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Edge Computing in the Time of Cloud and AI

The trend toward edge computing continues at Laplink

The trend toward edge computing continues at Laplink, where PCmover makes PC refreshes as efficient and painless as possible.

At the recent INSPIRE Conference 2020, held virtually by Microsoft, the focus was on the cloud and AI and rightly so. We are living in an extensively connected world where we are connected to data centers for cloud computing, storage and big data computation. Microsoft alone counts over 100 data center in 61 regions (Nadella, INSPIRE Conference 2020) and Amazon leads with over 175 service point across the world, followed by Google, IBM, Oracle and Alibaba. The demand for cloud services continues to grow. According to Satya Nadella, “89% of the CIOs say that they will now accelerate their public cloud investments from 54% prior to the pandemic” (Nadella, INSPIRE Conference 2020). This is not a surprise as companies and institutions are struggling to make all their people and processes independent of the local office.

On the other hand, users have turned to existing tools like Zoom or Teams in dramatic fashion. Teams is counting 75 million daily users (Nadella, INSPIRE Conference 2020) while rival Zoom claimed 300 million daily participants (Eric Yuan – Zoom CEO, April 22, 2020). No matter how many users or participants are recorded, it’s pretty safe to assume that every home user has experienced several of the many video conference providers for personal or business use. The trend toward cloud computing and communication has synced up with a modernization of the workplace, whether at home or in the office. To participate, devices must be modern, fast and well connected.

Edge computing relies on a modern PC

Sure, the private communication through video chat takes place on everyone’s phone, but productivity work continues to require — and even more so today — a modern PC. Home workers have come to realize they cannot rely on their phones or tablets to do a day’s worth of work; they need updated PCs if they hope to become as productive at home as in the office.

“Windows play[s] critical role in these changing times, helping people work, learn and stay connected from home. In fact, people are spending more than 4 trillion minutes on Windows 10 each month, and that is 75% more time than last year,” (Rajesh Jha, BUILD 2020). Windows PCs and Macs are the devices making up the intelligent edge of the cloud infrastructure and are critical to helping users be productive every day.

More efficient real-time applications through edge computing

The PC (or the Mac) may have been declared dead many times, but there is really no alternative for having the power of a real computer at your fingertips, not to mention the convenience of keyboard, ergonomic pointing devices and large displays. Surely, virtual PCs and the desktop in the cloud are alternatives but they have not caught on in a significant way. Over 250 million desktops and laptops are still sold worldwide every year and the more services are rendered by the cloud, the more the need for modern hardware. Edge computing provides the ability to process and store data faster, enabling for more efficient real-time applications that the cloud alone simply can’t match.

PCmover continues to help IT

With laptops now being given to the entire workforce and not just the road warriors, the upgrade cycle will shorten due to the shorter expected life span of portable PCs and organizations will have to look for better ways to refresh their existing base. With the end user demand to have infrastructure at home and the office, the pressure on IT departments will continue to rise, and the need for migration solutions will grow the same way. At Laplink we are working hard to make PC refreshes as painless as possible and for that reason we are committed to making PCmover better every day.

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