Organisations that embrace intelligent edge gain a critical advantage in driving growth and profitability. But becoming an intelligence-driven organisation requires an advanced level of technical maturity and agility, as well as advanced network solutions that enable businesses to be more responsive in a fast-moving world.
Edge computing is done onsite or near a particular data source. By minimising the need for data to be processed in a remote data centre it offers businesses a faster, more efficient way to process data.
This reduces response times, bandwidth needs and security risks, moving data across a WAN through the corporate LAN, where the data is stored and worked on by an enterprise application. Because IoT data is gathered and processed at the edge, rather than being sent back to a datacentre or cloud, IoT and edge computing provide a powerful way to rapidly analyse data in real-time.
In the manufacturing environment, for example, companies benefit from edge computing by keeping a closer eye on their operations. Edge computing enables them to closely monitor equipment and production lines for efficiency and detect failures before they happen, helping avoid costly delays due to downtime.
The business challenge
With the number of edge devices already in the tens of billions and growing rapidly, the need for pervasive and fast bandwidth is obvious, as are wireless standards built to support large numbers of devices with different kinds of network requirements. Coupled with the requirements of hybrid workplace models which call for long-term adoption of remote work, this places new demands on IT.
Traditional networks were not designed for data growth, connected devices, and edge computing. Each device that connects to a network brings the challenge of how to secure, provision, and manage it. This raises questions of privacy, regulations, bandwidth, and transfer protocols. When you have thousands of devices connecting to each other and to broader systems like the cloud, things can become very complex.
To handle large quantities of devices – from IoT sensors to PCs, printers, phones and more – your networks need to be able to handle multiple users and huge amounts of data in a secure environment.
The structure of modern networks
We have turned to products like Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform) to enable our partners and their customer organisations to accelerate digital transformation. The product is a future-proof, hyper-aware network that combines IT and IoT on a single platform. With a cloud-native architecture, it enables businesses to accelerate digital transformation through automated network management, edge-to-cloud security, and predictive AI-powered insights.
Aruba ESP helps companies improve their agility, lower risk, increase revenue, add mobility, and increase productivity by providing context, visibility, and control over all domains through a uniform console for Wi-Fi, wired, and WAN infrastructure. The platform simplifies and improves IT operations, easily extending the on-campus experience to small offices, home offices, and ad-hoc locations.
From a security perspective, the platform increases protection levels, providing a built-in foundation for zero trust and secure access service edge (SASE) frameworks that connect to cloud native security technologies.
AI-driven operations and support
Wi-Fi 6, the latest generation, includes improvements that make it better suited to large edge deployments than earlier generations of Wi-Fi that serve computers, as well as large numbers of devices like cameras, sensors, robots, and smart buildings. Wi-Fi 6 and 5G have been designed to work together in many ways to optimise performance and user experience at the edge.
But good Wi-Fi starts with good wireless LAN design. Solutions like Juniper’s Mist AI uses a combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science techniques to optimise user experiences and simplify operations across the wireless access, wired access, and SD-WAN domains.
Junipers Mist AI is another good example of modern network design because it uses AI to provide organisations with proactive notifications, automated workflows, AI-driven insight and streamlined help-desk processes. Mist delivers wireless LAN, wired LAN, and SD-WAN experiences with scale, agility, resilience and performance.
The time is right for organisations of all sizes to evaluate their networks and find the right partners that can most effectively support an intelligent edge implementation.
Start by determining which aspects of your business would benefit from lower latency, lower network transit, and greater bandwidth availability, and consider how your networks can be modernised to provide the level of connectivity required to implement the intelligent edge – it is and will continue to be an integral part of digital transformation.