What is edge computing and how can it help my business?

By | 2 minute read | May 11, 2020

How we compute has substantially shifted over the years. One innovative method enables real-time action, improves user experience and reduces costs by putting compute power closer to the source of data. It’s called edge computing, and we’re only at the beginning of what it can do.

Edge computing is a distributed computing paradigm that moves compute and AI to the edge, where data is generated and action is taken. This allows faster insights and actions, better data security and control and more continuous operation.

IBM has designed infrastructure that is optimized for edge computing, including servers purpose-built for AI workloads that are both on the edge and near the edge. Paired with storage solutions that provide industry-leading performance and essentially unlimited scalability, businesses will have an edge platform that will enable them to do the most with their data.

Edge computing for manufacturing: A case study

IBM recently built an end-to-end edge solution for manufacturing. IBM Visual Insights is running on the IBM Power System AC922 for model training, IBM Cloud or on-premises applications for centralized control, IBM Edge Application Manager for deploying and managing the models, and NVIDIA Jetson TX2 for inferencing. IBM Cloud Object Store and IBM Elastic Storage System 3000 are used to provide a unified storage for data and models. For heavier workloads, the IBM Power System IC922 is ideal for inferencing compared to Jetson TX2.

With this solution, IBM was able to:

  • reduce inspection time from 10 minutes to less than one minute per product
  • reduce field issues
  • improve customer satisfaction
  • ensure large-scale model and edge device life-cycle management

Many businesses are already seeing the benefits of edge computing. Success stories include improving streaming video and producing high-resolution images from an assembly line. Such data has to be processed in real time, with machine learning at the edge or near edge.

How can edge computing benefit your industry?

IBM has taken the lead in edge computing, bringing high-performance computing and AI solutions to many different industries. IBM is particularly specialized in cases where a significant amount of workload is run in micro data centers or edge networks such as at airports, factories and large retail stores.

Many businesses are seeing the impact edge computing can have. It can improve production monitoring for manufacturing,  drive predictive maintenance and asset management for oil and gas, and even power autonomous vehicles. Cities looking to take advantage of technology to better serve its citizens can improve traffic control measures.

Edge computing can bring measurable benefits to business from the get-go and more opportunities will continue to emerge.  With 5G rolling out in many countries in 2020, edge computing will get an additional boost from 5G’s unmatched bandwidth, high speed and low latency; it will transmit a large amount of data at a high speed to and from hybrid multicloud and edge locations. The possibilities through edge computing and IBM will only continue to grow.

Click here to learn more about edge and IT infrastructure, or see what’s possible with edge computing in your industry.