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As companies transition into remote workplaces, expand their reach through branch offices, and embrace IoT, edge computing becomes increasingly important. For example, the 2019 IoT Signals Report found that 88% of organizations feel IoT is critical to business success.

To serve customers and create optimal user experiences in this era of remote work and IoT, companies need to embrace intelligent edge. Intelligent edge is processing and analyzing data at the edge, where data is generated.

Intelligent edge is made possible through high-performance network and network security solutions that protect data and enable advanced analytics at the edge. 

Upgrading the Network

Traditional networks don’t provide the performance speeds and level of security needed for intelligent edge. If data needs to be transmitted to the cloud or to a data center, it can be intercepted and corrupted or lost. Data transmission may experience bottlenecks or latency that is detrimental to user experience.

Using software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) allows companies to virtualize their networks. SD-WAN reduces latency and improves security so that companies can provide a seamless user experience.

Some SD-WAN offerings deliver intrusion detection and prevention as well as firewall and encryption to ensure data is kept secure at the edge and beyond. The time needed to detect threats to the network can be reduced from almost 200 days to just several hours. Application performance levels can be increased multiple times.

Gaining Intelligence

The intelligent part of intelligent edge has to do with how data is analyzed at the edge. A high-speed network will support intelligent edge by providing the level of performance needed by advanced analytics applications.

Advanced analytics can use data to forecast future trends or help companies conduct preventive maintenance on business assets. Information can be gathered from sensors on IoT devices and run through analytics applications that use machine learning to achieve artificial intelligence.

With the support of SD-WAN, advanced analytics can benefit from real-time data, sourced at the place and time of generation.

Stacking the Deck

Strategically located data centers or cloud sites can also be used to achieve intelligent edge. For example, Microsoft Azure Stack has hybrid cloud capabilities that are tailored for intelligent edge through the Azure Stack offering.

Many organizations are looking at data center sites that they can quickly and easily deploy edge computing infrastructure, while also working to ensure that network connectivity achieves the level of performance they require.

In Reach of Intelligent Edge

Intelligent edge requires rethinking your company’s approach to its network. Making these changes may seem like a heavy lift, but a change in mindset and some network upgrades are easily achievable if you work with the right partner.

FirstLight offers everything companies in the Northeast need to achieve intelligent edge. We provide low-latency, high-speed connectivity through our extensive fiber optic network. The extent of our network, combined with the geographical diversity of our data centers, means that your data is always close to user endpoints.

We partner with Cisco to offer SD-WAN so your organization can manage the traffic generated by cloud applications, remote offices and workers, and IoT devices.

Experience FirstLight SD-WAN today. Schedule a demo and get a $100 gift card as a thank you.