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Edge Computing vs Cloud Computing: Major Differences

19th Jan, 2024
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    Edge Computing vs Cloud Computing: Major Differences

    People are asking about edge vs cloud and which one to choose. In the IT industry, this is a common question often asked. As Bernard explains in the fireside chat, enterprises seeking to avoid delays when data is sent from a device to a centralized computing system may do so by using edge computing. He uses the instance of a machine whose proper operation is critical to a company's success. The company would suffer losses if the machine's judgment process were delayed because of latency.  

    In these cloud vs edge computing instances, enterprises choose edge computing since smart devices with computational capability are located at the network's perimeter. Suppose the device detects a deviation from the predefined tolerance limits. In that case, a warning signal is delivered as soon as the machine approaches the failure threshold, which results in the machine shutting down within microseconds to minimize additional losses. 

    In contrast to cloud computing, edge computing might take up to two seconds to send data to the central data center, slowing decision-making. Organizations prefer to use edge computing rather than cloud computing since the delay of the signal might result in losses. To know more about edge computing vs cloud computingyou must learn cloud computing concepts from here.  

    Edge Computing Vs. Cloud Computing Comparison Table 


    Edge Computing 

    Cloud Computing 


    Edge Computing is a method of managing data that involves placing the data near the source of its creation. This allows for faster responses to changes in demand and helps ensure that there are no bottlenecks with regard to accessing information. 

    Cloud Computing is a method of storing and processing data on remote servers rather than locally. Cloud computing allows users to access their files from anywhere at any time, but it also means that they cannot control what happens with their data once it has been uploaded to servers owned by another company or organization. 

    Data Distribution 

    Edge computing distributes the data across multiple locations. 

    In cloud computing, the data is centralized and stored in a single location. 


    Edge computing focuses on real-time data processing and communication between devices. 

    Cloud computing focuses on storing and processing large amounts of unstructured data at one time. 

    Real-Time Interaction 

    Edge Computing allows for real-time interaction with users. 

    Cloud Computing does not always offer this level of interaction. 

    Data Processing 

    In Edge Computing, the data processing happens at the edge of the network. 

    In Cloud Computing, data processing happens in the cloud. 

    Storage Involved 

    Edge computing involves local storage. 

    Cloud computing involves remote storage. 

    Use Cases 

    Edge computing is better suited for devices that need fast connections and low latency (such as drones). 

    Cloud computing lends itself more naturally to applications where large amounts of data need to be processed at once (such as image recognition). 

    Cost Effectiveness 

    Edge computing is less cost-effective. 

    Cloud computing is more cost-effective because it centralizes resources in a single location. 

    Edge Computing Vs Cloud Computing: Detailed Description

    It is important to know their differences to understand cloud computing vs edge computing. When comparing cloud computing vs. edge computing, the most crucial distinction is where the data is processed. For the time being, most IoT data processing is done in the cloud, on a centralized network of servers. The outcome is that data is aggregated to conduct low-level processing on all low-end devices and gateways.  

    As a result of its wholly new methodology, the difference between edge computing and cloud computing is distinct. It shifts the processing from centralized servers to the end-users themselves. Nearly half of the world's data will be stored and processed at the network's edge by 2020, which may rise much higher. 

    • Edge Computing Vs. Cloud Computing: Definitions

    Edge Computing is a method of managing data that involves placing the data near the source of its creation. This allows for faster responses to changes in demand and helps ensure that everything runs smoothly with regard to accessing information. 

    Cloud Computing is a method of storing and processing data on remote servers rather than locally. Cloud computing allows users to access their files from anywhere at any time, but it also means that they cannot control what happens with their data once it has been uploaded to servers owned by another company or organization. 

