Edge computing vs. cloud computing: a balancing act
Edge computing is ideal for some applications in higher education, while cloud computing remains the best option for others.
Cloud computing continues to be a workhorse for everyday applications and unique cases. Many organizations have moved their email systems to the cloud using third-party service providers because it is more cost-effective and frees up IT staff to do more work on strategic initiatives. Similarly, applications and systems that experience a spike in usage during specific times of the year are often better served by the cloud. Service providers can easily boost computing power and bandwidth to accommodate usage spikes during enrollment, graduation, concerts and sports events. A central cloud data center is also better for housing the shared high-performance computing resources that support research activities that require massive data lakes and apply artificial intelligence to vast amounts of data.
User experience expectations play a key role in deciding between cloud computing and edge computing. By moving applications and data closer to stakeholders, edge computing generally delivers a better user experience.
Ultimately, fast, reliable connectivity is a must-have for campus-based institutions so that stakeholders can access the information and applications they need to learn, teach and conduct research. Edge computing ensures resiliency and dramatically reduces latency because it shifts access to applications and data away from dependence on a central data center.
Cloud computing and edge computing both have a place in higher education, and understanding their respective benefits is critical to maintaining a resilient network and maintaining robust performance for students in a digital-first world.
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