Multi-access edge computing, otherwise known as edge mobile computing is an ETSI define networking concept that allows remote desktop application capability and remote access to a centralized data processing and business processing software platform over the same network. The concept is extremely beneficial for companies that host telecommuting employees or have employees who travel to multiple locations to perform work. Multi-access enables them to work as part of a unified network without having to deploy and maintain separate networks for each location.
Telecommuting has made it easier for people to work from home and for employers to eliminate costly hardware costs by providing mobile office solutions for their business travel needs. With the increased use of mobile phones and other portable devices to access the Internet, companies must find cost-efficient ways to provide high quality workplace communications.
Multi-access wireless broadband services provided by various cellular network providers offer a flexible and cost effective solution for all of these types of organizations. One example of an enterprise application that would benefit from multi-access edge networking is a mobile banking application that provides real time online access from anywhere in the world. Banking applications that utilize a wide area network are beneficial to financial institutions because they allow for faster transactions and easier collaboration with branch offices located in different time zones.
Examples for Multi-Functional Edge Computing
Another example would be manufacturing companies that require secure data transfer to customers and internal employees. They may use their network edge to allow authorized individuals access to restricted areas such as the manufacturer's factories or test facilities. This would greatly reduce delays in communication while reducing security risks. Multi-access cloud computing is becoming increasingly popular among corporations because it allows them access to their computers when they are on the road, even while at home or on the go. Cloud applications allow them access to a common pool of applications or data that can be accessed as needed without requiring upfront payments for usage.
One type of multi-access edge computing involves data center space management. In order to optimize server utilization and improve its capacity utilization, data centers must have enough memory, disk space, network bandwidth and CPU processing power. These resources can also be allocated among several computers via a service where one single application is used for multiple end users. In this case, there is no need for a dedicated, costly and complex server hardware, only a high quality laptop with an internet connection capable of delivering quick and smooth web experiences to each user.
In the business environment, many organizations have already started to realize the benefits of cloud computing and multi-access edge computing capabilities. Companies such as Microsoft have made significant contributions to the field through the use of Windows Server. Although Microsoft has been successful in developing and deploying its own proprietary software, it has also begun to partner with other companies in order to accelerate development and deliver faster services to clients. Microsoft's chief strategy towards cloud and multi-access edge computing has been to compete in the software-as-a-service market by providing solutions that are flexible, easy to use and backed by its extensive Microsoft Office portfolio. This approach has been instrumental in gaining significant market share.
The second area in which multi-access edge computing has had a profound impact is in virtualization. Virtualization enables a single server to run different operating systems and applications on different physical machines. By leveraging multiple physical machines, virtualization allows network resources to be optimized for every application, reducing overall CPU utilization.
To take advantage of this method, an organization may divide its network into two parts: one with local content and another with remote content. Local content can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection while remote content is accessed from a specific computer with a secure VPN connection. With virtualization, the organization can utilize its existing network resources without having to completely redesign them.
Cloud services are another important application for organizations looking to implement multi-access edge computing. Google's Project Zero also uses the cloud to deliver search results based on local content. By using a public cloud service such as Google compute, the work done by employees can be accessed no matter where they are located.
By leveraging public clouds, companies can cut operational costs because the hardware and software remain local to the company conducting the cloud service. By running applications on the cloud, companies have the advantage of portability, performance and scalability. For example, Google's Storage Manager and Google Compute Engine each provide different storage capabilities that are directly related to the user's location.
In addition to the advantages listed above, there are several disadvantages to implementing multi-access edge computing. One of the major disadvantages is that it requires large investments in technology and personnel, thus not all companies may be able to afford these expensive needs. Also, virtualization requires access to the underlying hardware, making it impossible for some companies to implement. On the other hand, Novell is working on developing multi-vendor solutions for cloud services that may eventually eliminate some of these obstacles.