Developers will drive the adoption of edge computing this year to seamlessly deploy flexible, business-critical applications in a post-pandemic world, says Lelah Manz, senior vice president & general manager of Web Performance at Akamai.
In 2021, edge computing adoption will accelerate at a faster clip than the growth of cloud computing adoption. More and more companies are realizing the benefits of the edgeâ€”how bringing compute and applications closer to end-users improves performance by reducing latency and ensuring a secure online experience.Â
In addition, as developer-driven innovation moves customer experiences forward, agile processes that meld with edge compute will become more central to core delivery goals. It’s safe to say that edge computing will be a focus of application development and delivery teams in the coming year.Â
First off, edge computing is symbiotic with microservices. App development has seen a strong movement away from monolithic application development to one that is more microservice-driven. The benefits of this approach are well documented: Microservices can be built on best-functioning services and data structures, and their failure does not demand a significant overhaul of an entire application. Microservice-driven development will continue to grow in 2021.
At the same time, developers are realizing that the edge provides significantly flexible deployment options for microservices. In 2021, it will no longer be a question of if developers will run custom code at the edge, but which code.Â
Existing functions and microservices that are part of current applications and that live on the cloud or on the client today will be moved to edge nodes as close as possible to their consumers â€” to enhance performance, reduce round-trip traffic, and minimize the transfer of sensitive data across networks. Logic processed in the Edge is also more secure than client-side or browser-based logic.Â Â
Second, developers will experiment with the initial deployment options enabled by the edge. Edge-based applications do not need heavily re-architected code, applications, and processes, and the learning curve for developers is very short.
Third, innovation in 2021 will focus heavily on mixed multi-cloud and edge environments. After a decade of consolidation and centralization of services in the cloud, businesses are now gravitating again toward more decentralized, hybrid environments that are less prone to the risks of mono-cultural infrastructure and vendor lock-in.Â
Multi-vendor and multi-technology strategies offer more flexibility, less dependencies, and fewer single points of failure. As part of this approach, edge nodes outside of the cloud can be deployed as a place to run custom code.Â
With greater flexibility demands expected in the months ahead as we continue to adapt in a post-pandemic world, application development and delivery teams will have to adjust their tools, technologies and practices to better manage these more diverse environments.Â
In 2021, development teams will realize how edge computing makes their lives easier and enhances the performance and security of their applications. Looking ahead, by the end of 2022, edge compute will be a natural choice for most development teams. It won’t replace the cloud, but the edge will be, in many cases, a better location for code execution. Developers will continue to put their code where it runs best. And in many cases, that place will be at the edge.