11 Nov 2022
by Anthony Kesterton

Hybrid cloud sets businesses on the path to the cloud edge (Guest blog by RedHat)

Author: Anthony Kesterton, Principal Solution Architect, Red Hat

According to Gartner, by 2025, 75% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside of a traditional centralised data centre or cloud. Most of this comes down to the rise of data-intensive and time-sensitive workflows, such as machine learning. With low latency being a must for these workflows, edge solutions that put computer and storage power close to where it’s generated and needed have exploded in demand.

Organisations that already have a hybrid cloud strategy in place are in a prime position to start moving towards the edge. Their architecture can provide them with the flexibility to choose the best third-party resources to support their edge deployments. And best of all, a hybrid cloud is a fantastic environment to integrate edge capabilities - thus developing a “cloud edge”.

Reaching the edge

The first industries moving towards an edge strategy are the manufacturing, automotive, retail, and healthcare industries. This is because these businesses, with their physical supply chains and production lines employing thousands of sensors and connected devices, benefit most from the ability to deliver applications or services with the lowest latency possible. They’re also most likely to save money in aggregate by having data processed locally, reducing the amount of data that needs to be sent to a centralised or cloud-based location.

The edge is not a single, clearly defined location; rather, there are numerous edge tiers with unique characteristics and specifications. For example, edge locations vary in physical size, available power, cooling capabilities, and network connectivity. In general, as you move further out from your core datacenter, the latency in communication between edge and core locations increases. 

Edge deployments can be integrated into a business’s existing cloud infrastructure, delivering a so-called “cloud edge”. There are many advantages to adopting the cloud edge. For example, a cloud edge allows DevOps teams to automate the sharing of information between the edge deployment and the rest of the cloud, allowing for far more sophisticated and integrated workflows. A cloud edge also enables faster innovation, allowing DevOps teams to easily create new applications or update existing ones for the edge and deploy them via a centrally managed infrastructure.

For all these reasons, cloud edge will soon be a crucial component of every IT and cloud network, with obvious applications in heavy industry and transportation. But how exactly do we unite edge capabilities and cloud infrastructure into the cloud edge? The key is through the hybrid cloud.

"Cloud edge will soon be a crucial component of every IT network"

Enter the hybrid cloud

Hybrid cloud is a cloud architecture that brings together at least two computing environments that exchange data to operate a uniform series of applications. Within the hybrid cloud environment, businesses can delegate actions to each computing environment. The hybrid cloud model gives teams the exposure to merge different environments, which is beneficial when transitioning to incorporate edge computing as edge can be added to the hybrid cloud as a discrete cloud.

The path to cloud edge is set for businesses with a hybrid cloud strategy. The open framework enables businesses to select the right partners from across the cloud and edge computing ecosystem that suit their technical and business requirements, so that they can ensure a unified approach when building a cloud edge firmly rooted in their own enterprise IT and cloud infrastructure.

Edging into the future

Cloud edge is the future. The majority of use cases for cloud edge now focus on IoT solutions, but cloud edge also has the potential to advance trading, VR applications, media and entertainment, and cloud gaming. With a brand-new platform and environment at their disposal, developers may create innovative apps and services based on flexible and dynamic architecture. 

Hybrid cloud is shaking up how we think about the entirety of an enterprise’s IT infrastructure, and when it comes to the edge it’s no different. An integrated cloud edge infrastructure, powered by hybrid cloud, enables enterprises to fully leverage the benefits of the edge with maximum convenience.

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Chris Hazell

Chris Hazell

Programme Manager - Cloud, Tech and Innovation, techUK

Sue Daley

Sue Daley

Director, Technology and Innovation

Authors

Anthony Kesterton

Anthony Kesterton

Principal Solution Architect, Red Hat