When it comes to edge computing, money is not limitless. Joining us for this episode of Utilizing Edge is Carlo Daffara of NodeWeaver, who discusses the unique economic challenges of edge with Alastair Cooke and Stephen Foskett. Cost is always a factor for technology decisions, but every decision is multiplied when designing edge infrastructure with hundreds or thousands of nodes. Total Cost of Ownership is a critical consideration, especially operations and deployment on-site at remote locations, and the duration of deployment must also be taken into consideration. Part of the solution is designing a very compact and flexible system, but the system must also work with nearly any configuration, from virtual machines to Kubernetes. Another issue is the fact that technology will change over time and the system must be adaptable to different hardware platforms. It is critical to consider not just the cost of hardware but also the cost of maintenance and long-term operation.
Exploring the Economic Considerations of Edge Computing
In this episode of the Utilizing Tech podcast, hosts Stephen Foskett and Alastair Cooke discuss the economic considerations of edge computing. They emphasize that edge computing requires a different approach due to the limited financial resources often found in edge locations, such as retail businesses operating on thin margins. The hosts are joined by guest Carlo Daffara, CEO of NodeWeaver, who shares his insights on the economics of edge computing.
Carlo highlights that the economics of edge computing are often overlooked, with too much focus placed on the technology itself or specific use cases. He explains that deploying edge solutions at scale, across multiple locations with varying conditions and constraints, presents unique challenges. The economics should take into account not only what works in a lab environment but also the real-world deployment and long-term use of the applications.
The hosts discuss the multiplier effect in edge computing, where every decision made can have a significant impact on the overall cost and cost-effectiveness of the solution, especially when dealing with hundreds or thousands of sites. They explore how cost-effective solutions can deliver value in edge locations that previously wouldn’t have been considered for compute resources.
Carlo shares examples of NodeWeaver’s customers using cost-effective edge solutions in various industries, from industrial automation to video recording and AI processing. He emphasizes the importance of considering the entire lifecycle of an application, including hardware replacement, maintenance, and support. The ability to handle failures autonomously is crucial in edge environments, where failures are expected, and on-site troubleshooting may be challenging and costly.
The conversation also touches on the choice between virtual machines (VMs) and container-based solutions like Kubernetes at the edge. Carlo notes that while there is a trend towards containers, many customers still rely on VMs for their applications. The level of reliability and manageability required depends on the specific application and the customer’s needs.
The episode concludes with the hosts highlighting the discrepancy between the idealized vision of edge computing with Kubernetes and containers and the reality of legacy systems and production environments at the edge. They appreciate NodeWeaver’s focus on autonomic management and the minimal infrastructure needed to deliver value in edge platforms. DNS ops, where DNS entries are used for configuration, is mentioned as an example of lightweight infrastructure deployment.
Overall, the episode sheds light on the economic considerations and challenges of deploying edge computing solutions, highlighting the need to optimize cost-effectiveness, handle failures, and address the unique requirements of different industries and applications.
- Stephen Foskett, Publisher of Gestalt IT and Organizer of Tech Field Day. Find Stephen’s writing at GestaltIT.com and on Twitter at @SFoskett.
- Alastair Cooke, independent analyst and consultant working with virtualization and data center technologies. Connect with Alastair on LinkedIn and Twitter at @DemitasseNZ. Read his articles on his website.
- Carlo Daffara, CEO at NodeWeaver. You can connect with Carlo on LinkedIn and find out more information about NodeWeaver on their website or our Exclusive article.
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