    • Edge Computing Vs. Cloud Computing: Data Distribution

    With the expansion of the IoT, the edge computing industry has developed as a decentralized, distributed computing infrastructure. IoT devices frequently produce data that needs to be processed quickly and/or subjected to real-time data analysis. Through the use of a central, cloud-based location (typically a data center) located far from the device, cloud computing addresses this issue. Contrarily, edge computing eliminates the need to uplink data to the cloud by bringing data computation, analysis, and storage closer to the devices where the data is collected. 

    • Edge Computing Vs. Cloud Computing: Focus

    Edge computing focuses on real-time data processing and communication between devices. 

    Cloud computing focuses on storing and processing large amounts of unstructured data at one time. 

    While cloud computing is used to handle data that is not time-driven, edge computing is used to process data that is. In remote areas with poor or no connectivity to a centralized location, edge computing is chosen over cloud computing in addition to delay. Edge computing offers the ideal answer for the local storage needed at these sites, which functions like a small data center. 

    • Edge Computing Vs. Cloud Computing: Real-Time  Interaction 

    Edge Computing allows for real-time interaction with users. It’s because data is processed closer to where it is generated, allowing for real-time interaction. 

    Cloud Computing only sometimes offers this level of interaction. But often times, here data is centralized, thus making real-time interaction challenging. 

    • Edge Computing Vs. Cloud Computing: Data Processing 

    In data processing, digital data is collected and manipulated in order to produce meaningful information. Any modification of information that can be detected by an observer is classified as data processing. 

    Edge is about processing data more quickly and in larger volume near to the point of generation, providing action-driven solutions in real time. Compared to conventional models, where processing power is centralized at an on-premise data center, it has some distinctive features. Although one of the network's distinctive selling advantages is its deterministic behavior, cloud services often don't offer any real-time guarantees and display non-deterministic performance as a result of shared computing and network resources.  

    • Edge Computing Vs. Cloud Computing: Use Cases

    IaaS, SaaS, hybrid cloud, multicloud, software testing and development virtual machines, are some of the key use cases of cloud computing. We can use edge computing in Big Data analytics, cloud gaming, IoT, predictive maintenance, etc.  

    • Edge Computing Vs. Cloud Computing: Cost Effectiveness 

    Edge computing, in contrast to cloud computing, necessitates a dedicated system at each edge node. The expenses can be significantly higher than cloud services depending on how many of these nodes are present in a business. 


    So, why is cloud computing not adequate on its own? 

    Insufficient cloud computing capacity can't keep up with the volume of data processed per second of cloud vs edge. Cloud computing does not provide a lot to cloud-based apps, as discussed latency. Two issues arise during the processing stage due to the volume of data kept in the cloud—latency in processing and many wasted resources. This is particularly true of cloudlets, mobile edge nodes, and decentralized data centers. 

    The cloud must be used to handle all of the data generated by intelligent devices. Data centers and networks in the cloud get overburdened as a result. Cloud-based data might face an insurmountable obstacle if latency and inefficiency increase. Data may be examined closer to the source with the assistance of edge computing. This approach reduces a user's reliance on the app or service for their data and speeds up the processing of that data. 


    What is Edge Computing?

    What is Edge Computing?

    Using a distributed IT design known as "edge computing," client data is processed as near as feasible to its original point of origin, at the network's outer edges. Nowadays, businesses can't function without data, which gives them access to crucial insights and allows them to exert real-time control over critical business processes and activities.  

    Sensors and IoT devices working in real-time from distant places and complex operating settings practically anywhere globally may regularly capture massive volumes of data. Today’s organizations are drowning in a sea of data. 

    As a result, organizations are rethinking how they approach computers. Because of the inability of the old computer paradigm to handle the ever-increasing streams of real-world data, it has been abandoned. Such attempts may be hampered by bandwidth restrictions, latency concerns, and network outages. Using edge computing architecture, businesses find a way to address these data concerns. 

    To put it simply, edge computing shifts part of the storage and computation resources from the central data center to the location where data is generated and used. When data is created on the ground, rather than being sent to a centralized data center for processing and analysis, the work is done where the data is generated.  

