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Vapor IO 2018 Predictions: The Year of Edge Computing

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Cole Crawford, founder and CEO of Vapor IO

2018: The Year of Edge Computing

2018 is the year that edge computing goes mainstream and we will see a tsunami of new use cases emerge, from enhanced IoT to mobile virtual reality. But there will also be deeper, more profound and unexpected net positive effects. Here are three edge computing predictions which may be unconventional and contrarian, but which I believe will come true. As Arthur C. Clark once said, "If what I say now seems to be very reasonable, then I will have failed completely. Only if what I tell appears absolutely unreasonable have we any chance of visualizing the future as it really will happen".

Drones, not cars, will be the first large-scale player in the autonomous race

Flight code automation and large volume wireless data ingress will cause drones to surpass cars as the gold standard for low latency telemetry and data transport use cases. Solutions discovered by autonomous drone operators will help accelerate and cost-reduce other kinds of autonomous vehicles, such as cars and trucks.

2018 will give birth to the edge native application

As edge computing grows in importance, we'll see a new class of applications emerge that we will call "edge native." Edge native applications will distribute their services across a gradient of compute and storage, from core to edge. These applications and their orchestrators (e.g., Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, Mesos) will use real time analysis of factors such as cost, latency, bandwidth and so on to optimally place workloads. New levels of sensorfication and real-time data about infrastructure and field conditions will enable applications and service fabrics to better understand their environments and autonomously react to opportunities and failures associated with the underlying data center and network infrastructure.

We'll start running out of long haul fiber

The explosive growth of machine-to-machine and IoT data will quickly outstrip the world's fiber capacity. There is simply not enough long haul fiber in the ground to transport the 11 zettabytes (that's 1 trillion gigabytes) of data that is expected to be generated daily by 2020. The solution will be putting more compute and storage capacity at the far edge of the network in order to store and perform nearby analytics without requiring 100% of the data to be backhauled to the core. Transport, cost and latency will largely drive the use of more dense metro fiber.


About the Author

cole crawford 

Cole Crawford is the founder and CEO of Vapor IO. Vapor IO is building the cloud of the future by delivering a suite of hardware and software for edge computing. The company's technology enables highly-distributed micro data centers to be embedded in the wireless and wireline infrastructure, colocated with the last mile or Radio Access Network (RAN), and meshed together with software and high-speed fiber for remote operations, fault tolerance, low-latency workloads, and scale. The company has also built Project Volutus, a partnership with landowners and infrastructure providers to deliver edge as a service using modern data center automation and a colocation business model. For additional information, please visit

Published Tuesday, December 26, 2017 7:16 AM by David Marshall
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