Modern technologies like cloud services and edge computing are quickly taking over businesses and industries worldwide. One such technology that is becoming increasingly popular is multi-access edge computing (MEC). Let’s discuss multi-access edge computing, how it works, its business benefits, use cases, and more to help you better understand this modern technology and business solution.
What Is Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC)
Multi-access edge computing or MEC is a type of network architecture and a relatively new use case of edge computing. It offers cloud computing to your business at the edge of the network with an IT service environment. MEC uses edge computing to make this possible because it ensures that traffic and computing services are at the edge, closer to your clients and customers, and away from your data center. The key purpose of MEC is to offer more streamlined and efficient network operations for your business that can provide dependable delivery of services to enhance the customer or user experience.
How MEC Works
There are numerous applications for MEC. However, we will use the simple example of a facial recognition system to help you understand how it works. Let’s say your business or office has certain areas or rooms like server rooms with restricted access, and you use facial recognition systems at the doors. In a typical system, the facial recognition software or application will transmit data back and forth on your business network to access a backend server that processes the images and authenticates the faces of anyone who wants to enter a restricted area.
So every time an employee comes to the door, the facial recognition hardware will take an image of their face and transmit it over your business network to the server. Then, the server references its database to analyze the image, verifies if the person has access or not, and sends an appropriate response back to the hardware via your business network. This back and forth process occurs every time an employee requires access to the restricted areas of your business. There is a certain amount of latency over your network every time this happens, which is fine if you have an adequate network.
Now, let’s say you upgrade the facial recognition to a more advanced security system. Employees must show their faces at each entrance and verbally enter a password to a live audio/video recorder for access. This updated security system can create problems for your business network because now latency will increase tenfold. Here, multi-access edge computing can provide an efficient solution. It allows you to move the facial recognition analysis or live audio/ video closer to the edge or where the door is.
As a result, your security system provides rapid, almost real-time responses at the edge without affecting your business network. You get ultra-low latency because there is less data transmission on your business network from all the doors of restricted areas. MEC essentially moves the processing function closer to the data and applications closer to the edge. Its implementation results in mobility and improves network latency for a better customer or user experience.
Benefits of Multi-Access Edge Computing
MEC offers plenty of benefits for your business network, reliability, connectivity, security, scalability, and expenses. Here are some of the key business benefits of MEC.
· Ultra-Low Latency
Latency is a measure of how long it takes for data to be transmitted from one point to another in your business network. Multiple connected devices transmitting data can increase latency, causing your network to lag or slow down, which results in delays.
MEC brings your processing closer to the edge, offering ultra-low latency of fewer than 20 milliseconds, which reduces delays and ensures much faster responses to improve the user experience.
· Real-Time Responses
Businesses that require quick decision-making find immense utility in the real-time data processing offered by MEC at the edge, owing to faster connectivity.
MEC offers immense interoperability because it makes it possible for your business systems and applications to communicate seamlessly with each other. They can do this without requiring any migration or adoption to a different environment.
· Savings and Scalability
MEC brings immense agility to your business network and operations, making it highly scalable. It allows your business to increase or decrease services as required to help prevent the expenses of services you aren’t using.
· Security and Reliability
Deployed correctly by expert professionals such as Communications Solutions Inc., multi-access edge computing offers secure and reliable performance. Since MEC applications are localized, they can operate independently.
This means you get continuous operations at the edge, even if the applications are disconnected from your core business network. However, the distributed data throughout the network requires protection against cyber threats, which is why it is important to hire the right professionals for MEC deployment.
MEC Use Cases
Businesses around the world are going through digital transformation to keep up with modern demands. There are more connected devices than ever before, and this has rapidly increased the demand for scalable and agile business networks that offer greater data transmission volumes at faster speeds.
This is why multi-access edge computing is quickly becoming a go-to solution for businesses in various industries. Here are some popular use cases for MEC.
· Customer Services
MEC increases the speed at which data is accessed, analyzed, and used in real-time. This is helping businesses increase decision-making speeds and improve unified communications in all sectors, including commercial and industrial, to offer better customer services.
· Industrial Internet-of-Things (IIoT)
The rise of IIoT has boosted MEC in various use cases. Industries can use it for predictive maintenance, real-time monitoring, data analytics, rapid decision-making, and even to improve safety in an industrial environment.
· Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Applications
Augmented and virtual reality applications require low latency and rapid response times to perform optimally, which makes MEC an ideal solution.
That’s everything you need to know about multi-access edge computing for now. Of course, there are plenty of details that we can discuss another time. For now, you should know that MEC is an excellent solution for growing business. However, before you deploy such solutions for your business, you should always consider your current and future business network requirements. We highly recommend consulting expert professionals like Communications Solutions Inc. in Jacksonville, Florida, to help you make the best decisions regarding business networks and edge computing solutions for your unique requirements. If you want to learn more about multi-access edge computing, edge computing, efficient business networks, or if you want the most comprehensive professional solutions for your business in Florida, Contact Us today.