What is an Edge Device?
An edge device is an endpoint on the network, the interface between the data center and the real world. Edge devices collect or communicate information. They run the gamut from simple sensors to complex industrial systems. They are scanners and smartphones, medical devices and scientific instruments, autonomous vehicles and automated machines—every “thing” in the Internet of Things.
Why are edge devices needed?
There are already many times more edge devices on the planet than people, generating more than two-thirds of enterprise data—and growing. And as the number of edge devices and the volume of data they generate continue to multiply, it becomes progressively more difficult, even impossible, to control those devices and process that information from the data center, or even in the cloud. Intelligent edge devices capable of analyzing and using data when and where they generate it are critical to the future of distributed computing.
What does an edge device do?
Edge devices exist on the boundary between digital processes and the physical environment. They accept instructions from end-users and return information. They monitor and control machinery. They record measurable phenomena and convert it to usable data. And as devices grow more sophisticated, they are increasingly able to process and apply data at the edge, avoiding latency and bandwidth limitations.
What’s the difference between an edge and non-edge device?
Beyond the air-conditioned confines of the data center are devices on the edge and the infrastructure that connects them, including the edge routers and small data rooms that serve as waypoints for the Internet of Things. Edge devices are the outward face of the enterprise network, the threshold at which the physical world becomes digitized. The edge is where people, places, things, and data intersect. Even with the emergence of the intelligent edge, edge devices gather more information than they use. The flow of data from the edge is largely one-way; edge devices send far more information to the data center than they receive from it.
By comparison, non-edge devices are primarily concerned with the data center and the cloud. They are the nerve center of the enterprise network, where information is assembled, processed, and analyzed; where connections are made, conclusions are drawn, and value is created. Every edge device experiences its own tiny piece of the overall puzzle—enough to fulfill its purpose, to identify relevant details and relay them to the data center, where non-edge devices put the pieces together into the big picture.
HPE and edge devices
HPE considers all network infrastructure outside the data center to be on the edge, and the edge gets more diverse and complicated every day. Managing the volume and variety of edge devices and the data they generate calls for specialized expertise and experience, and HPE GreenLake has the resources and proven results you need to succeed on the edge.
HPE GreenLake for AI, ML, and analytics helps organizations in virtually every industry leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to extract business value and actionable insights from the incredible volume of data created at the edge of their enterprise network.
HPE GreenLake for business applications offers a suite of services to enhance the performance, efficiency, and security of enterprise information systems from edge to cloud, with the ability to scale up as network infrastructure expands and operations move outward from the data center to the edge.
HPE GreenLake for Big Data helps businesses make effective use of the massive volume of information flowing from edge devices, turning that data into practical insights and valuable business intelligence. By properly leveraging Big Data, companies can speed up time-to-market and reduce capital expenditures.