EDGE Computing Series

EDGE computing or No Data Center Needed (NDN) computing are those systems that can rival or sometimes exceed data center system performance, storage, and networking, but are not physically housed in a data center or in the cloud.

A continuing installment of our (Close to the) Edge Computing series.

The main memory in computing devices is an ephemeral repository of information. Processing units (CPUs) may analyze and change the information, but ultimately the results of everything eventually end up in the main memory store. Of course, the information may move to nonvolatile memory or disk storage, which provides a more permanent resting place.

Main memory integrity is important. If errors occur in main memory, anything from nothing to a full crash of the entire computer is possible. In order to prevent and possibly correct memory errors, Error-Correcting Code memory (ECC) memory has been developed and deployed in systems where data errors may result in harmful results, like in real-time financial systems, for instance. The goal is that the data written to memory should be the same when it is read back in the future.

Introduction

Welcome to a new series on ClusterMonkey! While the news and articles have been a bit sparse lately, it is not because the head monkey has been idle. Indeed, there is so much to write about and so little time. Another issue we ran into was how to present all the recent projects that may seem rather disparate with an easy-to-understand overriding theme. Welcome to edge computing.

Defining edge computing has become tricky because it now has a marketing buzz associated with it. Thus, like many over-hyped technology topics, it may take on several forms and have some core aspects that allow it to be treated as a "thing."

In this series, the definition of edge is going to be as specific as possible. In general, edge computing is that which does not take place in the data center or the cloud (hint: the cloud is a data center). Such a definition is too broad, however, since computing is everywhere (from cell phones to actual desktop workstations). A more precise definition of edge computing can be written as:

Data center level computing that happens outside of the physical data center or cloud.

That definition seems to eliminate many smaller forms of computing but still is a little gray in terms of "data center level computing." This category of computing usually operates 24/7 and provides a significantly higher level of performance and storage than mass-marketed personal systems.

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