What is Edge Computing?

Edge Computing would be a distributed computing model in which data processing takes place as close as possible to where the data is requested.

At the level of IT architecture, the solution derives from Edge Computing, which focuses its attention on the edges of the network, exploiting the computational power of peripheral devices, located in close proximity to operations.

The growing popularity of Edge Computing derives from the configuration of the reference architecture of IoT (Internet of Things) systems, based on interconnected devices capable of acquiring and processing in time real data of the environment in which they are contextualized. Just think of the industrial systems of the 4.0 factory (IIoT – Industrial Internet of Things), rather than the smart home applications, with which we often unknowingly co-exist inside our homes.

The computer devices that Edge Computing configures as terminals at the edge of the network are increasingly widespread and cheap, and above all equipped with connectivity and computational power that is increasingly performing in carrying out an incredible variety of applications. The most common example is given by commonly used devices, with which we interact on a daily basis: Smartphones, video cameras, POS, and all are equipped with computing units and a chipset that ensures network connectivity.

The main functional concepts of Edge Computing:

An IoT system, based on an Edge Computing architecture, sees the presence of a series of interconnected devices, equipped with a computational unit, to acquire and pre-process the data detected by the sensors in real-time, in conditions of low latency, before communicating them to local or cloud data centers, where the most demanding operations take place, such as analysis with artificial intelligence techniques. The functions performed at the edge of the network, such as edge analytics, make it possible to ensure a high level of operations in a resilient context.

If the ideal condition involves a wired network (e.g. ethernet), due to its speed, stability, and wiring an entire system can be very expensive and complex to configure, especially when compared with the great flexibility of wireless networks, which allow modifying the layout of the devices of a system without necessarily having to redefine or expand the complex apparatus of physical wiring.

The advantages of IT architecture based Edge Computing:


 Compared to a centralized logic, the Edge architecture concentrates its operations on the network terminals, making any implementation more agile and scalable. In the event of greater demand for performance or an expansion of the system, it will be sufficient to integrate a greater number of local or terminal data centers, possibly delegating the most demanding operations to the most powerful data centers in the cloud, without therefore affecting the latency conditions.


The availability of growing computational power at the level of local data centers and interconnected terminals ensures reliable and efficient solutions even in contexts, such as that of mobility, which would otherwise be heavily conditioned in implementing real-time applications.


The remarkable articulation of an Edge architecture makes it possible to isolate the various areas, limiting the incidence of a threat that could affect a network node, rather than an access gateway, as well as a connected terminal. Security is configured above all at a strategic level, identifying the optimal solutions for using the data present on the network, for example avoiding storing the most sensitive contents in the regions most exposed to the risk of malicious attacks.

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