Analysis of Edge Computing | New Infrastructure is Coming! How does 5G edge computing show its vitality? “New infrastructure” is a hot word recently, so what exactly is new infrastructure? Where is the closely related 5G going? What opportunities does this bring to edge computing? What is the ecological industry chain of edge computing What are its typical characteristics and economic benefits? This article will bring everyone to share.

What is the new infrastructure?

Recently, the National Development and Reform Commission officially clarified the scope of “new infrastructure” for the first time, including information infrastructure, integrated infrastructure, and innovation infrastructure.

Among them, information infrastructure mainly refers to infrastructure based on the evolution of new generation information technology, such as communication network infrastructure represented by 5G, Internet of Things, industrial Internet, satellite Internet, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, blockchain, etc.

The new technology infrastructure represented by the new technology infrastructure, and the computing power infrastructure represented by the data center and the intelligent computing center; the converged infrastructure mainly refers to the in-depth application of the Internet, big data, artificial intelligence and other technologies to support the transformation and upgrading of traditional infrastructure.

We have the Converged infrastructure, such as intelligent transportation infrastructure, smart energy infrastructure, etc.; innovation infrastructure mainly refers to infrastructure with public welfare attributes that supports scientific research, technology development, and product development, such as major technology infrastructure, science and education Infrastructure, industrial technology innovation infrastructure, etc.

It can be seen that the “new infrastructure” is based on 5G, cloud computing, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and other new generation information technologies, and based on the investment in the construction of new infrastructure, it promotes a comprehensive transformation towards the digital economy, and then contributes to the livelihood of society, people, industry Inject new vitality into all aspects such as technology and technology.

5G applications are inseparable from edge computing.

As an important part of the “new infrastructure” communication network infrastructure, the commercialization of 5G will inevitably be accelerated. With the help of an efficient 5G network, the seamless connection foundation of the intelligent connection of all things can be guaranteed.

5G includes three core application scenarios, eMBB enhanced mobile broadband, URLLC ultra-high reliability and ultra-low latency communication, and mMTC massively connected to the Internet of Things. They bring not only a smooth connection experience, but also a huge amount of application connection and data volume, which brings huge challenges to the delay, bandwidth, and security of the existing network architecture.

5G applications are inseparable from edge computing.
5G applications are inseparable from edge computing.

When the amount of data will become larger and larger, it is assumed that these data are formed and accumulated in the terminal, transmitted to the cloud for data processing, and then returned to the terminal to guide the business. This series of actions will generate an ultra-high demand for network bandwidth of hundreds of Gbps per second.

Not only will there be delays, but also many problems such as weak network stalls and low connection success rates will be faced. The terminal experience cannot be guaranteed. At the same time, the large bandwidth puts huge transmission pressure on the backhaul network and business center, and will also face huge bandwidth costs. This means that the centralized data storage and processing model will face difficult bottlenecks and pressures.

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In order to meet the needs of ultra-low latency business scenarios with massive data, a large number of small-scale data centers deployed on the edge of the network will appear in the 5G communication network to respond to the localized processing of terminal requests.

The value of edge computing has become increasingly prominent. Only by relying on the “cloud + edge + terminal” three-body collaborative processing model can we better respond. Therefore, edge computing is the core technology to accelerate the implementation of 5G, and it is also the technical assistance that embodies the core value of 5G networks, and provides a computing power foundation for building a world of intelligent connection of all things.

Edge computing can reduce the occupancy of the core network by mass data transmission and the pressure on the origin site through the local offload of high-bandwidth services, and improve the utilization rate of the communication service provider’s network and the reliability of the business origin site.

At the same time, through the sinking of computing power, data processing and analysis can be terminated at the edge of the network, avoiding delay loss, and more effectively supporting delay-sensitive services.

The industry has these kinds of understandings of edge computing.

At present, the industry has many understandings and definitions of edge computing.

