Thought Leadership and Insight from Cara Mascini

For this edition of Edge Talks, we spoke to Cara Mascini – CEO & founder of EdgeInfra

1. We have heard the term Edge Computing often used. But what exactly is it?

To talk about edge computing or edge infrastructure one first needs define what is meant with Edge itself. Literally speaking the edge is the corner, the border of whatever it is on, in this case computing or networking infrastructure. It is where the user, device or thing interacts with the infrastructure. In interaction there is always two sides, in this case the user or device/thing side and the infrastructure side of edge. Basically it is about the physical location where the computation or processing will take place, namely at the edge of the infrastructure or at the user side, it is not a style of computing like cloud computing is.

2. How will edge computing change the IT industry?

As edge computing is not so much a style of computing, like cloud is, but more a topology or architectural definition within the infrastructure, cloud and edge computing actually complement each other very well. Due to economies of scale cloud, which is ubiquitously available, actually ‘lives’ quite centralized in hyper scale datacentres. With the edge developments cloud computing will extend more and more to the edge of the infrastructure, closer to the user and things it services and bring a much more distributed, decentralized, robust and localized infrastructure. Also a smarter, automated, thus more secure, efficient and flexible infrastructure. Keeping everything that does not need to be centrally stored, processed or exchanged at the edge, thereby increasing customer experience, reduce latency and increase performance, while at the same time the volumes and applications in our increasingly digital lives increase manifold.

3. How do you see the advent of edge data centres impacting hosting infrastructure?

They are both serving different needs. The traditional hosting infrastructure is not aimed at servicing ultra low-latency, life critical, distributed and localized applications like digital health or autonomous cars. Nor are they as widely dispersed, automated and standardized as is needed for the flexible and efficient edge infrastructure. Edge datacenters will be aimed at much smaller but high-end instances and workloads, some of the current hosting infrastructure players may be part of that but others will support more centralized needs.

4. How do you think the Edge will impact the everyday citizen?

The advance of the digital lives of the everyday citizen will depend on the edge infrastructure developments. The Edge is necessary so many new digital initiatives, be it in health, industry, self driving cars, augmented reality, smart farming or cities and the like can grow to their full potential.

Cara Mascini will be at Edge Europe in Amsterdam on 31 January. Meet them there!