The Need for Open Source at the Edge

There is a perfect storm driving the adoption of intelligent edge applications—the availability of new technologies and the need for businesses to embrace digital transformation and real-time operations. According to Gartner, while only about 10 percent of enterprise-generated data has been created and processed outside a traditional data center or cloud, by 2022, that's expected to increase to 75 percent. And the location of the data being generated is the edge. Fortunately, the growth in data at the edge and the need to analyze it there is happening at a time when there are significant developments in the open source software community.

From a technology standpoint, the intelligent edge is possible due to the advent of hardened compute solutions that are small enough to be deployed in edge environments. New connectivity services such as 5G provide a conduit to connect edge devices into existing systems. Open source software provides the needed operating system (OS) and other features for edge devices to run. And the growing use of sophisticated analytics solutions and artificial intelligence (AI) makes it easier to extract information and insights from data at its source of generation on the edge. To put the growing importance of intelligent edge into perspective, note that Gartner estimates that 80 percent of all data will be processed at the edge by 2025.

Enabling solutions across the intelligent edge is intrinsically tied to business success as the world digitally transforms.

Intelligent edge systems can streamline the analytics process when there are hundreds or thousands of devices. Rather than sending all the data from every device to a data center or cloud computing center, edge devices can make critical decisions locally and choose when and how to push that data to the cloud—or decide that such a push is not necessary at all. Besides enabling more responsive systems, bandwidth requirements are drastically reduced. Given the cost to transmit data, companies can realize significant savings. Additionally, less data is sent between points, lowering the risk of it being stolen or spied on.

Enabling the use of data at the edge is supported by the proliferation and adaptability of open source software, which supports the vast array of communication protocols used at the edge and the edge’s footprint.

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