ISO/IEC JTC1/SC38 defines edge computing as “a form of distributed computing that places the main processing and data storage at the edge of the network.” The Edge Computing Industry Alliance defines edge computing as “on the edge of the network close to the source of things or data, an open platform that integrates the core capabilities of network, computing, storage, and applications, provides edge intelligent services nearby, and satisfies the needs of industry Key requirements for business, data optimization, application intelligence, security and privacy protection.”

The definition given by the International Standards Organization ETSI is “providing IT service environments and computing capabilities at the edge of the mobile network, emphasizing proximity to mobile users to reduce network operation and service delivery delays and improve user experience”

With the gradual maturity and application of 5G technology, MEC (Multi-Access Edge Computing, also known as Mobile Edge Computing), as a key 5G technology, has become a hot spot for the industry’s upstream and downstream ecological partners. Application developers and content service providers provide the required cloud computing functions and IT service environment.

5G technology, MEC (Multi-Access Edge Computing, also known as Mobile Edge Computing
5G technology, MEC (Multi-Access Edge Computing, also known as Mobile Edge Computing

What are the core characteristics of edge computing?

Edge computing can provide services at the edge of the network closer to the terminal. It has many characteristics:

  • First, it has low-latency, high-speed data processing and analysis capabilities, and can process data closer to the source of the data, rather than external data Central or cloud processing can effectively reduce time delay.
  • Secondly, it has a lower cost. Through edge computing, the cost of data management solutions for enterprises on local devices will be significantly lower than those on the cloud and data center networks.
  • Third, it can help reduce the pressure on network traffic. Using edge computing only needs to upload a small amount of valid information to the cloud, so it will not occupy too much network bandwidth.
  • Finally, it can meet the requirements of local data storage and security processing. Since the data collection and calculation of edge computing are performed locally, sensitive information can be transmitted to the central cloud without the network, which can effectively avoid data leakage and security attacks during transmission.

In summary, edge computing is a new form of computing based on the core technology of cloud computing and built on edge infrastructure to provide flexible capabilities such as computing, network, storage, and security at the edge. The edge computing operating system is built on various edge infrastructure resources, using resource virtualization technology to abstract resources to form virtual resources, and perform unified management and basic security protection for various edge physical and virtual resources.

What are the economic benefits of edge computing?

In recent years, thanks to the rapid development of technology, the edge computing industry has received great attention from the industry and capital, and has stepped into the air. The research and development, construction, and promotion and application of its platform can bring considerable economic benefits to industries such as transportation, medical care, entertainment, and industrial Internet.

However, self-built nodes will still face many challenges, such as heavy assets, high costs, poor flexibility, Operation and maintenance are difficult, security and reliability tests, etc., so choose a cloud vendor with a complete technical system to quickly realize edge computing capabilities, and together with public clouds, fully support the “center + edge” business architecture requirements, and avoid self-built The problems in the process have become the choice of most companies.

The economic benefits of this model mainly include:

First, flexible deployment: one-stop edge computing services and agile delivery for various coverage scenarios. With an open operating environment, it can flexibly deploy various cloud services and applications, online remote management, and visual monitoring of operating indicators. And it is very convenient to complete the docking with the central cloud system, and deploy various applications flexibly according to business needs. At the same time, it supports multiple processor architectures. After adopting edge computing services, it can obtain the ability of “one-minute agile delivery”.

Second, reduce costs: buy on demand, pay on volume, realize the flexible expansion of the business, and save the cost of supply chain management, construction and capital investment required for self-built. After the introduction of edge computing, a large number of processing responses occur locally, the frequency of terminal access to the cloud will be reduced by more than 80%, and the cost of computing, storage, and networking can be saved by more than 30%.

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Third, security and stability: use cloud computing core technology to build a secure and stable edge computing core system. It has high security capabilities integrated with traditional cloud services, including DDoS cleaning and black hole protection capabilities, multi-tenant isolation, automatic detection and cleaning of abnormal traffic, and center-edge security control channels. Supports simultaneous isolated operation of multiple operating systems, with built-in information security protection functions.

