Edge computing as an enabler for real-time, data protection and sustainability

In an interview with Detecon's cloud expert Stefan Schnitter, Benjamin Springub, Vice President Operational Development, Telekom Deutschland, talked about the advantages and relevance of edge computing for companies as well as typical challenges and how to overcome them during implementation.

(Excerpt of an interview in the Lünendonk-Magazin „Cloud Transformation: Business und IT auf dem Weg in die Zukunft“; available in german language only)

Dr. Stefan Schnitter: Could you explain what is meant by "edge computing" or "edge" for short and why it is or becomes relevant for business customers?

Benjamin Springub: "Edge computing" refers to a distributed computing and networking strategy in which data processing and analysis take place close to where the data is generated, i.e. at the "edge" of the network. This is in contrast to the traditional cloud computing model, where data is transmitted over long distances to central data centres. Edge computing is particularly relevant for the Internet of Things (IoT), for example, where many devices continuously generate data.
generate data. With edge computing, this data can be processed more efficiently, improving the performance and functionality of IoT systems.

Edge computing offers various advantages that are highly relevant for business customers. One significant aspect is reduced latency. This enables real-time processing of data, which is particularly important for applications such as self-driving cars, industrial automation or telemedicine. Another aspect is bandwidth savings. Processing large amounts of data at the edge reduces bandwidth requirements, which plays a key role in scenarios with high data volumes, such as video surveillance systems.

Furthermore, edge computing enables increased data security and privacy. Sensitive data is processed directly at the edge, reducing the risk of data breaches during transmissions over the core network. Less data is collected at a single point, making it more difficult to fully capture. Sensitive data can also be encrypted before transmission.

A final key benefit of edge computing is improved availability. In the event of failures or connection problems to the core network, edge applications that do not require a connection to the core network can continue to work without restriction. This enables companies to achieve greater fail-safety, even if the core network is temporarily unavailable.

Are there any particular "edge" projects that you are excited about or would like to realise in the future?

I generally find projects that further exploit the potential of edge computing in the areas of 5G, IoT and artificial intelligence (AI) exciting. These technologies could benefit greatly from edge computing as they often require fast data processing, which is achieved by reducing the latency of edge computing. It
will also be interesting to see how edge computing helps to strengthen digital sovereignty and data protection rules in Europe, as data can be processed and stored locally.

This is also the focus of the IPCEI CIS (Important Project of Common European Interest on Cloud Infrastructure and Services). An IPCEI is a mechanism through which the European Union funds innovative projects that can have a significant impact on the European economy. And in the specific case of the IPCEI CIS, Telekom in Germany is among other European telecom and industry partners waiting in the wings to build an Edge Cloud Continuum in Europe.