Aruba CTO lists top edge computing predictions

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Partha Narasimhan, CTO of Aruba Networks.
Partha Narasimhan, CTO of Aruba Networks.

One of the short-term trends that can be expected as a result of edge computing is that some of the servers sitting in data centres will move to the edge.

This is according to Partha Narasimhan, CTO of Aruba Networks, speaking to ITWeb on the sidelines of the EMEA Atmosphere 2019 conference in Sibenik, Croatia.

Narasimhan pointed out that while the initial way of edge computing will resemble what is conventionally used, which is a general purpose server on which to deploy applications, the proliferation of compute will be in many other forms in the long-term. This, he said, includes embedded devices like access points and sensors.

“There will be a trend where compute is not necessarily associated with big servers. For example, an access point has a processor. I could leverage some of that and deploy some of the workloads in some of the processors.

“There is a lot of activity in the form of people that make chips, where they are not just general purpose processors but can take a lot of what the artificial intelligence and machine learning guys do in the cloud and bring that as part of low power…so the workloads are not even going to be general purpose workloads, as it could just be programming a newer network that is running inside of a small device.”

Edge computing is a hot topic at Aruba’s Atmosphere 2019 event, with the company expressing confidence in its ability to help customers achieve new goals and revenue streams through this next era in computing.

A new book released by Aruba points to the fact that organisations need to fundamentally evolve their approach to technology and business models, and unlock vast new economic potential enabled by edge technologies.

According to Morten Illum, VP of EMEA at Aruba, customers have approached the wireless networking vendor seeking advice on how to transform customer experience, employee engagement and employee satisfaction, whether it’s service insurance, better WiFi or better connectivity.

Data centre surge

South Africa is witnessing increased activity in its cloud market, with Azure having been recently made available, the newly introduced Huawei Cloud service and the imminent launch of Amazon Web Services.

Soon after Microsoft unveiled two Azure data centres, one in Johannesburg and another in Cape Town, JSE-listed Altron announced it had migrated its human resource information systems and payroll to Azure.

Explaining what all the cloud activity in SA spells for edge computing, Narasimhan said even at the edge, Aruba believes some of the data will get processed.

“There will be some computing that will still happen, so it’s not okay to give up on the cloud and move everything up to the edge. In addition to the cloud, we should enable compute at the edge.

“The more seamless we can make it for application developers and more people that are deploying a service, the faster the adoption will be made.

“Over the last dozen-or-so years, there has been a shift to move compute away from the edge because this enables rollout of applications and services at scale.

“Some of the processing is going to be closer to where the source of the data is. The good thing about migration into the cloud is this whole separation of what is; namely what is an application and what is the infrastructure that it runs on.”

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