Just about 16 months ago, State of the Edge came to life in a conversation over beers. It was a heady time. Edge computing was just emerging into a mainstream niche. Thought leaders and futurists were staking claims, vendors were slapping “edge” onto their products to stay relevant, and very few people even had agreed-upon definitions for even the most basic terms in the industry. The joke at the time was: If you ask 100 people to define edge, you’ll get 112 different answers.
It was in that environment that we birthed the original State of the Edge as a vendor-neutral white paper on edge computing researched and published by a small but passionate group of companies. The organization had an editorial mission. We sought to align and educate, not generate leads or advance people through a sales funnel. It was an experiment, but it worked.
Companies, non-profits, journalists, analysts, and the community at large applauded our efforts, embraced our neutrality and lent their support. Encouraged by the reception, we redoubled our efforts this year, as we prepared this 2020 report.
Since last year:
Sizing the Opportunity
One of the most consistent questions posed by our peers has been a very simple one: how big will the edge be? When will it explode? These are important questions. The answers impact our business strategies. How fast we should move and how much we should invest depends in large part on what we expect to get in return.
Business planners responsible for edge computing turn to expensive market research reports to help make decisions, hoping that someone else has divined the future. Some of these reports are of dubious quality, but you can’t really determine that without dropping a few grand to get a copy. And when you examine these reports, frustration often ensues as you realize that each analyst reaches wildly different conclusions, derived from different models, using different definitions of edge.
State of the Edge does not seek to replace the dozens of third party market reports, many of which are surely worth the fees they request. Nonetheless, we do see an opportunity for a community-supported research model, especially to fill gaps in the available research.
There is No Finish Line
Edge computing represents a long-term transformation of the Internet that could take decades to fully materialize. This year’s State of the Edge report and its forecast model do not represent final answers; instead, they represent an early start to a robust conversation. We’ve studied the market and put our best thinking into this report—but we welcome feedback, comments, and suggestions. Please join the conversation, consider building upon or adding to the content we present, and help State of the Edge continue to advance the industry with well-researched, vendor-neutral thought leadership.
Matt Trifiro & Jacob Smith
Co-chairs, State of the Edge
Arm technology is at the heart of a computing and connectivity revolution that is transforming the way people live and businesses operate. Our advanced, energy-efficient processor designs have enabled the intelligent computing in more than 125 billion chips. Over 70% of the world’s population are using Arm technology, which is securely powering products from the sensor to the smartphone to the supercomputer. This technology combined with our IoT software and device management platform enable customers to derive real business value from their connected devices. Together with our 1,000+ technology partners we are at the forefront of designing, securing and managing all areas of compute from the chip to the cloud. For more information.
Edge Gravity by Ericsson is a global strategic partnership platform that creates turnkey, value-added services. Ericsson UDN is building the world’s first true edge delivery network at webscale, driving performance benefits and cost efficiencies. Together, we create a global edge network that offers the highest performance to consumers.
Rafay Systems enables next generation performance improvements for SaaS applications delivered over the Internet. Rafay’s Programmable Edge™ platform equips developers with a disruptive set of tools to automatically deploy performance and geography sensitive applications, or micro-services, closer to endpoints. With a presence at the infrastructure edge, Rafay’s platform enables organizations to deliver a new set of experiences to their end customers.
Vapor IO is building the cloud of the future by delivering a suite of hardware and software for edge computing and operating the fastest-growing edge colocation business known as Project Volutus. 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), State of the Edge 2018: A Market and Ecosystem Report for Edge Computing 74 and meshed together with software and high-speed fiber as part of the company’s Kinetic Edge, a technical architecture for city-scale edge computing.
Pluribus Networks is delivering an open, next-generation software defined network (SDN) fabric for modern data centers, multi-site data centers and distributed cloudedge environments. The Linux-based Netvisor® ONE operating system and the Adaptive Cloud Fabric™ have been purpose-built to deliver highly secure per-tenant services across data center sites with simple operations and no single point of failure, all while realizing white box economics. Pluribus Networks is also embedded into industry-leading Network Function Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVi) and distributed cloud solutions that are being deployed in the networks of the world’s largest 5G service providers.
SBA Communications Corporation (SBA) is a leading independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure across North, Central and South America. Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, SBA is listed on NASDAQ under the symbol: SBAC.
Detecon is the leading, globally operating technology management consulting company with headquarters in Germany, which has been combining classic management consulting with high technological competence for over 40 years. The focus of its activities is on digital transformation. Detecon supports companies from all areas of business to adapt their business models and operational processes to the competitive conditions and customer requirements of the digitalized, globalized economy with state-of-the-art communication and information technology.
Section’s Edge Compute Platform gives Dev and Ops engineers the access and control they need to run compute workloads on a distributed edge. Being container-based (Docker/Kubernetes), their platform includes the ability to build and bring your own edge module or select from our library of highly available and highly performant edge compute modules.