Microsoft sees the edge as the necessary step to work in remote areas. Chief technology officer Kevin Scott talks about the next wave of computing.
The proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, expected to reach 50 billion by 2020, will require a fundamental shift in networking. Instead of processing at the data center level, several companies, including Microsoft, see the edge as the necessary step to reduce latency and work in remote areas.
Microsoft, through Azure, supplies cloud computing to a wide range of companies, but some struggle to utilize analytics and insight technologies because of limited connectivity or power. With intelligent edge, Microsoft makes Azure’s technologies available to organizations of all shapes and sizes across the globe.
“When we take the power of the cloud down to the device – the edge – we provide the ability to respond, reason and act in real time and in areas with limited or no connectivity,” said Kevin Scott, chief technology officer at Microsoft. “As [Microsoft CEO] Satya Nadella shared at our Build developer conference, it’s still early days, but we’re starting to see how these new capabilities can be applied towards solving critical world challenges.”
Microsoft has introduced intelligent edge technologies in a number of key sectors. In Carnation, Washington, farmers are using the intelligent edge to locate the best areas for certain crops in real-time. Disney Animal Kingdom is utilizing the technology to study the purple martin bird, using hundreds of tiny smart houses to track the bird. Schneider Electric has partnered with Microsoft to improve safety on oil rigs, by installing pump monitoring equipment to let staff know about any problems in advance.
“We need to give all organizations and developers the tools to build these kinds of increasingly ambitious solutions that span the intelligent edge and intelligent cloud,” said Scott. “Moreover, these tools must give developers strong security foundations and help them to place security at the very core of their solutions. Devices on the edge handle some of our most sensitive business and personal data in our homes, workplaces, and sometimes in physically remote places.”