servers raises privacy and security concerns due to the risk of breaches or unauthorized access during transmission over networks. Edge computing addresses these issues by enabling local processing of privacy-sensitive data close to the source before transmitting insights. 

For instance, edge solutions could analyze security camera footage and detect suspicious activities locally without uploading private video streams to any third-party systems. They also eliminate the need to store critical operational data in a shared, multi-tenant cloud environment for improved security isolation.

7. Gain Flexibility Deploying Workloads 

While cloud computing platforms provide incredible flexibility and scalability, certain latency-critical or data-intensive workloads may not function optimally if deployed completely on the cloud. Edge solutions empower you with more flexibility to deploy the right workload on the right infrastructure, whether fully in the cloud, fully at the edge, or using a hybrid edge-cloud model. 

This allows for optimizing applications based on factors like latency requirements, data volumes, connectivity, mobility, regulations and costs. A flexible architecture future-proofs your systems for changing business and technical needs.

Final Words

Integrating edge computing with cloud platforms provides massive performance, cost, flexibility and security benefits. It helps optimize applications for low latency, supports massive IoT and data-heavy workloads, improves user experiences and allows offline access. 

An edge-cloud model also reduces cloud infrastructure and data transfer expenses significantly. As technologies evolve, a hybrid strategy leveraging the power of both the edge and the cloud will become critical for businesses to gain competitive advantages.

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