What is Network Edge?
Network edge refers to the area where a device or a local network interacts with the Internet. The edge is close to the devices you are connected to and is the entry point to the network. The network edge is an important security frontier that network administrators must provide solutions for.
Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and computer infrastructure benefit from being as close to the data source as possible as, this enhances productivity which in turn facilitates more efficient and effective operation. The cyber security threat to devices on the borders of an interconnected network is growing as cybercriminals devise new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in unsecured emerging networks, applications, and devices.
Edge Networking Features
- Flexible application deployment with minimal or no downtime
- Enhanced analytics for data and traffic processing
- Strong API support for local and remote service integration
- Support for a range of heterogeneous IoT devices
- Dual digital synchronization and support between device, edge and cloud
What is Edge computing and how is it different from the Network Edge?
Edge computing involves the processing data in real time near the data source. This differs from the network edge in that while it can be a component of the edge, it does not include other devices used to transmit data from the outer edge toward the kernel.
However, with edge computing, you can enjoy improved response times and cost savings. The edge computing device, because it is closer to the data source, makes for faster transfers. It may also reduce expenses related to setting up and maintaining basic hardware because much of the computational workload is handled by the edge computing device.
An edge device is a device that serves as the entry point to an organization’s or service provider’s backbone network. They include routers, switches, wide area networks (WANs), firewalls, and integrated access devices (IADs).
The router transmits data packets between two different networks. This traffic includes website content as well as communications such as video chat, email, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) transmissions. Routers route Internet traffic, sending it from one point to another, allowing different end devices to communicate with each other.
A network switch connects devices within a computer network through packet switching, which receives data and then forwards it to the device for which it is intended. The adapter allows peripheral devices to interact and share resources without using the underlying hardware.
Wide area network
A WAN is made up of Local Area Networks (LANs) that communicate with each other. In this way, the WAN edge connects the edges of local networks. For example, an organization can connect three offices, each to its own LAN, using a WAN or Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN).
The firewall controls data is allowed to enter and exit the network infrastructure according to predefined rules. Firewalls scan data packets, look for anything suspicious, and then get rid of any packets that contain potential threats. Firewalls are an essential line of defense at the edge of the network, preventing threats from entering or exiting.
Integrated access device
IAD converts different types of data entry and converts them to a common format. For example, IAD is used to convert analog and digital telephone signals into one common digital signal. IADs help simplify the communications and enable more efficient transmissions at the edge.
Benefits of network edge computing
The most important benefit of edge networks is improved speed and response time. Modern users demand fast connectivity from organizations serving the web, and milliseconds make a difference. Processing data at the network edge reduces latency and traffic loads to the network core.
Building and using advanced networks provides cost savings through faster content delivery, greater control over network traffic, and reduced bandwidth usage. Although planning, implementation, and maintenance can be costly, edge networking helps remove other costly burdens from the network core and improve server optimization.
Edge networks present risks with their myriad entry points, but they also provide a layer of security for the network core. Due to reduced traffic over shorter distances, threat actors cannot access sensitive information at a single breach. With a less defined network perimeter, zero-trust principles such as strict access control are essential.
The proliferation of sophisticated networks will create a global spider web of micro-data centers that provide more connectivity and bandwidth to remote areas. When edge networks can process and store data locally, this also maintains connectivity – even with minor disruptions to the underlying network or cloud source.
Sophisticated networks are usually not built from scratch. Many telecommunications and enterprise organizations already have the distributed physical presence to deploy edge servers or provision existing hardware. Once in place, edge servers provide a distributed framework that organizations can reuse, rent, and develop for further growth.
The future of IoT devices requires advanced networks
Enhanced connectivity means that consumers and organizations alike will continue to seek uses for IoT devices. From smartphones to critical industrial machines, Gartner predicts that IoT devices will jump from 8 billion in 2020 to more than 15 billion by 2029.
Sophisticated networking is essential to controlling this flow. In an efficient and scalable manner, edge computing networks provide end users with faster and more reliable digital services. For organizations, managing their content delivery needs using existing infrastructure is not sustainable. The next wave of IoT devices will require the deployment of a new enterprise infrastructure and management that balances the core and edge relationship.