In today’s technology landscape, Edge Computing is increasingly taking center stage as a technology that places data processing “at the edge”, i.e., closer to the end user. According to a recent Markets and Markets report, the global Edge Computing market is expected to grow from €3 billion in 2020 to €14 billion by 2025. Furthermore, Gartner forecasts that, by the same year, 75% of enterprise data will be generated and processed on the Edge. Despite this, the technology is in a pilot state in many regions, with the United States at the forefront of its development.
This growth is fueled by several factors, including the demands for immediate response from applications such as streaming platforms and online gaming. As well as the recent irruption of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the advance of the Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0 and the evolution of autonomous vehicles, which have generated an unprecedented volume of data. All this has raised the development of Edge Computing systems also in the field of data centers.
Edge Computing distinguishes itself by being close to end users, eliminating the need for data to travel long distances. This proximity, combined with the synergy of 5G networks, which are gradually being deployed in Spain, promises a notable reduction in latency, essential for real-time applications spanning diverse industries.
Bandwidth efficiency is a crucial feature of edge computing, which is particularly beneficial in environments where resources are limited, such as rural areas. By processing and filtering data on-site, the amount of information that must be sent to centralized locations or to the cloud is reduced, which in turn lowers the associated costs.
The existing extensive network of data centers, now expanding regionally, manages a large amount of sensitive data that is generated domestically and must be processed in the same way. Edge processing reinforces this privacy and security by reducing the amount of data that needs to be transferred across the network, thus minimizing threat risks.
Edge computing, IoT and 5G networks generate large volumes of information that must be managed in an agile way to make decisions in real time. A clear example can be the autonomous car, which has to perform actions and make decisions immediately. With the use of Edge computing, data is analyzed closer to the original source and the response time is lower.
Distributing computing resources across the network reduces the risk of widespread failures. In contrast to traditional centralized architectures, where a failure at the central server or data center would affect the entire network, edge computing allows the network to continue to function independently if one node goes down.
The expansion of the data center network “at the edge” will enable large-scale deployment of solutions that were previously unthinkable. This is especially beneficial for sectors such as smart manufacturing or Industry 4.0, where on-site data collection and processing will improve process control, machinery monitoring and production chain optimization. Other sectors, such as healthcare, may benefit, because low latency will enable remote robotic surgeries, faster genetic analysis, and more effective diagnostics.
Edge Computing, although still underdeveloped in Spain, aims to redefine the way we process and use data, and thanks to the extensive fiber optic network in our country, we would be in a strategic position to meet this increased demand. Data centers at the Edge would allow us to improve the user experience, with virtually non-existent latency, which would facilitate communication between systems immediately, as well as the transfer of large data packets thanks to 5G technology. In short, operating in locations closer to the user, thus ensuring higher quality. It only remains to wait for the evolution of the sector and the technology linked to it to verify the feasibility of this technology and its application in a real environment.