Greg Hatfield
Greg Hatfield Executive Business Unit Head: SDN

Edge computing is a way to reduce the flow of traffic from edge devices and allows it to be processed closer to where it was created instead of sending it across long routes to data centres or clouds.

This allows organisations to process the data in real time. These devices will process large amounts of data, so it makes sense that it should be processed locally, reducing the backhaul traffic.

The concept of SDN-Edge computing interaction

Edge computing aims to bring services closer to end users. To accomplish this, some might bring in computational infrastructure closer to the user, but it will not magically solve all technical challenges. Software-defined networking (SDN) can serve as an enabler to lower the complexity barriers involved and allow the real potential of edge computing to be achieved.

SDN's technology facilitates centralised network management and enables programmatically efficient network configuration to improve network performance and monitoring. A centralised controller allows for optimal decision-making for each unit in the system as a whole. With a dedicated control channel, high-level policies can be assigned to low-level configuration instructions to give the system fine-grained control. Costs are also optimised in an edge computing architecture as devices are fairly simple since the intelligence is in the application.

In theory, when one combines SDN architecture and edge computing in a single network, it will provide an improved quality of experience for end users with better resource-pooling of economics and agile network management.

Furthermore, a solution is required that hides internal complications from the users. SDN’s network programming capabilities can perfectly orchestrate the network by hiding the complexities of this heterogeneous environment from end users.

Enjoy simplification

The control mechanism found in SDN can lower the complexity of edge computing architectures. It will bring forth a novel approach to networking and use the available resources more efficiently. In a system that incorporates edge servers into the traditional cloud data centre, the traffic originated at the edge can be routed to the tier and server to provide the highest quality service to the user by using the available SDN mechanisms. SDN simplifies network management even for complex networks by offering plug-and-play device setup and deployment.

When combining these features and advances, we see that a multi-tier edge computing infrastructure that is managed by SDN has significant potential for mitigating the barriers and restrictions encountered on edge devices. It can meet QoS requirements such as performance and delay and improve user satisfaction.

Release SDN’s potential in your enterprise. Download our SD-WAN buying guide for more information.

 

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