Edge computing: the solution to building the future of work
From corporate giants to SMEs, businesses of all sizes continue to face the complex and nuanced challenge of transitioning their entire workforce out of traditional workplace settings and into remote working and the future of work. Justin Day, CEO of Cloud Gateway talks us through what edge computing is and how it can support your business.
Against the backdrop of changing working practices accelerated by the global coronavirus pandemic, the stage is clearly set for a fresh approach to adopting technology to improve oversight while handling highly sensitive data appropriately.
While many innovative options are on the table to prioritise, the design of a business’ tech ecosystem matters most. Edge computing and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) are absolutely critical in ensuring the future of the flexible workforce is agile and efficient.
Getting familiar with edge computing
Sitting within a distributed computing framework, edge computing brings enterprise applications closer to the ‘edge’ of where data sources, both produced and consumed by people or systems, sit. Computation and data storage are held close to the devices where data is gathered, preventing risk and latency - the time delay before a transfer of data begins following an instruction for its transfer.
When implementing edge computing architecture, businesses are able to substantially save on bandwidth costs alongside more efficient execution of the processing and storage of data.
A match made in heaven: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
Edge computing combined with Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a sure-fire way for businesses under pressure to continue the migration of all operations to be remote to become more agile and secure for the future.
VDI is a central server that hosts desktop environments and is an appealing solution for businesses looking to avoid over-priced and complex hardware. This is due to the fact it enables staff to access via any device from wherever they are based securely, without the need for expensive upgrades to access newly developed systems.
This transition period has proved a unique challenge for security measures, but VDI is one such technology particularly effective for creating a remote desktop experience.
VDI allows applications to operate within more secure limits of a business network while simultaneously reducing the bandwidth consumed by the entire business.
In turn, this amplifies the capability of edge computing where a break is created, enabling users to access the ‘edge’, providing companies with the certainty that no matter how many updates are installed by workers in different locations, that their ecosystem is safeguarded.
As we evolve into the new working climate, the term ‘remote working’ will become extinct and the use of VDI will play a key role in eliminating risks associated with employees working in multiple locations.
Coming to terms with the internet as a finite resource
As it stands, local VPN technology combined with business servers is limiting, with a capacity hold of only 10% to 20% of employee activity. That is no longer fit for purpose as traffic overload hits a new high with significant demand from remote users across any business’ workforce.
In order to take this barrier to task, edge computing complemented by VDI reduces any over-reliance on the internet for efficient network connectivity.
Both hybrid and multicloud environments are compatible for edge computing by virtue of the way they integrate with a company’s entire network infrastructure.
It signals a greater move towards reliability and resilience for businesses adapting in the current climate to ensure there isn’t intensified reliance on the internet alone, hindering productivity.
Why centralised edge capabilities are a must
The rapidly evolving nature of the coronavirus pandemic has made it all the more challenging for businesses to stay afloat. Now, adaptability has never been more crucial and more intelligent technological tools can be a life raft.
Cost is fast becoming king in the survival strategies of most businesses, meaning the need to reduce management and expenses of physical assets will become more frequent.
VDI and edge computing are especially effective in offering greater flexibility for companies to empower staff with more device management responsibilities. Staff will be better equipped to scale upgrades and test operation transitions in real-time rather than have to send their equipment in to be reviewed by IT professionals.
A truly transformational asset for the remote future of work to operate more effectively is a centralised, distributed edge capability.
The edge is unified on a network interconnection platform, enabling all distributed clouds to be adjusted as and when needed no matter where or when by individuals with secure access.
The integration of an edge strategy combined with a VDI farm offers a connectivity model unrivalled to take businesses through this period and beyond.
A chance for a brighter future
The evolution of the workplace model under the new norm requires greater sophistication and efficiency in the way company devices are managed. The adoption of edge computing is a major step in that direction for companies looking to not only survive, but thrive as the economy rebuilds itself.
An Edge Network Interconnected Platform (ENIP) is the solution that will allow companies to construct their edge from the inside out, tailored to their internal needs, with a robust security infrastructure. Edge computing will be the game changer for many businesses with a vision to overcome this hurdle and give their workforce extra leverage to succeed.
Justin Day is the CEO of Cloud Gateway, which offers a secure hybrid cloud and multicloud connectivity platform that gives businesses more agility and visibility of their entire network.