    Only the results of the computer activities at the edge are transmitted back to the leading data center for evaluation and other human interactions, such as real-time business insights, equipment repair forecasts, or other actionable replies. As a result, edge computing is transforming both IT and business computing. Examine all aspects of edge computing, including what it is, how it works, the impact of the cloud, and how it may be used. 

    What is Cloud Computing?

    What is Cloud Computing?

    "Cloud computing" refers to the supply of computer services via the Internet (the "cloud"), including servers, memory, analytics, networking, software, statistics, and intelligence. 

    What's the deal with cloud computing?

    Rather than maintaining their computer infrastructure or data centers, businesses may rent access to everything from apps to storage from a cloud service provider.  

    Businesses may avoid the up-front costs and complexity of buying and maintaining their own IT infrastructure by adopting cloud computing services and only paying for what they use. Because cloud-computing service providers can supply the same services to many consumers, they may reap tremendous economies of scale. 

    Do you know of any other cloud-computing providers out there?

    Cloud computing services now encompass many possibilities, from essential storage, networking, and processing power to more advanced alternatives like language processing and AI. With the advent of the cloud, just about any service that doesn't need to be near your computer hardware may now be provided. 

    What is a cloud computing example?

    Many services are made possible thanks to the cloud. In addition to services like Gmail and cloud storage for your smartphone's images, huge businesses may use cloud services to store and operate their entire data and apps. When running its video-streaming service and other business processes, Netflix depends heavily on cloud-computing services. 

    Software makers are increasingly delivering their programs as services through the Internet rather than separate goods. They strive to transition to a subscription model, making cloud computing the default choice for many apps. However, cloud computing has its drawbacks, such as the possibility of additional expenses and dangers for firms that use it. 

    What Does it Mean to "Labor at The Edge"?

    It's all about location when it comes to edge computing. An endpoint such as a user's PC is used in conventional corporate computing. An enterprise application processes the data after it has been sent across a WAN, such as the Internet, and stored on the local area network (LAN).  

    The results of this effort are subsequently sent back to the client's endpoints. For most standard commercial applications, this is still a tried-and-true method of client-server computing. However, conventional data center infrastructures cannot keep up with the rapid increase in internet-connected devices and the resulting data volume. According to Gartner, this data will be produced outside of centralized data centers by 2025.  

    The global Internet, which is already prone to congestion and disturbance, is placed under immense stress by the thought of transmitting that much data in circumstances when time or disruption may be an issue. The central data center is no longer the primary emphasis for IT architects; instead, the logical edge of the infrastructure is being used to move storage and computing resources from the data center to the point of origin.  

    If you can't move the data itself closer to the data center, move the data center itself. Many of the principles behind edge computing may be traced back to remote computing, such as branch offices and remote offices, when it was more effective to locate computer resources in the desired area rather than depend on a single central site. To know more about edge vs cloud computing, you can check Knowledgehut cloud computing certification.  

    Edge Computing vs Cloud Computing: Which One is Better? 

    Edge computing vs cloud computing? Another advantage of edge computing is collaborating and participating across several platforms and providers, which may help you enhance your performance and lower your expenses.  

    A multi-cloud or hybrid cloud arrangement is possible with edge computing because an open architectural standard allows for this setup. As a result, your system and the provider's technological stack may communicate. Open standards enable third-party applications to connect with customers and providers alike seamlessly. Through this method, firms are given new opportunities; resource compatibility is ensured; vendor lock-in is minimized. 

    Data security is becoming a top responsibility for businesses throughout the world. Large-scale data breaches, persistent denial-of-service assaults, destructive malware, and cunning ransomware have placed companies in danger, halted operations, and ruined brands' reputations. 

