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Edge Ahead in 2021

Forrester survey predicts Edge Computing will rule the roost in the year ahead

The US market research company Forrester, that publishes regular research-based reports and industry surveys on existing and potential impact of technology has released its latest predictions for 2021’s critical business and technology trends. The overall predictions indicate that Edge Computing will finally progress from the labs to practical technology solutions, in the coming year. Forrester is confident that in 2021 Edge Computing will finally become a real value as “…new business models will emerge that facilitate the deployment of edge in production.”

According to the report, this shift from “from science project to real value” will be driven largely by advances in AI and 5G. As Cloud platforms would be competing with artificial intelligence, and the proliferation of 5G becomes widespread – Edge use cases will prove to be more practical.

So how is this going to impact the industry in the coming year? Looking beyond the pandemic, Forrester has some very Edge-specific predictions for 2021.

Edge hosting will gain much traction

Tech giants including Dell, HP, IBM, and Intel are increasingly looking at Edge to stand in as a Cloud substitute that can be deployable anywhere. As a result, content delivery networks and data centre colocation vendors will be offering Edge Computing services across hundreds or thousands of local points – leading to creation of more responsive and contextual business systems.

“In 2021, colocation marketplace aggregators like Edgevana and Inflect will emerge as attractive options for the CDNs and global colocation leaders serving enterprise needs, even in rural locales,” the report asserts.

Edge will eat into public Cloud growth

For over a decade, hyperscale public Cloud vendors have been thriving and growing, but Edge vendors will soon be in the way – capturing way more Cloud business than anticipated earlier. Forrester predicts that the overwhelming growth rate of 42% registered by public Cloud business in 2018 will crash to 24% by 2022, as the market matures. And 2021 will usher in the shift as companies will increasingly invest in Cloud-like Edge Computing and content delivery solutions, instead of centralized data centres. As Forrester predicts. “While public clouds will play a part, we do not think they will dominate, as their culture is based on massive data centers and tight control of the architecture — the exact opposite of what firms need to serve customers locally. Vendors with a winning edge strategy will do better.”

20% of Edge orchestration in 2021 will be Kubernetes

Kubernetes is a portable, extensible, open-source platform for managing containerized workloads and facilitates both declarative configuration and automation. It has a large, rapidly growing ecosystem and services, support, and tools are now widely available. Forrester predicts that lightweight Kubernetes deployments will account for 20% of edge orchestration in 2021. However, companies like Huawei, Rancher, OpenStack, and Canonical – among others – are in the fray too. They are working on their own lightweight, edge-optimized platforms, and this is a space that would see major competition next year.

Edge innovation marketing will take centre-stage

In 2021, we will see new business models emerge that facilitate the deployment of Edge, efforts by Cloud platforms to compete, and AI and 5G facilitating the expansion of Edge use cases. As a result we are going to see a lot of new business and investment around Edge. Already, there had been more venture investment in Q1of 2020 than all of 2019.Forrester is certain that “Over the next three years, buyers will shift their cloud strategies toward the edge to capture all this innovation and become more connected.”

 

Acknowledgement: https://go.forrester.com/predictions-2021/

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