Virtualization Technology News and Information
Embrace the Real-Time Revolution with Edge-Native Application Development

By David Sprinzen, VP of Marketing, Vantiq

A revolution is exploding all around us. It is happening at the edge, where every second of every day, millions upon millions of sensors, monitors, and other devices are streaming petabytes of data - in real time - about nearly every aspect of our lives and environments. From nearby traffic flow and road conditions, to the office's temperature and humidity levels, to the real-time location of online deliveries, it's all being tracked at the edge.

These data streams create huge opportunities for enterprises that can harness the power of real-time data and create applications, services, and products that enhance the physical world through digital assets - from saving lives, to reshaping the retail experience, to improving safety and security, and even protecting the planet through better resource management.

Enterprises that leverage this data to connect the digital and physical worlds will not only control their environments more efficiently, but also create more intimate connections with their customers and employees, and expand or create entirely new business opportunities.

But seizing those opportunities will require a development platform that is designed to meet the revolutionary demands of real-time edge data. The next generation of applications will be developed on software platforms that can meet the unique challenges of edge-native application development, deployment, and management.

What is "the edge?"

Today's edge isn't a single device - or even class of devices - neither is it an extension of the cloud, although the cloud plays an important part. The edge is a dynamic, hybrid network of sensors, monitors, devices, and legacy systems working together to enable the next generation of business applications. In fact, the edge is now defined not so much by sensors and devices as by the software that runs on them.

The massive demands of real-time data have increasingly pushed computing power and intelligence to the edge - as close to the data as possible, and that is changing the very nature of the applications that run on these devices.

Edge applications must now be designed as distributed, real-time, edge-native programs that can deliver high performance, low latency, and geo-spatially and contextually appropriate results nearly instantly.

Databases: The legacy model

For decades, networked computing has been database centric. But the traditional database model of record, store, query, recall, and analyze is antithetical to the demands of an actionable, real-time environment: it's too slow, and requires too much data movement, creating privacy and security risks - especially when the data must be transmitted from the edge back to the cloud. Today's edge applications target a response threshold of under 10 milliseconds, which legacy, hub, and spoke implementations cannot achieve.

And while it may be possible for organizations to create enhanced, legacy solutions, such cobbled-together systems often show high failure rates when deployed at scale.

What's needed is an entirely new development environment designed for edge-native applications.

Modern, edge-native software development

To leverage the edge infrastructure, next-generation, edge applications must be created using development environments that are edge- and real-time native. These environments will be characterized by supporting:

  • Low-code for rapid development and deployment
  • Agile integration, so individual applications can be combined to support more complex, strategic needs
  • Edge and mesh deployments that treat the edge as just another compute node in a distributed environment
  • Human-Machine collaboration, as well as machine-to-machine communication, for applications like chatbots and NLP (natural language processing) systems
  • Mission critical systems with inherent security, stability, and scalability

The adoption of real-time native development environments is the only way enterprises will truly leverage the power of real-time data at the edge, enabling a digitally enhanced physical world that is safer, more secure, and more sustainable.

Real-time, real-world examples

To achieve the potential of real-time applications, they must be designed for distributed deployments, not just so processing can be handed off seamlessly in the event of a failure, but also because the same data stream may need to be processed differently - simultaneously - to meet the demands of rapidly changing conditions. For example:

  • Emergency Services: The same cameras that scan license plates for stolen vehicles could also report accidents - as they happen - and swiftly route first responders through traffic to the accident scene.
  • Retail: Shoppers could receive personalized recommendations and offers from the store they're in - or nearby - automatically, plus, once they're in the store, get guided shopping paths and grab-and-go checkouts to complete their shopping as quickly as possible.
  • Security and Safety: Airport video surveillance could automatically notify TSA staff of both suspicious packages and lost children, as well as help airport staff guide travelers through congested areas and to their gates stress-free.
  • Building Management: Smart building technology can adjust environmental conditions dynamically, to save energy and keep occupants comfortable, while simultaneously verifying that only authorized personnel have access to restricted areas.

Winning the revolution

To seize the infinite opportunities that the real-time, edge revolution is creating, enterprises must transition from legacy, database models to modern, edge-native development platforms that are designed for distributed applications. Enterprises that embrace the real-time revolution will delight their customers and expand their business opportunities with services that are more responsive, relevant, resilient and reliable.




David Sprinzen heads marketing, training, and industry solutions at Vantiq. He comes from a diverse technical background in Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics, and Computational Neuroscience, and brings this practical knowledge to the discussion around how technologies like IoT, AI and edge computing can drive business transformation and address the growing societal needs around sustainability and making the world operate more efficiently.

Published Thursday, February 24, 2022 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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<February 2022>