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Edge computing

Topics Covered:

  1. Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.


Edge computing


What to study?

For Prelims and mains: Meaning, features, significance and concerns.


Context: According to a research, By 2025, companies will generate and process more than 75% of their data outside of traditional centralised data centres — that is, at the “edge” of the cloud.

As the use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices expands and the need to process IoT data quickly increases, many IT leaders are considering or beginning to employ edge computing options.


What is edge computing?

Edge computing enables data to be analysed, processed, and transferred at the edge of a network. Meaning , the data is analysed locally, closer to where it is stored, in real-time without latency, rather than send it far away to a centralised data centre.

It allows for quicker data processing and content delivery.


How is edge computing different from cloud computing?

The basic difference between edge computing and cloud computing lies in where the data processing takes place.

Internet of Things (IoT) systems perform all of their computations in the cloud using data centres.

In Edge computing, massive amounts of data generated by IoT devices are stored and processed locally. That data doesn’t need to be sent over a network as soon as it processed; only important data is sent — therefore, an edge computing network reduces the amount of data that travels over the network.



According to experts, edge computing introduces several new security risks.

  1. One of the most prominent concerns is the physical security of the devices, which are more vulnerable to malicious attacks and mishaps of all kinds than typical office equipment and technology safely held within corporate walls.
  2. Micro data centers, such as those being deployed by telecommunication companies — in some cases, at the base of cell towers — introduce a level of physical vulnerability that didn’t exist with corporate data centers and large cloud providers.
  3. Meanwhile, many organizations will be challenged to understand, track and monitor what data they have and where, what protections are required at the various points based on the data and vulnerabilities specific to each endpoint and how to govern what could soon be a sprawling infrastructure at many companies.



Edge computing may offer some protection against a catastrophic attack where a single incident can compromise large amounts of a company’s data.

In some ways, it’s more resilient, because instead of one or two or even three data centers, you have distributed data and compute on the edge, which makes it much more resilient to malicious and nonmalicious events. 

Way ahead:

Experts believe the true potential of edge computing will become apparent when 5G networks go mainstream in a year from now. Users will be able to enjoy consistent connectivity without even realising it.


Sources: Indian Express.