back to article Edge computing set for growth – that is, when we can agree what it is

Worldwide spending on edge computing is expected to see double-digit growth this year, according to new figures from analyst IDC. It also predicted investments in edge will reach $176bn in 2022, an increase of 14.8 per cent over last year. "Edge computing continues to gain momentum as digital-first organisations seek to …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Plus ça change...

    Once upon a time, the finance server used to sit under the accounts executive's desk. In more enlightened environments, there was an on-site server room with a couple of racks and UPSes.

    That sounds rather similar to what's being proposed here. How exactly is a 2U "edge server" different from a 2U "server"?

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Plus ça change...

      Edge computing is something to do with Occams razor crossed with T.Pratchett. CMOT Dibbler with guilllotine knitting thrown in.

  2. Really Anonymous Coward

    Rebranding exercise

    Is it just me, or does any concise definition of "edge" make it sound exactly like what everyone did in the 90s before the same vendors/consultants pushed "Cloud".

    Just about to dust off my old VBA applications and now claim they're following best practice doing the processing nearest the data...

    1. pavel.petrman Silver badge

      Re: Rebranding exercise

      If I read my history books correctly, it was something like Mainframes -> Minicomputers and PCs -> Bla servers with virtualization and thin clients -> High performance PCs and hyperconverged on-site infrastructure -> Cloud and fancy rendering terminals, now it's Edge computing.

      Clearly there are no big bonus payments dished out for improving and optimizing what works, only for disruption (in the original meaning of that word).

      I'm sure, even if IT people are replaced one day by robots and those glorified finite state machines called AI by the marketing, these disruption reshuffling and relabelling excercises will continue, even if only as labour programmes to feed the starving techies.

    2. nintendoeats Silver badge

      Re: Rebranding exercise

      This is exactly what I was going to say.

      http://catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/W/wheel-of-reincarnation.html

      I suppose it is a useful term, if it weren't so mired in marketing. It's basically what we used to do, just recontextualized to big data speak.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rebranding exercise: "Pink Cloud".

      It wasn't that many moons ago (2017) that HMRC seconded Microsoft's Chief Digital and Information Officer, Jacky Wright, who proposed at the time that 'Pink Cloud' was the next big thing, just as such terms were seen as linked to gender, and no longer a good look.

      Jacky Wright left HM Revenue and Customs on 11th October 2019, after a two-year loan arrangement, and returned to Microsoft US, as Microsoft's US Chief Digital Officer.

      On 11th October 2021, (exactly two years later). It was reported that the HMRC has signed a JTO deal is worth £5.02m with Microsoft; the deal came into effect on 27 September 2021 and will last until 16 September 2022. The deal is part of the Joint Transformation Office (JTO) programme, through which it intends to accelerate its adoption of cloud.

      Make of that what you will.

      The only big differentiator between edge computing and on-premises server based 'edge' computing is one is subscription based, whereas the latter was more a one off purchase for the life of the hardware and a 10 year support cycle for the software.

  3. Lorribot

    Mainframe, decentralised, server room, cloud, edge..hmmm

    Each one of these proposed a solution that fixed the problems of the previous one until that solution was overwhealmed by being used, was deemed insecure, was wrong cost model, inflexible and a myriad other things.

    We could put web servers in the switches so they are close to user....no wait they are all working from home,...i know we can put a 2u server in their house that work.....

  4. steelpillow Silver badge
    WTF?

    Edgy stuff

    I suppose the desktop PC I am typing this on is "edge computing", as is the bleepy thing I carry when I go out. To be lumped in the same marketplace as a nuclear powerplant control system feels a tad unrealistic (despite my old Sinclair Spectrum allegedly having been capable of that). When the Internet first arrived, it was all edge - data centres were accessed through dumb terminals and only got hooked into the world wide wibble well down the road.

    No doubt there are evangelists for the edge cloud (or is that the cloud edge?) where both the centre and the edge are lost in some nebulous virtualised hardware stack buried under Greenland - and Taiwan - and anywhere cold the Chinese can find, network latency notwithstanding.

    Think I'll put some coffee on.

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    For Holy Grail Type SkunkWorks .... Heavenly Tasks/Diabolical Operations

    Edge Computing ...... Rogue and/or Innovative Computer Assisted Use for the Proving and Proofing and Improving of Vital and Virile and Viral Assets is what some, who may be just a few or many, recognise it being and that opens up a Pandora’s Box of Novel Opportunities never before ever even imagined possible and relatively easily, readily available.

    Subsequently, is it much prized for competent users who understandably be highly sought after. Others however may plough quite another path with their understanding and use of it ..... but such is only natural and therefore fully to be expected so be prepared for military and paramilitary exercising.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: For Holy Grail Type SkunkWorks .... Heavenly Tasks/Diabolical Operations

      And if one wants a prime example of something for leading at the cutting edge of computing, feast your eyes and open your minds to the following pearls of wisdom* for broadbandcasting before the Earthly swarm .......

      amanfromMars [2201180913] ....... points out on https://www.rt.com/news/546334-nato-space-policy-document/

      That NATO definition of space as “an inherently global environment” is easily extraordinarily rendered manifestly false and limiting and predictably misleading and self-destructively defeating too, whenever it can be and is instead realised and exercised by A.N.Others, which only needs to be a few to be an almighty many, as a Live Operational Virtual Environment against which there are no practical defence or physical attack vectors.

      The provision and protection of empires has moved on with colossal quantum leaps into novel virgin realms that know of no bounds or hurdles to destinations in the future for current presentation in mass multi media programming projects rooted in the past.

      The leading question posed here is ...... Is such to be primarily an Exotic Erotic Eastern Delight or Wild Wacky Western Confection that leads humanity in an alien direction/to somewhere never travelled to or arrived at before?

      * ..... :-) or rants of errant nonsense if you prefer

  6. Guzlr

    Everybody's already said what I was thinking...

    Edge Computing - move the server to where the data is. For most companies that's back to where we started with out own server rooms and a little bit of off-site backup sprinkled on for good measure. At least the off-site backup can now be network based rather that hand-carried tapes, or is tape backup the next disruptive technology?

    1. that one in the corner

      Re: Everybody's already said what I was thinking...

      Space for a hip new job, roller-skating from office to office in the City carrying blank quarter inch cartridges to supply Just-In-Time Tape-as-a-Service?

      1. Mellipop

        Re: Everybody's already said what I was thinking...

        Isn't that AWS Snowball - https://aws.amazon.com/snowball/

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