Advanced computing ushered in a new era of technology. The edge works seamlessly with the cloud, and allows organizations to meet the challenge of this increasingly connected world, where we all depend on applications that have to run anywhere and everywhere. Through the edge, the advantages of the cloud—lower costs, increased agility, the ability to scale and shrink as needed, and faster innovation—can extend from the cloud to the exact locations that are most needed.
This ability to provide computing power where it is needed has never been more important. It also has major implications for accelerating the deployment of the Internet of Things as well as our ability to reap the full benefits of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Any application or field that can benefit can benefit from lower latency, higher availability, and greater privacy — from self-driving cars, robot-assisted surgery and smart factories to predictive maintenance and online multiplayer gaming. All of these require massive amounts of data to be available, on demand, regardless of geography.
The combination of cloud, hybrid, and edge already meets the needs of today’s organizations, such as the demand for low latency, caching, on-premises data processing and even data niche requirements with an on-premises/on-site component. Endless applications include smart highways, SaaS web applications, medical imaging, and the need for services like Hulu and Netflix to serve customers instantly, on demand, without latency issues.
This is where life on the edge offers the best of both worlds. Edge computing provides businesses with the same infrastructure, services, APIs, and tools they use in the cloud where they need them most. Behind the scenes, this weave of cloud, hybrid, and edge brings together a large number of moving parts and can be frighteningly complex for developers and IT administrators within organizations if they try to achieve it on their own. That’s why AWS creates a consistent and secure experience across all environments—and gives its customers the ability to continue to innovate.
Couchbase, one of the most dynamic and pioneering in these operations, is a next-generation database company and AWS client. Couchbase uses the AWS services they need in the AWS and AWS Local Zones to deliver the data and analytics needs of digital advancement companies closer to end users. Over the past decade, Couchbase has been at the forefront of the cutting edge computing revolution, rethinking the way data is distributed, and in the process of creating one of the world’s most ambitious and powerful information management systems.
Companies in nearly every industry have built mission-critical applications and services using Couchbase technology to provide the highest guarantees of speed, availability, and data governance for customers.
over here, Wayne CarterVice President of Engineering at Couchbase, discusses the ways the edge expands innovation opportunities, how it enables systems that track users as they navigate up to 40 different networks a day, and why “latency is the enemy” but victory is in sight.
How has edge computing changed over the past decade?
Wayne Carter: When I started at Couchbase in 2013, the main peripherals were mobile phones connecting to self-managed data centers on the edge. Now major cloud computing platforms extend to the edge, enabling businesses to benefit from edge computing without having to manage a heavily distributed infrastructure. This means that instead of having to power all of your systems, there are now infrastructure companies like AWS and database companies like Couchbase that you can outsource almost everything. Running workloads and accessing data in cache locations is much easier and less expensive today, opening up a whole new set of businesses.
You said that Edge creates new ways of thinking about data. How is that?
The edge allows us to decentralize data and put it close to every user so that it’s available at amazing speed, whether that’s on a mobile phone, a POS system, a packet scanner, or the kind of isolated digital system you might find on an airplane. By combining the power of edge and the cloud, you ensure that devices not only have access to the data they need, but the data they collect ultimately makes it back to the rest of the system. Taken together, we see significant improvements to digital products and experiences.
Couchbase and AWS both offer services that help companies manage their evolving computing needs. What do companies get by turning to these providers instead of doing it themselves?
Most companies want to free their developers from operational work to focus on more high-value projects. When you reduce the operational responsibility of your application teams, they can iterate faster and focus on building applications on top of these new, faster, more available systems. You eliminate the costs of operating your own hardware, eliminate the complexity of hardware maintenance and keep your core software and tool base intact and up-to-date. This is a huge boon for app teams. All of this allows them to focus on their core product, iterate faster, and deploy to the cloud and the edge in minutes, all on automatically maintained and scaled systems.
For consumers, response time can appear as things like a carousel that pops up when downloading a movie at home. But aside from the inconvenience, what is the real impact of response time?
Latency is a measure of network response time, the time it takes a user from the time a data request is made to the time the data is delivered, measured in milliseconds. The response time difference of a quarter of a second seems small, but if you’re doing five million data transactions a day, 250 milliseconds in each one adds up to ~14 days of downtime – in fact, the time you gain – which might also count loss of revenue. Well, latency is the enemy. It can be a huge drag on your bottom line. The goal is to reach a single-digit millisecond latency.
What are the best ways to keep latency low?
In general, the closer the account and database are to the user, the faster the response. AWS offers a comprehensive offering of advanced services for different scenarios. state AWS Outposts A rack or server on site can reduce latency. AWS local areas Providing very fast, low latency servers in major metropolitan areas where companies may not have the space to run their own data center. AWS wave length Integrated into 5G cellular systems bringing computing closer to the user.
An important component of edge computing is to create a consistent experience from the edge to the cloud. What is an example of how this happens?
When it comes to network, database and edge complexity, one industry that immediately comes to mind is air travel. Airlines run a whole bunch of parallel operations — very different things — sometimes next to each other, sometimes across the country, sometimes on a plane 30,000 feet above the mid-Atlantic. They manage ticketing, customer service, in-flight maintenance and entertainment systems, smart chat bots, and point-of-sale systems on board and at the station. In addition, they feed data to nearly all of their employees in real time, while their employees move across up to 40 networks per day. Everything should run smoothly while adhering to access and control rules and regulatory rules. And you need to know that you are transferring your data securely and responsibly. Many! Offloading the enormous cost and operational complexity of operating these systems has proven very attractive to airlines.
Do you have a favorite piece of terminal infrastructure, in terms of functionality or what it enables?
Usually it’s not a single edge view, but how a group of cutting edge services work together to deliver a truly distributed edge environment. For example, when you have both waveforms and locales in a region, you have two separate options for 1-digit to millisecond latency, giving you a seamless connection between your AWS cloud and edge systems, so that the same code can run in one or more Both places. I also like the idea of combining AWS Private 5G and Snow family devices. You can literally put a smart factory in the middle of the wilderness without a reliable internet connection and run it all on your own 5G network with massive on-premises computing running on AWS. This may seem an extreme example, but in reality it is not much different from the everyday situation on planes and cruise ships. And even if you’re just a DIY guy on a farm, getting this kind of full-stack from Amazon and Couchbase isn’t that expensive. It’s a world-class, shelving, pay-as-you-go system.
The last question. Can you talk about the importance of your cloud provider solution?
The right cloud provider was critical to our success. We chose AWS because they had an optional that was not available to anyone else. They provide a continuum of services from the cloud all the way to the edge, which can include a number of different sites and environments. With AWS, our customers can use the same database to manage their advanced applications and cloud applications, giving them amazing consistency of their applications wherever they operate. So, for example, when those airline employees perform their fast 40-network moves—going in and out of networks, joining the European cloud, then joining the North American cloud, moving into and out of private networks—all of that connection is automatically resolved. . The applications run only over the network, and the database accommodates all outages in the network so that it is not affected by them. The combination of AWS hybrid solutions and Couchbase database products enables a new class of applications that are faster and more available than ever before. This is a ball game. The number one thing you want for your company is to stand up and be fast.