Published 30 Apr 2024

Edge Computing vs Cloud Computing: Key Differences Explained

By, Pulsant

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Edge computing vs cloud computing: what's best for your business? 

Finding the best approach for your business can take some trial and error, as well as some time researching how each technology and digital infrastructure choice can support your business goals. When choosing between cloud and edge computing, you will need to know what they are, what the differences between the two are, and how each can strengthen your business's operations in its own way.  

Choosing the right IT framework decision for your data management can mean choosing between different storage frameworks and systems. Cloud and edge computing are just two ways you can store, manage, and process your data in a beneficial way for your business.  

What is edge computing?

Edge computing is the distribution of your IT framework for the benefit of closer data management and processing. By using an edge network, you can bring your data processing power closer to your source of work, reducing the time and latency for your computing processing power. In general, it refers to the design of your IT framework that moves your processing computing power closer to your users.  

Technologies in edge computing

Edge computing is reliant on the technologies you choose. Technologies used in edge computing can include:  

  • Internet of Things (IoT) technologies 
  • Network technologies 
  • Processing technologies 
  • Storage solutions 
  • Data management software 


Benefits of edge computing

Edge computing is ideal for businesses seeking growth. Its benefits can aid in business development, leading to a stronger business model. Some strengths of edge computing include: 

  • Scalability – edge computing, unlike other computing models that might be size-restrictive, can offer your business the scalability and flexibility you need to grow. Whether you’re keeping up with an influx of demand or scaling down to cut costs during down periods, having a computing model that is flexible and workable for your business is crucial.  
  • Improved security – data and privacy are vital for your business’s safety, integrity, and reputation. By bringing your processing closer to the user, you’re less likely to open your business to vulnerabilities such as cyberattacks and threats.  
  • Lower latency – this is probably the largest benefit of investing in edge computing. The lower latency means you’ve got less time to wait for the same computing and processing power, making operations faster and more efficient – leading to a more efficient business overall.  


What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is the buying of computing services, including storage and programmes, over the internet on a pay-as-you-go basis. This can offer businesses better flexibility and faster innovation on a scale needed by their business. Cloud systems offer on-demand delivery so that your users can access what they need, when they need it, and your business can keep the other systems and processes in the cloud for the next time they’re needed without worry.  

Common models of cloud services (IaaS, Paas, SaaS)

Your business won’t need everything at all times, so the cloud is designed to give you what you want, when you need it. Larger clouds work over multiple locations with the use of data centres. Some products you can buy on a pay-as-you-go service, on-demand with cloud solutions include: 

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – this is where your business can rent infrastructure resources through the cloud, including servers, storage space, and networks for these.  
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) – from tools to middleware, platform as a service is a vital product that you can get with cloud computing, which assists with the management, building, and running of applications needed for your business operations.  
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) – software as a service is renting any cloud-based apps needed for the production or operation of your business. You can rent different software applications for your business, depending on what is needed at the time. 

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Business uses of cloud computing

Cloud computing can be useful for businesses looking to rent resources and applications without committing to long-term investment. Some uses that businesses find for cloud computing include, but aren’t limited to: 

  • Backup storage – cloud frameworks are scalable storage solutions for businesses handling data and information on a wide or small scale. Whether you’re scaling up or looking for a more flexible approach, the cloud can offer the versatility your business needs.  
  • Cost-saving software – if your business wants to trial or access a system without the investment, you can try renting the software as a service from your cloud provider. This can cut costs if the system does not work for your business or if you’re looking for only limited use.  
  • Remote working – businesses working in multiple locations, or with remote workers, might want to invest in the cloud as a solution to ensure everyone has access to what they need, when they need it. Cloud solutions can offer remote access and virtual workspaces for all workers to connect, share ideas, and ensure streamlined operations.  
  • Real-time monitoring – the use of Internet of Things technology, such as sensors and other tracking technologies and metrics, makes the cloud a great solution for real-time analysis of your operations – particularly in industries where health and safety can be more demanding.

Comparing edge and cloud performance

Getting the most out of your computing performance means choosing the right design and framework for you. Whether that is using edge computing or opting for a cloud choice, you need to know what will work best for your business and its operations. When considering which to use, you should consider edge’s and cloud’s: 

Speed and latency

Speed and low latency are vital for your business’ smooth running. When it comes to the fastest processing power, edge computing is the best for your business. The locality of processing means that you can compute quicker and more efficiently, while waiting for information and data to pass between your users and the cloud could take additional time.  

Data handling efficiency

Depending on the type of data handling that your business needs, you will be better off with either cloud or edge computing. Edge computing is great for localised, real-time data management due to its low latency and close-by processing solution. However, if you need large-scale data management, then cloud computing can offer you the power you need behind your management – but with a higher latency. This means you need to prioritise what your business needs from the data it stores and manages before deciding which approach is best for you.  

Which offers better real-time processing?

If real-time processing is what you need for your business, then investing in edge computing is the best option. Due to the speed and low latency of localised processing, you can ensure that your users have access to the real-time data they need. Cloud computing can include a delay to this, so it is good for larger processing needs but with the cost of time.  

To find out more about our edge computing abilities, see our platformEDGE 
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