What is Edge Computing? How Can it Help Your Business?

At ITBroker.com we’re going to dispel a big lie about Edge, and this is a lie that’s been going on for over 20 years! This dates back to the dawn of dot coms, the lie is: “By putting equipment closer to your users, the performance will be better.” Having servers close to your users or in the same city as those users doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s close to those users.

Edge is the best thing since sliced bread!
No, it’s a lie! 
Yes, it’s the best thing. 
No, it’s not. 
Which one is it?
I don’t know, it depends!

Let’s dispel some myths about Edge Computing:

I’m Max Clark CEO of ITBroker.com and I’m going to tell you a big lie about Edge, and this is a lie that’s been going on for over 20 years! This dates back to the dawn of dot coms, and this lie is: “By putting equipment closer to your users, the performance will be better.” 
Now, that’s true and it’s also… not so much.


It makes sense, of course, if I have server equipment or an application closer to my users it will be faster for them. In the late 90s the CDNs used to give these examples of, like, “Oh look, we have servers in New York and your servers are in LA and so therefore, your New York users will be faster for us…” And you’d look at the map and go: “Of course! Of Course it’ll be faster.” 

More extreme examples in today’s world: you have an application running out of Amazon’s US East 1 region in Virginia, and you want to serve traffic to China, or you want to serve traffic to Brazil, or you want to serve traffic into South Africa, of course we need to have resources close to those users.

Now the LIE about it is: it’s a half truth!
Having servers close to your users or in the same city as those users doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s close to those users. 

Why?!? 

Because you still have to deal with network interconnections.  If the user is on a network that doesn’t interconnect with whatever that Edge resource is in that market, it’s not close to them. And there’s lots of examples of this where this might be the case.

We have networks in the United States that are value networks that don’t have peering in all the different major metros. So if you’re in Los Angeles and you want to exchange traffic with somebody else in LA,  you have to go up to San Francisco and then back down to Los Angeles!

Now that’s not a lot of distance, you’re only talking, approximately 1000 route miles or so… but it still adds latency. 

Now in the case of certain other markets –in the Asian markets, the LatAm, markets, Africa, any of these emerging markets, these things really get exacerbated. For example, in Brazil, you can put servers in Sao Paulo or Rio, and find out that your network that your users are on and the network your equipment is on don’t actually talk to each other in Brazil, and guess what? they talk to each other in Miami. So traffic from your user goes to Miami, FL and then back down to Brazil. So if you had put servers in Miami, or heck! if you put servers in Atlanta, it would still be faster for users.

Before you invest a lot of time trying to figure out your end strategy and where you’re physically putting your Edge equipment, make sure you spend the time to understand what networks your users are on that you’re trying to improve performance to, and then build your Edge strategy! 

You can’t do one without the other. If you’re working on an Edge strategy, or trying to figure out how to improve performance to your application for your end users, give us a call ITBroker.com. We’ll talk to you about your application, we’ll talk about your business, we’ll understand what makes you unique and what actually you need to do so you can stop wasting time, you can save money, and you can focus on growing your business.