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Real Time Data Movement

Real Time Data Movement
What’s required to drive edge computing capabilities further?

Top Answer: The opportunities to leverage edge — for new services, saving lives and differentiating with customers — continue to expand in number, but the market can still use help in how it develops and expands. Arguments about market ownership will continue regarding hyperscalers versus others, versus a mix. I hope we have a new set of players to add options to what the hyperscalers bring to the table. The developer experience will be a big part of who wins, which is often the case these days.

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What developments lie ahead for edge computing?

Top Answer: One thing I’m seeing that’s different is that edge doesn’t always mean nanoVMs, containers or Functions-as-a-Service (FaaS or Serverless). Deploying at the edge will often mean the use of technologies that allow for small footprint and efficient use applications; however, the opportunities are too numerous to wait for every application to be rebuilt as microservices. For some time to come we will see things like VMs at the edge, similar to mainframes and on-premises IT in private data centers. 

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Has there been a general standard for edge infrastructure established?

Top Answer: There isn’t one flavor of edge infrastructure today and there likely won’t be just one in the future. The battle for the edge is far from over; the options for how and where to deploy technology solutions for edge are still being explored. But time to value, cost effectiveness and agility will continue to rule for decision makers. The trick is in challenging assumptions on operational management and solution cost. Those who crack the nut on delivering edge without charging a premium for location and overhead will win the day. 

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Has edge computing arrived?

Top Answer: Just because you don’t recognize it doesn’t mean that Edge hasn’t arrived. Those of us in the data center or infrastructure space often look for Edge to show up like the Kardashian’s entourage — something you couldn’t miss. In the consumer space, folks expect edge to announce itself when they use technology, as if they might hear, “thank you for using this facility, which was enabled via an edge solution.” Edge has already arrived in critical ways, we just don’t recognize it as such. One of the problems for infrastructure geeks like me is that without some huge killer app, which by itself requires hundreds of new data centers distributed globally, edge seems to not be happening.  Edge is more likely to be dozens to hundreds of locations with 1 to 10 servers. If 1,000 ants attacked you individually over the course of several days, you probably wouldn’t think “Oh my god, they’re taking over the world.” But if 1,000 ants all attacked you at the same time you would notice. Edge deployments are more like the ants attacking one to three at a time. Instances are being deployed for thousands of different use cases in thousands of individual locations, but they arrive by individual UPS delivery, not via a train or even a semi-trailer truck.

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Which method do you prefer for data storage?

Top Answer: It depends what type of data? SSD is a good option for production data. Other options would be a better choice for backup data and archives.

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Will there ever be one “killer app” for Edge?

Top Answer: Most folks have been, or are still looking for the killer app for Edge. From the early days of Edge, I’ve said that there are killer verticals, but there is unlikely to be a killer app. A killer vertical is something like manufacturing or healthcare; whereas a killer app would be something like a Fitbit or shop floor automation. A killer app is characterized by the assumption that it will, by itself, drive or fund technology deployment at the edge. On the other hand, killer verticals are real and there are many, from blockchain to bulldozers, and from data sovereignty to data analytics with AI. Several leading industry firms including Gartner have indicated that this is the year that enterprise investment in Edge will take off and I agree. In fact, Gartner says enterprises will increase their investments in Edge this year by 76% on average, from $262K to $462K.

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What’s the most challenging part of business intelligence (BI) or data warehouse implementation?

Top Answer: The most challenging part is that every user wants everything immediately. Every technology in today's world has to be data-driven, so the biggest challenge we’ve had to solve is real-time data availability. When we were thinking about how to make this possible, we did not want to invest because real-time data involves a lot of information exchange between the source and the target system. If something fails, then you have to put in a lot of manual effort to correct that information. Then whatever productive work you had planned for that day goes out the window, because business as usual (BAU) becomes more important. So defining the architecture and the kind of KPIs that you’ll need at the starting point is essential. If those aspects are not taken care of well, we’ll have to do a lot of reworking. We cannot go to the source over and over again, because our production systems are built for transactions, not for analysis and reporting; the data warehousing systems are built for that. If we have not done the base architecturing work correctly, it will require a lot of maintenance. To solve this issue, we have invested in change data capture (CDC) tools that help us move the data on a real-time basis. We have also automated many things, which helps reduce the manual effort needed.

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