Fourth, reduce time delay: The benefits of the shortening of the spatial distance not only shorten the transmission delay, but also reduce the delay of various routing and forwarding and network equipment processing in complex networks. As the probability of network link contention is greatly reduced, the overall delay can be significantly reduced, and real-time application scenarios with a response cycle of milliseconds are supported.

Imagination of typical industry applications of edge computing

At present, the application scenarios of edge computing can be divided into two categories: full network coverage and local coverage.

The core requirement of network-wide coverage applications is to ensure the nearby computing from the coverage of edge nodes at both the regional and operator network levels, such as CDN content distribution, interactive live broadcast and other services, or network chain based on enough nodes Road optimization, such as SDN/SD-WAN, online education interactive classroom, real-time audio and video communications, etc.

The core requirement of local coverage applications is the localization of edge nodes, that is, the access distance of edge nodes should be close enough (target <30 kilometers), and the delay is low enough (target <5ms) to support the cloud requirements of localized services , Such as industry, medical, new retail and other industries video data to the cloud, chain stores and other offline industry IT infrastructure to the cloud, etc. Such applications usually have large bandwidth requirements and best reflect the core advantages of edge computing delay and cost optimization.

With the development of artificial intelligence and big data, all walks of life are using cutting-edge technological means such as technological intelligence and big data analysis to improve the technological efficiency of industry applications and reduce the operation and maintenance costs of industrial digital systems.

For example, in industries such as digital machine tools and industrial control, AI capabilities and digital analysis capabilities can be deployed in industrial parks to achieve real-time industrial control intelligence in the edge local area. In crowded areas such as airports and stations, by deploying object recognition and video cloud capabilities on the edge, real-time processing and analysis of people and objects with characteristic values ​​on the edge can be achieved to meet real-time business needs.

Alibaba Cloud’s investment in the field of edge computing

Cloud service providers have sufficient cloud resources and rich application scenarios, and edge computing is an extension and supplement to cloud computing. Alibaba Cloud’s Edge Node Service (ENS) is based on IDC, operator edge nodes and network construction, and provides a one-stop distributed solution of “convergence, openness, linkage, and flexibility” to help users’ business sink to the edge of the operator, effectively Reduce calculation delay and cost.

At the same time, the Alibaba Cloud Link IoT Edge platform can be deployed in smart devices and end-side computing nodes of different magnitudes, connecting devices with different protocols and different data formats through defined object models, providing safety, reliability, low latency, low cost, and easy Extended local computing services. Alibaba Cloud’s edge computing solution covers heterogeneous infrastructure from cloud centers to IoT terminals, building an edge computing ecosystem service system that integrates “cloud edge and end”.

Edge computing can be unified with traditional cloud computing in terms of architecture, interface, management and other key capabilities to the greatest extent, and integrate edge devices to become part of the cloud. The relationship between edge computing and cloud computing is like the relationship between the human “brain” and the “nervous system”, which complement each other and are indispensable.

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In the future, in order to make our “physical world” more intelligent, we need to start our limbic nervous system from the “cloud” brain, move forward layer by layer, touch the end, and reach every corner of the “physical world”. Edge computing is to move forward layer by layer, deep into every computing scene.

Recently, Alibaba Cloud announced that it will invest another 200 billion in the next three years, which has blown the circle of friends. It is used to engage in new technology and new infrastructure, specifically including cloud operating system, server, chip, network and other major core technology research and development and future-oriented data center construction.

Looking at the present, a huge revolution in computing architecture is also coming. According to Gartner’s forecast, 40% of large enterprises will incorporate edge computing principles in their projects in 2021. By 2022, edge computing will become a necessary requirement for all digital services. The edge computing field, which gathers operators, equipment manufacturers and cloud services, is accelerating and developing rapidly from the initial stage to the milestone of application landing. I believe that in the near future, edge computing will bring more surprises to the society.