Cloud Computing is about a large scale data center run by a third party collecting and processing data, whereas Edge Computing is about a device near an action taking place collecting and processing data. Simply compared, it is the difference between centralization and decentralization of political power in the world of computer networks.
On the earth, centralization of political power has been progressed as time passes. In the computer world, an era when computers are isolated and standalone, to an era when computers are connected in network, and eventually to an era when numerous computers are connected over the Internet. Business organizations come to understand that the cost of maintaining its own computer network is too high and it requires significant resources to manage it. Thus many organizations have outsourced the work to Cloud Computing vendors who own data centers to securely store the organizations’ data, which is essential part of Cloud Computing.
However, just as the centralization of political power is not necessarily good for people, there are some shortfalls occurring when more and more computing is done on the Cloud.
The primary disadvantages of Cloud Computing are as follow.
- It takes some time to communicate a result of computing over network to a user. Especially, when there is an failure in communication network, data are not even processed.
- When there are too many requests to process data centrally, it takes time to process multiple requests.
- There is some cost using communication network itself.
- In the middle of communication, data may be leaked.
The advantages of Edge Computing are opposite to the above.
- When it is not using communication, it processes data in real time.
- Data coming into various devices are processed by each device, thus the workload is distributed among devices the burden on each device is smaller.
- The cost of communication is reduced compared with Cloud Computing.
- The less the frequency of communication, the less likely data are leaked. Even when data are leaked, affected data are limited to the device in question, the damage is limited to the device.
In reality, we can benefit from Cloud Computing and Edge Computing are mixed in an optimal manner, which will result in easier use of system, faster responses, and lower costs.