For large enterprises it is hybrid model which is likely to work
Published on : Monday 08-11-2021
Sudhanshu Mittal, Head – CoE Gurugram & Director – Technical Solutions, NASSCOM Centre of Excellence – IoT & AI.
While Cloud computing is popular, what explains the rising popularity of edge computing?
There are multiple reasons behind the growth in popularity of edge computing:
1. For automation where low latency response is needed, it is not feasible to rely on the cloud, it is imperative to use Edge computing where latency and responsiveness can be controlled. In similar manner, when response can be critical to operation, it becomes difficult to rely on internet services where you can face the packet loss.
2. For cost controls – cloud service can become expensive very quickly with the growth in storage requirement. Corporates may want to move large data management services to the edge.
3. Security – sometimes corporates have security requirements whereby their data should not leave their premises. In those cases they will go for edge processing.
What are the unique advantages of Edge Computing vis-à-vis cloud models? Is cloud computing a status symbol?
Cloud computing cannot be called a status symbol by any stretch of imagination. For small businesses, it provides invaluable service where they can start the digital journey and scale as they grow, instead of putting upfront CAPEX investment and also investing in in-house resources to manage the deployments.
As stated above, the key advantages of edge computing are predictability of response, low latency and data security. These are the key reasons that corporate would go for Edge computing. However it is unlikely that anybody would go for purely Edge computing – mostly corporates would go for hybrid models where sensitive services would be within their own network and others would go to the cloud.
Does using cloud models of business eventually play into the hands of the giant corporations? How can companies protect against this monopoly?
A large corporation which has invested in building service capabilities, will always have an advantage and will try to extract maximum value from that. However once other corporates see the benefit, they will also jump into that segment. Same is true with cloud services – while Amazon, Google have first mover's advantage, others like IBM, Microsoft and Indian players like Zoho and others are entering the business and provide extremely good service at attractive price points.
Ultimately it will be upon the users to identify the right service, which meets their requirements instead of blindly running after one service. One of the challenges is that since users are comfortable with one major player, they are not willing to move to another one even if the other player is providing services at substantial discount. It is this reluctance which builds and sustains the monopolies.
At what size or maturity level of an organisation do the disadvantages of cloud computing out-weigh advantages? What factors play a role when a startup or SME does an evaluation of going in for cloud computing? How do the issues of data localisation get resolved by providers of cloud services?
There is no hard-and-fast rule here. Even large organisations use cloud services and move to hybrid models where more sensitive data is managed in-house while other services are deployed on cloud. For any startup or SME, the key criteria is what kind of services they can deploy and how much they can just outsource to the cloud provider as they are much more focused on their core business.
As for data localisation, the Government of India has come up with rules requiring cloud service providers to store users' data in India. Users normally won't have the required clout to get a service provider to change its policy.
There were other terms in play like fog, which should be between the edge and cloud. Are these technologies still relevant?
Fog computing is a hybrid model, where you use edge devices to handle major parts of your computation and cloud for storage purposes. It is still relevant but ultimately it depends upon local requirements. As stated above, for large enterprises it is a hybrid model which is likely to work, not pure in-house or cloud.
How would the rollout of 5G change the equations for Cloud?
5G would enable many more services than it is currently feasible to do with 4G/LTE. It is also expected to provide low latency and guaranteed data communication, which may cause users to move from in-house deployments to cloud. Both of these – new services and low latency capabilities will increase the demand for cloud services.
As Head – CoE Gurugram & Director – Technical Solutions with NASSCOM Centre of Excellence – IoT & AI, Sudhanshu Mittal leads the overall operations of Gurugram CoE and is also responsible for driving the solutioning of the problem statements brought by CoE partners. Vertical focus includes Automotive and Standard verticals for CoE-IoT.
The key responsibilities include: a) Driving the solutioning of the problem statements brought on by CoE partners; b) Driving the Automotive and Connected Vehicle activities for CoE; c) Driving standard body participation from CoE-IoT for Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) and Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC); d) Driving academic research engagement activities; and e) Niche partner engagement like Indian Army, Railways, PSUs, etc. The views expressed are personal.