    Centralized cloud solutions employ credentials or two-step verification to guarantee that only authorized users can access the platform and have various defensive capabilities to prevent the system's lion's share of assaults. Centralized systems are not entirely safe against concentrated assaults, and they may still be hacked. The data center is a single point of failure in the centralized architecture. Concentrated assaults on the data center may disrupt network traffic and connectivity. 

    However, edge computing's decentralization does not imply that your data will be less secure. Decentralization eliminates many of the drawbacks associated with centralized data centers. An edge computing provider may develop a multi-layered security strategy.  

    A 24/7 monitoring of the network to detect and prevent any prospective attack might include network layer defenses such as a WAF, DDoS preventions, bot mitigation, enhanced authentication techniques, and 24/7 network monitoring. With edge computing, data processing may take place on several nodes and even on the devices themselves, boosting and strengthening security and privacy. 

    Another difference between cloud computing and edge computing is the pricing model. Contracting a service plan with the cloud involves a maximum capacity (for data transport, analysis/computing/processing/storage) for a specific period (monthly, semestral, yearly). As a result, you must either upgrade your plan or pay for more resources. You also lose money and resources if you don't utilize all of your provider's capabilities. The price model for edge computing depends on how much data is used. It's a pay-as-you-go service, and there's no compensation for squandered time.  

    This dynamic contract model adjusts to the demands of every firm, so you pay according to the number of goods and services you use, calculating the data transported or processed with set rates—this dynamic contract model. There is no obligation to utilize the service for a certain time or sign a contract. 

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    After knowing the difference between cloud computing and edge computing, to no one's surprise, corporations' usage of dispersed networks, servers, and associated cloud computing technologies has significantly advanced, thanks to the advent of cloud computing. This was not adequate to address more pressing issues like slow response times, high latency, or a lack of sufficient resources for the end-user. 

    To overcome the drawbacks of cloud computing, edge computing has emerged as the most viable option available today. In Forrester's view, the edge puts computers closer to the consumer. Thus any use cases that allow and impact customer behavior will be the primary motivators for the edge. IoT use cases will primarily influence edge computing, but it will also enable real-time app interactions and handle on-demand computation. Edge computing will supplement cloud and on-premises computing to allow new client experiences. Hope now you understand edge computing vs cloud computing. Considered a physical boundary, experts believe it's only natural that everyone will ultimately go toward it to provide the ideal user experiences by delivering content with the lowest latency and highest quality possible for developers. There is still a lot of interest in edge-based solutions even though they're not widely used. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1Is edge computing better than cloud computing?

    Edge computing is favored over cloud computing in distant regions when access to a centralized site is restricted or non-existent. Edge computing provides the correct answer for the local storage required in these places, analogous to a small data center. 

    2Is edge computing going to replace cloud computing?

    As a result, although some believe that edge computing will eventually replace cloud computing, we are not of that opinion. Even if one is better suited for a particular purpose, there are times when they may function better together. 

    3What are the benefits of edge computing?

    Better data management is one of the critical advantages of edge computing versus cloud computing: improved security and lower internet prices. Consistent and dependable internet access is essential. 

    4What are the disadvantages of cloud computing?

    However, if your application requires a lot of data to be sent, cloud computing may not be the optimal paradigm for your application. 

    5What is the significant difference between edge computing and cloud computing?

    In contrast to cloud computing, edge computing focuses on time-sensitive data processing. Edge computing is favored over cloud computing in distant regions when access to a centralized site is restricted or non-existent.


    Kingson Jebaraj

    Multi Cloud Architect

    Kingson Jebaraj is a highly respected technology professional, recognized as both a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) and an Alibaba Most Valuable Professional. With a wealth of experience in cloud computing, Kingson has collaborated with renowned companies like Microsoft, Reliance Telco, Novartis, Pacific Controls UAE, Alibaba Cloud, and G42 UAE. He specializes in architecting innovative solutions using emerging technologies, including cloud and edge computing, digital transformation, IoT, and programming languages like C, C++, Python, and NLP. 

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