Edge computing refers to the opposite of the cloud. Instead of having a distant data center, the data is processed physically close to the devices that generate the data. This shortens response times (latency), which means accelerated functions, especially for applications that use real-time data. Decentralized data processing at the edge of the network is the main feature. Hence the name: edge, derived from the application area at the end of the data stream, where users actually consume the information.
That’s why edge computing relies on decentralized processing of data. Local data processing can also save cloud storage space and sensitive data remains on the company premises and does not end up in the cloud, which minimizes potential security vulnerabilities.
Designed as a necessary complement to the IoT (Internet of Things), edge computing can be used in many ways: from an IoT sensor on a plant to a smartphone to a microwave. Among other things, edge devices are also called edge gateways within the edge computing infrastructure.