How can edge computing – and High Performance Edge Computing – help to solve internet traffic surge issues? Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, almost the entire world population is working from home and many cities are in lockdown. Over-The-Top (OTT) streaming services, as well as all the other Internet services, are experiencing unprecedentedly high level of traffic.
The amount of data generated by users was already a matter of interest for many players in the market, not only in telecommunications:
“The amount of data generated annually is projected to increase from 40 zettabytes this year (2019) to 175 zettabytes in 2022. To put that in perspective, one zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes, making 175 zettabytes the equivalent of about 5.4 billion years of YouTube videos”(source: Asha Keddy, Intel’s Vice President of Next Generation and Standards)
but now it seems that these numbers could be reached faster than expected. Teleconferencing services, like Zoom, are experiencing 700% increase of traffic and streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Video, YouTube and Disney+ are seeing similar levels of growth.
All this generated traffic is becoming a concern for the Internet Service Providers (ISP) and some of the world’s biggest Internet interconnection hubs are reporting record traffic numbers. For example, DE-CIX in Frankfurt, one of the world’s busiest Internet interconnection, few weeks ago reported a new all-time traffic peak of more than 9.1 Tbits/s.
“Whether it’s for exchanging information, streaming films, playing online games, or the exceptional situation people are currently experiencing with the COVID-19 virus, Internet usage is playing an ever-greater role,”(source: Thomas King, DE-CIX’s CTO)
This sudden and dramatic surge of Internet usage has also had the effect of reducing the speed of the global network:
In such a delicate moment for millions of workers, who are obliged to work from home, and companies, which have to ensure business continuity, the European Commission decided to take action to prevent a network congestion, asking streaming operators and services to
“take preventive and mitigating measures and encouraged users to apply settings that reduce data consumption, including the use of Wi-Fi or lower resolution for content.”(source: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/MEX_20_489)
This pandemic is showing not only how fragile and interconnected our economy is, but also how paramount Internet has become. How edge computing could help in ensuring business continuity during dramatic emergencies?
Offload Traffic from Core Network to the edge
According to the 2018 State of Online Video report by Limelight Networks
“video rebuffering remains the most frustrating aspect of online viewing for 43 percent of global consumers. The report also shows that 29 percent of viewers will stop watching a video the first time it re-buffers, with an additional 37 percent dropping off after the second time”.(source: https://www.limelight.com/resources/white-paper/state-of-online-video-2018/)
Edge computing can help media companies to increase their capabilities and to ensure quality video and streaming performance. A data center at the edge, or a Mobile Edge Cloud (MEC) can:
- reduce latency
- offload heavy traffic from the core network
- optimize delivery of regional content
- run essential services at the edge such as Network Function Virtualization (NFV), Caching, AI, Non-Network applications.
A real example of edge computing to offload Internet traffic is Netflix with its initiative called Open Connect, where they partner with ISP to serve local traffic using local appliances.
Eurotech and Advanet expertise in edge computing
Bringing HPC from data center to field deployable applications means reducing space, weight and power absorption, increasing resistance, robustness and reliability while maintaining the same advanced computational performance and energy efficiency.
Eurotech and Advanet HPEC boards and systems have a rugged and fanless design: they are ideal for embedded applications in difficult environmental conditions such as 5G edge nodes, or Autonomous Driving.
For such applications Eurotech and Advanet provide:
- The DynaNET family: High Performance Ethernet Switches for a reliable networking infrastructure for rugged and HPEC applications
- The DynaCOR family: HPEC systems that feature an innovative water-cooling system to ensure reliable performance in embedded applications, even under critical conditions. They are the ideal solution wherever computational activity needs to take place closer to the data gathering points.