What Is Driving Edge Computing and Edge Performance Monitoring?
September 23, 2019

Keith Bromley
Ixia

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There is a fundamental shift currently happening in operational technology today — it's the shift from core computing to edge computing. This shift is being driven by a completely massive growth in data that has already started to take place. According to Cisco Systems, network traffic will reach 4.8 zettabytes (i.e. 4.8 billion terabytes) by 2022.

Businesses cannot continue as usual and still keep up with network performance, security threats, and business decisions. So, in response, network architects are starting to move as much of the core compute resources as they can to the edge of the network. This helps IT reduce costs, improve network performance and maintain a secure network.

However, is the shifting of resources to the edge the right approach?

It could have a negative impact to the network in terms of new security holes, performance issues due to remote equipment, and reduced network visibility.

At the same time, if the network changes are done right, the pendulum could swing to the other side and great there could be great improvements to network security, performance, visibility that take place.

The answer comes down to the deployment of the new architecture. The pivotal tactic is to deploy a visibility architecture that can support the application services and monitoring functions needed. You need network visibility more than ever to: access the data you need, filter it properly, inspect for security threats, and manage SLAs to keep the latency low from the core to the edge.

Two key components are necessary to a successful visibility in this situation — a network packet broker (NPB) and SD-WAN. The NPB provides data aggregation and filtering, application filtering, and performance monitoring all the way to edge devices. SD-WAN services can (and probably should) then be layered on top of the IP-based links to guarantee link performance, as Internet-based services can introduce unacceptable levels of latency and packet loss into the network.

Edge computing deployments have already started to begin. According to a report from Gartner Research, by year-end of 2021, more than 50% of large enterprises will deploy at least one edge computing use case to support IoT or immersive experiences, versus the less than 5% that are currently performing this in 2019.

When it comes down to it, while the promise of edge computing is real, the actual deployment scenario (and whether or not you build network visibility into your network) is what is going to make or break the performance of your new architecture.

Keith Bromley is Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing at Ixia Solutions Group, a Keysight Technologies business
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