It’s no secret that placing servers closer to users improves latency and user experience. But does that mean that you can set up your edge network however you like and expect similar results? Not exactly. Variations in edge server hierarchy can improve latency depending on your organization’s use case. So, which factors do businesses need to consider when configuring their edge network? Scale, application requirements, and budget, all play a significant role in how you configure your network. For example, deploying edge servers to just a few of your nodes may be feasible, but when working with possibly hundreds of edge locations, this endeavor becomes extremely costly. Also, you need to consider your application requirements. Some applications, like cloud gaming, may depend on real-time data flows to provide users with a satisfactory experience. In contrast, other less time-sensitive applications may be fine with a few extra milliseconds of latency. This article will explore three possible edge deployment strategies and what they look like in practice.

Edge Configurations That Support Scale, Efficiency, and Performance

Edge computing aims to shorten the distance between users and data. However, there is more than one way to achieve this goal, each with differing results. Following are three possible configurations: Extreme proximity. This strategy is where you place edge servers as close as possible to the user, within one hop on the network if possible. While this strategy promises the best performance, there are some inherent downsides. The first one is the cost associated with placing servers near every node. Additionally, as a network grows, the performance gains compared to a less proximal strategy become negligible. And lastly, it puts most of the network control in the hands of telcos, who are likely providing infrastructure at this level. Betweenness centrality (BC). This strategy calculates the shortest distance between all pertaining nodes and chooses a location within optimal distance from the origin server. The distance between nodes is shortened at the edge while still ensuring that the edge server can communicate with the origin server with minimal latency. Due to its cost-effectiveness, this is a common configuration for edge networks. Betweenness centrality with depth (BC-D). Like the BC strategy, the edge servers are placed at a point between the origin servers and edge users.  The main difference is the proximity to the end-user. In contrast to the BC strategy, the priority edge server is placed further down the network architecture and closer to the user, carefully calculating the latency between the server and the nearest data center to maintain low latency communication. At scale, this strategy seems to provide similar performance to the extreme proximity strategy while far outperforming it in efficiency and cost. Organizations are tasked with the challenge of guaranteeing a high level of service for their users, especially enterprise customers who rely on their network for mission-critical applications. Edge computing strategies are one way businesses are ensuring that their applications exceed customer expectations.

Deploy Your Edge Computing Strategy Seamlessly

Edge computing is not a fad but rather an integral part of modern computing. Without it, machine learning, AI, big data analytics, virtual reality, cloud gaming, and many other technologies aren’t feasible. By investing in your edge strategy now, you’ll ensure that future developments don’t present a roadblock for your organization. Our team at Intequus does more than simply provide edge hardware solutions. We offer a full-service edge solution that empowers you to deploy infrastructure faster and pass on maintenance and support to a provider you can depend on. Are you ready to build a better edge? Contact us today.

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