Edgecon Blog – ‘The only people who know where the edge is are those who have gone over it’

Here at Zizo we were proud to have been invited to Europe’s first ever Edgecon in Monaco.  As one of the first European organisations to become a member of the Kinetic Edge Alliance (KEA), we are proud to be part of such a forward-thinking group (more on that later).

Following an amazing day of thought provoking and challenging sessions, I am going to explore some of the key areas covered during the event and why the edge will become so important for businesses in all industries.

What is ‘the edge’?

This was a worthy discussion in its own right, and something that will take some time to clear up.  However, I can highly recommend looking at the following report – State of the Edge, which outlines key areas to look at. A big thanks to others member of the KEA for pulling this together!

The edge for Zizo is what businesses are going to have to do to handle the volumes of data that they are creating (or will create) with the advent of IoT and interconnected devices. With an expectation of 20 billion more devices by 2021, and 75 Billion by 2050, centralised processing along our current networks will not be able to handle the requirements, even with the muchly anticipated 5G. We have to think about highly orchestrated micro devices that are capable of performing a variety of tasks in sub-optimal environments – hence the edge.

How far are we away from ‘the edge’?

One of the reasons Zizo has joined the KEA is to start to build an ecosystem of opportunity to explore what is needed. In order to make the edge work, there needs to be huge collaboration between hardware, software, infrastructure and networks – all working together at the same time to deliver something new.

An interesting area of discussion was around real-world use cases, beyond standard IoT – are there any? As always, the answer is yes, but no-one wants to talk about them… One of the key issues here is the same as we had with ‘Big Data’, in that return on investment is very hard to manage, and the barriers to entry are high. We will need more collaboration before we can see truly ground breaking developments at the edge.

What next for Zizo and the edge?

One of the big questions that came out from Edgecon was ‘what do we do with all of the data?’. Here at Zizo, we would question why it has to be sent back to the data centre at all, when in fact we could process the data for analytics at the edge. We are working with our friends at Vapor to have Zizo in their micro-data centres across Chicago, and demonstrate the power of multi-node, edge analytics.

We are also looking forward to working with the other members of the KEA to determine how we can work together to deliver the best edge we can; wherever and whatever it may be.

Watch this space but if you would like to more, please drop me a line here!


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